Emily, outbound to Denmark

As crazy as it is to think, I am almost halfway through my exchange. Before coming to Denmark, I couldn’t conceptualize what my life here would be like, who my friends and family would be, or the things I’d get to experience. I’ve come to realize that life here is exactly that; life. I have a family I love, amazing friends, a country I feel like I’m a part of, a school I don’t want to have to leave, and a language that sometimes comes to mind before my own.

With a three-month gap between my first blog and this one, a lot has obviously happened. In October I was off from school for a few weeks. During that time, I went on a 10-day trip to Rome, Florence, and Siena, Italy with my first host family. It was an absolutely amazing trip and I am so grateful for the experience! I also went to Galla at my school, which is similar to the American prom. It was a great night with my friends and I am so happy to have gone. In November I celebrated Thanksgiving at a Rotary event and in December I switched to my second host family and went to a Lukas Graham (a really popular Danish singer) concert. I am now living in Skodsborg, Denmark with my host mom (Christina), dad (Claus), brother (Nicolai-11), and sister (Anna-7). I am enjoying living here and they have truly made me feel at home!

In Denmark, Christmas is pretty much a month long celebration. Leading up to Christmas, I attended Christmas dinners, went into the forest to cut down our tree, listened to plenty of festive music, and even made traditional Danish ornaments. A few unique things about Danish Christmas are the annual Christmas show on Danish television, the advent calendar, and that it is celebrated on the 24th. In December there is a Christmas-themed TV-series and every day there is a new episode. My younger siblings love it and looked forward to seeing it every day. Also, while we usually just have chocolate advent calendars in the U.S., in Denmark we receive a gift every day before Christmas. For Christmas Eve, one of my host mom’s sisters and her family came over. We ate duck and flæskesteg for dinner and afterwards danced around the Christmas tree (which held lit candles) while singing Christmas songs. We then sat and opened presents. The days following Christmas Eve are called the first Christmas day, the second Christmas day, and so on. On each of those days we ate a big dinner with family. My family held a New Year’s party as well that was full of great food and fireworks. There were over 30 people here and it was a blast!

Winter in Denmark means that there is 7 hours of sun a day and very, very cold weather, so it is definitely something to get used to coming from Florida. However, by dressing in many layers and keeping busy with friends, winter is flying by.

Language update! I can’t believe how far my Danish has come in the past couple of months. At this point, I can express myself and can understand the majority. I have been using duolingo and watching Danish television series to learn as many new phrases and words as I can! I am excited to see where my Danish is at the end of this year.
Christmas break is now over, too, and I am happy to be back with my friends. School is becoming more interesting now that I can understand and am starting to participate more.

Overall, I am so happy here in Denmark and do not regret my decision to do an exchange one bit. I cannot imagine having to leave in just 5 months.

To see my homepage click HERE