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Biologist Susan Urbanus moved to Odense in 2015 as an accompanying spouse to a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern Denmark. Upon arrival, Susan explored her possibilities to find work, paid or voluntary, while staying in Odense, and she combined her biology skills and her love for gardening and outdoor activities with her international background and the need for a local community. After lots of work and effort, networking and fundraising, Susan gained support from both Falen school garden, Odense International Community and the University of Southern Denmark’s International Staff Office. Her project also gained support from the BUPL solidarity and cultural fund. Odense International Garden was established in 2016 and Susan’s project was a great success. Her initiative created a lasting community for internationals in Odense, and her project got nominated for Odense sustainability award in 2018. Susan has since moved back home to the Netherlands, but her project is still alive, and international families keep meeting up in Odense’s International Garden every second Saturday in the gardening season, where they cultivate both crops and friendships.
In this episode of the Expat Life in Odense Podcast Series, you can meet Susan Urbanus, Abigail Martin (Odense International Garden), Thomas Høgedal (Falen Schoolgarden), Julie Fuglesang Fink (International Community Odense), and Annika Jarl (University of Southern Denmark’s International Staff Office) – altogether they are sharing how this project came to life and how it keeps on living. This project is a real community effort.
If you are in Odense and interested in taking part in Odense International Garden’s activities, you can write an e-mail to Odense International Garden’s volunteer project manager, Abigail Martin: firstname.lastname@example.org.