Cassidy Johnson

Denmark

Hometown: St.Johns, Florida
School: Creekside High School
Sponsor District : District 6970
Sponsor Club: Bartram Trail, Florida
Host District: 1461
Host Club: The Rotary Club of H.C. Andsersen

 

My Bio


Hej! Mit navn er Cassidy or Hi! My name is Cassidy! I am so thankful that I have been given the amazing opportunity to spend a year abroad in Denmark for my 2015-2016 school year. I live in Saint Johns, Florida with my mom, dad and brother and am so thankful for their support during this process. I know this experience will be life-changing and I am beyond excited!

Outside of my classes at school I participate in many clubs and activities and am very involved in my community. I am taking my third year of American Sign Language and volunteer at a local elementary school every week to teach ASL to third grade students which I absolutely love. I am the Vice President of the Future Business Leaders of America club at my school and am also an active member of the Best Buddies Club, Junior Ladies Club, FCA, Psychology Club, Interact Club, and Legion of the Knights. I am a competitive cheerleader for an All-Star travel team and also cheer on my high school Varsity cheer team. I love competing with my All-Star cheer team because I get to travel to competitions throughout the United States and compete nationally. I practice 2-3 times a week and also take tumbling classes.

My goals for the year ahead are to become fluent in Danish, to make lifelong friendships, and to learn and experience as much as I can while in the beautiful country of Denmark. I am so very thankful for this unbelievable opportunity the Rotary has given me!


Rock-wall climbing

Rock-wall climbing

The gorgeous city of Copenhagen!

The gorgeous city of Copenhagen!

My welcome to Denmark from my amazing host family

My welcome to Denmark from my amazing host family

Loving life here in Denmark

Loving life here in Denmark

Touring the beautiful city of Copenhagen

Touring the beautiful city of Copenhagen

Exploring Aarhus

Exploring Aarhus

Some of my best friends in Denmark

Some of my best friends in Denmark

Odense, Denmark

Odense, Denmark

High School dance with friends

High School dance with friends

The seaside at Kerteminde

The seaside at Kerteminde

Exploring Odense

Exploring Odense

First snow of the year!

First snow of the year!

Fall in Denmark

Fall in Denmark

Man meets the Sea statue in Esbjerg Harbor

Man meets the Sea statue in Esbjerg Harbor

Christmas lights in Aarhus

Christmas lights in Aarhus

Beautiful coastline on the west coast of Denmark

Beautiful coastline on the west coast of Denmark

Lighting the candles on the Christmas Tree

Lighting the candles on the Christmas Tree

Beautiful castle in Cholet France

Beautiful castle in Cholet France

Rotary Camp

Rotary Camp

Journals: Cassidy - Denmark 2015-2016

  • Cassidy, outbound to Denmark

    Five months ago I entered the beautiful country of Denmark and I honestly could not be any happier. I can’t imagine being anywhere else on exchange. This year is going by so fast, I’m almost at the halfway point of my exchange and I never want to leave! It feels like I just got here but at the same time it feels like I have been living here my whole life.

    Since my last journal I have done so many things. In Denmark they have fall break for a week and I was lucky enough to go to France with my host family to visit their parents. It was such an amazing experience. We visited castles and museums and ate five course meals. French food is absolutely amazing!

    Over the past few months I’ve been bridge walking, gone to the Odense Zoo which is the largest zoo in Denmark, gone to a Lukas Graham concert (very famous singer in Denmark), and I have experienced fall with leaves changing color and snow!

    Even though I love Denmark, let’s just say that Denmark’s weather is very depressing compared to Florida. It’s cold, rainy, and only light outside for 7 hours a day. I am definitely not used to this growing up in Florida my whole life. The sun rises at 9am and sets at 4pm. So basically I go to school in the dark and come home in the dark.

    I have moved to my second host family where I live with my host parents and a sister who is 18 years old. They have been so nice and welcoming to me. I have an unbelievable two story bedroom, yes two stories! They have taken me on a weekend trip to Aarhus and along the West coast of Denmark. They also just told me that they are taking me on a trip to Rome over winter break in February!

    This holiday season has been the best I’ve ever had. I’ve been able to share Halloween and Thanksgiving with my family and friends here which they typically do not celebrate and had the greatest Christmas of my life! Christmas is a huge celebration in Denmark and is celebrated the whole month starting on December 1st. Every Sunday kids get a present leading up to the 24th. Danish Christmas isn’t so different than an American Christmas other than celebrating on the afternoon of the 24th and then two days after that where we celebrated with family and friends. Oh, putting real candles on the tree (yes, real candles!) and lighting them and then dancing and singing around the tree before we opened presents was definitely different from back home. I also just celebrated New Years in the third biggest city in Denmark with friends and the fireworks were amazing!

    Danish is still very difficult but it is getting easier and easier to pronounce and speak. I am now able to understand almost everything spoken in Danish which is great progress. It is much easier to understand what is being spoken but more difficult to speak in Danish.

    My best friends here are Andre, Kira, and Manu and I don’t know what I would do without them. I can’t imagine my life next year and not being able to see them every day but we are already planning trip to meet in a couple of years.

    Denmark has become my new home and I am already dreading the day that I have to leave behind the life I have made for myself here but I am looking forward to the next 6 months of my life in this beautiful country and will enjoy every minute of it. Thank you Rotary for this life changing experience you have given me!

    To see my homepage and some photos click HERE


  • Cassidy, outbound to Denmark

    Hej! I have been living in Denmark for one month and I can already tell that this exchange is going to be everything I hoped it would be and more. I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. The things I have experienced and felt during these last few weeks cannot even be put into words. I have learned and experienced so much in just this short period of time and can't wait to see what is in store for me for the next 10 months.

    The plane ride to Denmark went very smoothly. I didn't have any delays or get lost (thank goodness!) because it was my first time traveling alone. I arrived in Billund the morning of August 9th. My host family greeted me with welcome signs with the Danish flag on them. I live with my host mom, dad, and 3 brothers. We left the airport and went home and had our first lunch together on the terrace. We laughed as I tried a new combination of foods- really dark dense bread with moldy cheese on it (which was on purpose!), meat, eggs, tomatoes, and potatoes. It was actually really good! The next day I started school. I have 4 other exchange students that are in the same class as me. They are from Chile, Brazil, California, and Columbia. They are my best friends in Denmark and we have already become so close.

    I am lucky to live in the city of Odense which is the third largest city in Denmark. It is a small island and is so beautiful. The driving age in Denmark is 18 so students ride their bikes to school and when going out with friends. I can bike from my house to the center of the city in about 5 minutes. Everyone is so nice here, especially in my class at school. I go to a business school and some of the classes I take are English, Economics, and Marketing.

    School in Denmark isn't at all like school in the United States. A typical school day starts at 8:15 and ends at 1:30 some days and at 3:15 other days. We stay in the same classroom all day and the teacher will switch depending on the subject. This is great because it is easy to get to know the other students in your class and I am already really close with my classmates. There is so much more freedom at school in Denmark, we have breaks during the school day and can go outside and hang out or ride our bikes around the city but at the same time the students really care about learning and getting an education. I am part of the international class at my school so half of my classes are in English and the other half are in Danish. I'm actually really enjoying school so far and have already learned a lot of words, phrases, and sentences in Danish and I hope to be fluent soon. The language itself hasn’t been that hard to learn but it is very hard to pronounce the words.

    I’ve had so many great experiences already in my short time here. The first weekend I was here my host family took me to Copenhagen which is the largest city in Denmark. Copenhagen is about an hour and a half from Odense. We went on a boat tour and walked around the city. I had seen pictures of the city, sailboats, and colorful buildings before my exchange but seeing it in person was unbelievable.

    During my second week here my class had a "team track" day where we bonded and did activities all day. That night we had a sleepover at school with my classmates which was crazy because that is not something we would do in high school in the U.S. The next day we had the day off and then had a school dance which was so much fun.

    Other great experiences I’ve had while in Denmark have been going to a paddle ball tournament and festival with my host family. I went to an amazing outdoor concert with friends and toured the city with friends during the Odense flower festival. The city was decorated with flowers and it was so beautiful. Other days I have gone to dinner with friends or just hang out with my friends and family. I have also started taking a tumbling class once a week.

    During my third week, I went to intro camp with over 150 exchange students from around the world who are living in Denmark this year. We participated in Danish classes 6 hours a day which was tiring but good because it really helped me learn more of the Danish language. After our lessons we had so many fun activities to do at night- a concert, rock climbing walls, a dance, and much more. During intro camp it was my 17th birthday and I can honestly say I wouldn't have wanted to spend it any other way. That day we didn't have Danish lessons and we went to Aarhus. I got to spend the day in the city with my best friends in Denmark and we went on a tour of one of the biggest museums in Europe which was amazing.

    People in Denmark eat very healthy compared to what I'm used too but it is so good and my host mom and dad are amazing cooks. We eat all of our meals together as a family and in Denmark families hardly ever go out for meals because of the cost. For breakfast on a normal day we have cereal, for lunch we have rye bread with meat and cheese, and for dinner some type of meat with potatoes and vegetables. The weather is already getting cold compared to what I'm used to. It's around 45 degrees Fahrenheit on a normal day.

    Life so far in Denmark is amazing! Luckily I still have 10 more months here in Denmark. My adventure is just getting started. Thank you Rotary for this amazing opportunity!

    To see my home page click HERE

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