Franske Plume er på udveksling i Danmark. Læs, hvordan hun oplever dansk kultur, hvad hun har fået ud af sit ophold, og hvordan det har været at være på udveksling midt i en pandemi.

Hello! My name is Plume, I’m 18 years old and I come from France. I’m an exchange student in Denmark for almost 11 months and I’m living in Gandrup (it’s in the northern part of Jutland) near Aalborg. I have three host sisters: Ditte, Sara and Sofie, and I have one brother in France. His name Gaspard.

I became an exchange student because I wanted to discover a new culture and open myself up to the world. I had the feeling that I needed to live an experience that would change me and my life, so I decided to leave the house for an exchange year!

The Danish culture

Now I have been here in 7 months and I can say that the Danish culture is so different compared to the French culture! I think the word that defines the Danish culture best is “hygge” and I didn’t expect that it will be so nice to come to Denmark. A lot of things surprised me like the mutual aid and trust. I don’t know if it’s just my region, but Danish people help and trust each other a lot and they are here when there is something wrong. In Denmark, I have the feeling that the population really enjoy the simple things like drink a coffee, go for a walk or also cook together and I really like that. The Danish population are really open minded and it’s really new for me because you can talk about everything, be who you want and there is no problem with it. That is one of the reasons why I chose Denmark. There is also one thing that I’m really surprised about it: the culture around the alcohol. I don’t know if it’s good or not, but Danish people drink a lot and its quite surprising.

My Danish host family

I live in an amazing host family and I don’t think that I can find better, it’s the perfect match!! I have a really close relation with all of them and I consider them as a second family. I have lived with them for 7 months and I have the feeling that I have been here since forever, because we know each other really well. I’ve had a lot of experience with them, but the most important was Christmas and my birthday. It was really nice to see how they celebrated that and to see the tradition like the birthday song, the dance  around the Christmas Tree with the song or also the Christmas dessert Risalamande. In the experiences that I had with my host family, I think I can include the lockdown, because we experience so many small things (go for a walk, cook, watch TV together) that I probably would never have experienced without the quarantine.

The Danish school system

Danish school is really different compared to the French school. I’m at Aalborg Katedralskole and most of my subjects are sciences. I’m also in a French class, so it’s really nice to see how the other students learn French. Here, the school system is kind of free and most of the work is in groups, the relation with the teacher is really friendly and I think it’s much easier to learn. It is a little bit difficult for me to follow the class because it’s in Danish, but the girls in my class help me a lot. When I came they were really kind and I’m really comfy with my classmates. Unfortunately we were sent home because of the corona virus and I didn’t really keep contact with them, but I went to school the 17th of March and it was nice to see them again!!

Danish food: meat and potatoes

Most of the Danish food is with meat and potatoes. I’m really lucky that my host family cook a lot of different things, but when I talk about Danish food with some other exchange student, we agree that there is a lot of meat and potatoes. There are some dishes that I really love, like Risalamande and Flæskesteg (but I prefer French food haha).

How I developed

I’ve been here for 7 months and I developed many things about myself. I feel more confident, I like my own company, I’m really peaceful and I feel more strong. I also realized a lot of things about my relation to my parents and my little brother. Here I’ve experienced that family is really important. I have grown up a lot during this experience. I learned a new culture and now I speak English and I’m learning Danish, but it’s really hard, haha.

Of course I miss my family and my friends a lot, but I try to don’t think about it. At the beginning, I didn’t feel the miss but now I really miss them, it’s kind of hard to live the distance. Luckily there is Facetime, so I can call them when I want and my parents send me a package every month. With my friends, it’s difficult to keep contact because I have grown up and they are living something and I’m living something else, but they are still here for me when I’m not okay and I’m still here for them when they “need” me.

Being abroad during the pandemic

Before I came here, I didn’t expect that I was going to spend more than three months at home, but I stay positive. There are a lot of things that I don’t think I could live without the lockdown. Now I’m really close to one of my host sisters and it’s the same with my parents, I’m really close to them. But it’s also sad, because I came here for living a lot of things (be outside, meet new persons, discover Denmark, hang out) and I’m at home. I think it’s also hard to be at home because I have a lot of time to think about everything and nothing (my life in France, my future, my family and my friends, who I am and why all of this) and I don’t think that it’s really good to have the time to think during an exchange student year. But I hope all this is almost done and I can try to have a real exchange student life during a normal year (I don’t think it’s possible, but I hope). I’m really lucky because in my host family, with my host mom and one of my sisters, we share the same passion: horse riding. At home we have three horses and I “have one” just for me, so during this lockdown I can ride when I want and some days in the week I help to clean the stable! I spend most of my time with the horses and we also have two dogs, so sometime I go for a walk with them.

I’m really lucky!!