Photo of Sunilkumar Puppala: "One of the best things was speaking Danish at a job interview"

One of the best things was speaking Danish at a job interview

Sunilkumar Puppala from India knew it was very important to be good at Danish, and that’s why he enrolled as a student in Danish Language Course 2 at IA Sprog in September 2012.

”It’s fun to learn Danish, in part because there’s such a big difference between the way the words are written and the way they are pronounced. And I am really enjoying learning Danish at IA Sprog. So even though I’ve moved to Ishøj, I’ve remained a student here,” explains Sunilkumar.

”IA Sprog is very flexible, and you can easily change from evening to day lessons. The teachers are also incredibly nice and help the students learn and understand Danish quickly. They are very good at offering alternative suggestions, if you want to learn more Danish outside of your lessons.”

Speaks ”The Italian of the East”

Sunilkumar Puppala is 31 years old, was born in India and speaks Telugu. This is the language that the British colonialists called ”The Italian of the East.” He came to Denmark in 2012 with a Master of Science in Embedded Systems Design from the University of Glasgow – and the expectation of better job opportunities.

Sunilkumar remembers his first Danish lessons at IA Sprog as fun and educational, especially when his class took field trips together. One place they visited was Christiania, and that was quite an experience. At first it was a bit hard to learn Danish, but Sunilkumar was a persistent student, showing up for every lesson, and suddenly things began to advance very quickly.

“Danish grammar is hard. But we were given a lot of good assignments in class and online, working again and again to improve,” says Sunilkumar.

Wants to focus on fluent Danish

Sunilkumar’s first job in Denmark was with nemlig.com. He contacted the firm’s CEO personally, and after the boss looked at Sunilkumar’s résumé, he promised to get in touch.

“He did within a couple of weeks, and I had a job! For the first few months I worked as a warehouse employee. And because I was quick at my job, I was promoted to a role in production and as a co-ordinator. It was my responsibility, that everything was packed correctly. I worked for nemlig.com for almost two years. And while I worked there, I looked for jobs in my own field,” says Sunilkumar.

That paid off in 2014, when he was interviewed by Liqtech International, who produce ceramic filters for water and air filtering. The company was looking for an employee for the maintenance and technical management of their ovens, something Sunilkumar had practical experience with. The job interview went well, and Liqtech hired Sunilkumar – first for a three-month probationary period and afterwards on a full-time contract as a technician and operator.

“I worked there for about a year and a half, and it was excellent experience within my professional area, since the company used the same type of platform I was trained on. At Liqtech I received many emails in Danish, and many colleagues spoke Danish to me, so now I want to learn to speak fluent Danish, before I get a new job. And I would prefer a job in the area I’ve been trained for,” says Sunilkumar.

Thinking back on what he’s learned

One of Sunilkumar’s greatest successes in learning Danish was that he was able to speak the language shopping in various stores – and even at job interviews. He really enjoys living in Denmark, and he particularly enjoys the Danes’ welcoming and relaxed attitude. He also admires the Danish welfare state model, which he thinks is a good and strong system. When he’s asked if there’s anything negative about living in Denmark, he couldn’t really think of anything.

“I think a lot about what I have learned. I would have had a hard time without the knowledge I’ve gained about Danish culture and society. I can understand people in Denmark. They understand me. And IA Sprog is a good place to learn about society, the language and the cultural norms that may otherwise be difficult to figure out.”

Sunilkumar would like to work as a volunteer at a place such as Røde Kors, because it would help him improve his Danish even more. And he would like to continue living near Copenhagen, since his family has a network here. But if the perfect job came up elsewhere, he’d also be willing to move for it.