Sierra Tagman

 Denmark

Hometown: Orlando, Florida
School: William R. Boone
Sponsor District : District 6980
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Orlando, Florida
Host District: 1440
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Aalborg Nørresundby


My Bio


Hej mit navn er Sierra or Hi my name is Sierra! I am so excited to spend my sophomore year in the beautiful country of Denmark. I have had many opportunities to travel with my family and I am now ready to fully immerse myself in another culture. I live in Orlando, Florida with my mom, dad, two younger brothers, and my dog, Olive. I am currently a freshman at Boone High School and am involved in many clubs, such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, French Club, and Interact Club. I also played on the Junior Varsity volleyball team as well as the Junior Varsity Lacrosse team. My favorite classes in school are AP Human Geography, French, and Medical Skills. As I am currently taking French 1 in school, I am ready for the challenge of learning another foreign language at the same time. I enjoy spending time with my friends, traveling, playing volleyball, playing lacrosse, and playing guitar. I can't wait to see what God has planned for me while on exchange and what experiences I will come away with. My goals for exchange are to meet new people, try new foods, and become fluent in Danish. Although I am a little bit nervous about learning a new language, making new friends, and being homesick, I can't wait to see how much I grow as a person while on my exchange. Lastly, I would like to thank RYE for giving me this awesome opportunity of a lifetime!

My host families welcoming me at the airport.

My host families welcoming me at the airport.

Me in one of the oldest streets in Aalborg.

Me in one of the oldest streets in Aalborg.

Me and Cora from Florida in the rainbow exhibit in ARoS museum in Aarhus.

Me and Cora from Florida in the rainbow exhibit in ARoS museum in Aarhus.

Me and my host sister in Løkken by a lighthouse.

Me and my host sister in Løkken by a lighthouse.

Gulddreng concert

Gulddreng concert

Exchange students are some of the greatest people you'll meet!!

Exchange students are some of the greatest people you'll meet!!

Me in Aarhus

Me in Aarhus

All of the American exchange students

All of the American exchange students

During the district 1440 conference, we caught shrimps and crabs

During the district 1440 conference, we caught shrimps and crabs

The harbor in Aalborg is really pretty and a good place to hang out

The harbor in Aalborg is really pretty and a good place to hang out

District 1440 inbounds

District 1440 inbounds

So many people bike in Denmark that they have bike lanes everywhere and even stoplights for bikes

So many people bike in Denmark that they have bike lanes everywhere and even stoplights for bikes

The street art in Aalborg is beautiful

The street art in Aalborg is beautiful

The streets in Aalborg are very colorful

The streets in Aalborg are very colorful

I had the opportunity to go to Sweden with my host family, and it was so beautiful

I had the opportunity to go to Sweden with my host family, and it was so beautiful

The library in my school in Denmark has some books in it that are older than the US!

The library in my school in Denmark has some books in it that are older than the US!

Journals: Sierra-Denmark Blog 2017-18

  • Sierra, Outbound to Denmark

    Click HERE to read more about Sierra and all her blogs

    It is crazy to say that I have been in Denmark for over 2 months now! The time has flown by. I have discovered so much about another culture and about myself in these past months. I am going to focus this blog mainly on advice for students considering going on exchange because applications are due soon and interviews will also be coming up. I had some doubts before going on exchange, so here is what I would tell a student who is also deciding whether they want to become an exchange student or not.

    One of the reasons that I was hesitant about going on exchange was because I thought that I would miss out on a lot at home. I can tell anyone who is also experiencing this doubt that the experiences you will gain while on exchange and what you will discover about yourself is worth so much more than anything you will miss at home (which won't be much, by the way).

    Another concern that I had was that I would miss my family and friends too much. Of course, I do miss them but I have been so busy with sports and language practice that the homesickness just fades away. I also have other exchange students at my school, so it is good to talk with them sometimes about how we are doing and if we miss home or not and what we have learned.

    Something else I was worried about was missing an academic year of school in the US. If you are considering being an exchange student during your sophomore or junior year of high school and would still like to graduate with your class, it is possible (with a lot of work, though). I took some classes on FLVS before I left, I have to take one here, one more online class when I get back, and I will have full schedules my junior and senior years. I know that it is going to be a lot of work, but it is so worth it for going on exchange.

    I was also concerned about the language barrier and whether it would be harder to make friends in my country because of this. All of my classmates and a lot of other students at my school have been so welcoming to me, and always make sure that I am included during class. I had heard stereotypes that Danes are really shy at first, but I found it to be completely untrue and quite the opposite actually. Once you get your country assignments, and are starting to learn more about the people in the country do not believe the stereotypes because they are almost never true. Come to your country with an open mind and find out for yourself about the people of the country and the culture you are living in.

    If anyone who is reading this is considering being an exchange student, please do it! I know that there are a lot of doubts in your mind about what will happen, but exchange is so worth it. Also, you can always ask Rotex or past exchange students about their experiences and I am sure they would be happy to help. I hope this helped anyone who is considering going on exchange.

    Hej hej from Denmark,

    Sierra

  • Sierra, Outbound to Denmark

    Click HERE to read more Sierra and all her blogs

    I can't believe I've been in Denmark for almost a month. The time has flown by. Sometimes I forget that I'm over 4,500 miles away from my family and friends. During my first week here, I stayed with my counselor so that she could tell me all that I need to know about Aalborg and the rules for me here.

    Aalborg is such a lovely place. The streets are so clean and quiet, they have amazing shops, and of course the beautiful limfjord. We visited my counselor's second home in Egholm, a little island on the limfjord. The houses are so quaint and woodsy. I also went to Blokhus with my first host family during my first week. The water temperature is quite different from Florida's beaches, but it was so refreshing. I also went swimming in the limfjord at the fjordparken in the morning when it was cold and windy.

    I started school after being here for a week, which I was nervous for because I've never started at a new school in which I don't know anyone. My classmates were so welcoming to me and always make sure that I understand what is going on and what the teacher is saying. I haven't been speaking a lot of Danish because I can't pronounce anything and everyone always speaks to me in English. For me, Danish is so hard to learn, partly because of the pronunciation but mostly because everyone speaks English and it's very hard to force yourself to speak in a language that you can't fully express yourself in.

    After school on most days I usually go into town with the other exchange students to a cafe or shopping. Our school is about a five minute walk from the Main Street in Aalborg. I'm not used to hanging out with friends after school so often in Orlando, because I usually have too much homework to be able to do anything besides sports and school. I bike to and from school about three miles each way, which is a great exercise and also helps me wake up in the morning.

    I started volleyball practice two days after I arrived in Denmark. I like the practices and my team a lot, and it's also another activity to keep me in shape after eating so much Danish food and bread. I also go to my Rotary Club meetings every Wednesday. It's cool to see how different Rotary Clubs function around the world, even though I can't understand most of what is being said in the meetings.

    This week I went to language camp in Bjerringbro with all of the 157 exchange students that just arrived in Denmark. It was probably one of the most fun weeks I've ever had in my life. I met so many new people from so many different countries and got to know the other exchange students that attend my school better. Other exchange students are so easy to get along with and make friends with because we're all in the same boat. I learned a lot about the Danish culture as well as the language.

    I've had such a great time in Denmark so far and learned so much about myself.

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