I’m finally here!
After months of anticipation, my first three weeks in Denmark have gone like a blur as I adjust to a new family, new friends, a new language and a new life here in this beautiful country. Despite providing a constant source of hilarity to my Danish friends whenever I attempt to say ’rødgrød med fløde’, I have been having a fantastic time.
After a short arrival camp in Copenhagen, I headed to Herning on the train along with 3 other exchange students. We managed to nearly miss the train and then accidentally sit in first class, but nonetheless safely arrived in beautiful, snowy Herning to meet our enthusiastically flag-waving host families. After a day of dealing with paperwork, winter, and a 12-hr time difference it was time for me to start shool. I spent the first day accompanying my fellow exchange students Samanta from Columbia and Natcha from Thailand. On the second day it was time for me to meet my own class. The Danes might have a reputation for being cold and unfriendly, but the ones I have met have certainly been an exception as I was immediately welcomed by a group of girls who have since helped to really make me feel at home here. The next weeks have been filled with new places, new people and new vocabluary, as I was introduced to the other exchange students in my chapter, my host grandparents, my fellow Kiwi Eva’s host family, the beautiful towns of Silkebourg and Lemvig and the city of Aarhus.
The Danes at my school seem to wear exclusively black or dark grey, so for the first couple of weeks I stood out like a peacock in my bright blue jacket. At least I didn’t need to explain to people that I wasn’t Danish! The food here is also different from what I am used to. It is heavily focused on meat, potatoes and rugbrød (dark rye bread), with seemingly 80% of vegetables being raw carrots and 80% of sandwich spreads being supringly delicious liver paste. Last night I cooked for my host family for the first time after we found some sweet potatoes that were suprisingly similar to NZ kumara, and it was strange to eat colourful NZ-style food made made using only Danish ingredients.
Today I set off on a skiing holiday in Norway with my family, which I am tremendously excited about. I just hope that my next 10 months will be as enjoyable as my first three weeks have been.