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!

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