On the 29th of January, a group of us 7 kids from district 1470, Copenhagen travelled 4 hours across Denmark towards Aarhus. Then catching another train towards Bjerringbro where we were met by a teacher who took us back to Nørgaards Højskole (the ‘boarding’ school we are staying at for the next week).
A Højskole is a ‘boarding’ type school where you would stay for 5 to 6 months (or however long your course is)and attend school Mondays to Fridays purely just to learn your specific major. Offering many types of courses from outdoor PE to music and songwriting, Højskole has been part of the Danish culture since almost forever.
Here is what my week looked like:
(SUNDAY 29 JAN) When we first got there we were taken into a hall like room filled with chairs for an introduction. We got to understand how to school worked, and how many students there are living at this campus (70 if you were wondering). We then met our teachers who were going to teach us Danish over the next couple of days and followed up with dinner in the dining hall. After dinner we got to play some ice breaker games, basically to get to know everyone that is currently an inbound(on exchange) into Denmark.
(MONDAY 30 JAN) The second day, we woke up early and got breakfast which consisted of oats with yoghurt, bread of course with jam and cheese. We got to meet the head of youth exchange in Denmark and listen to the 4D’s being repeated again. And if you don’t know what the 4D’s are,
no Dating, no Drugs, no Driving, no Drinking
4 very simple rules to follow. Clearly.
We started our first proper day of Danish lessons learning how to introduce ourselves- who we are, where we come from, where we live, what we like doing. Then finished the night with singing Michael Jackson songs together in the Pejsestuen.
(TUESDAY 31 JAN) Had the same breakfast as yesterday, morning assembly to talk about the day(typical morning), then Danish lessons learning about colours, time and numbers. We were then lucky enough after our second period of Danish to walk to the store which was a good 15 minutes in the freezing cold to buy whatever we wanted(basically a countdown kinda). I spent basically half of my $$$ on three bags of Gifflar and if you don’t know what they are, they are little cinnamon buns which tastes amazing with any hot drink. We then proceeded to finishing off the day in the gym being allowed rock climb which was pretty cool.
(WEDNESDAY 1 FEB) Same starts, breakfast, morning assembly, Danish lessons. Except our second danish lesson, we were lucky enough to have a special speaker, a girl who is currently on exchange to Denmark and has been living here for 6 months, tell her story on to how to make friends and generally how it is like living here. Then we were treated to listening to a danish band- Kajsa Vala, Lady Lion and a few others who were all amazing and sung their own songs.
(THURSDAY 2 FEB) We did an hour of travelling towards Aarhus to visit ARos (the rainbow panorama and museum) and to explore the second largest city in Denmark. Aarhus is such a beautiful place to be in, kind of like Copenhagen but a lot less stressful- more chilled. On top of one of the most touristy sites of Denmark, we overlooked a lot of the city which was interesting and definitely amazing through different colours. We then ended the day on a very calm note by choosing either an art workshop or a dance workshop- of which of course I chose art.
(FRIDAY 3 FEB) Same old same old beginning, we talked a lot about culture shock and how everything is going to be different, how it is different and how to cope with living here compared to where we are from and what we grew up with as ‘normal’. There are major differences eg- the way we are treated and minor differences eg- the way the water tastes. These can end up being quite hard to adjust to since it is not what we know and what we are used to knowing. It’s definitely not wrong, just different. Then danced the night away without realising that we had a very very early morning train to catch back to Copenhagen.
(SATURDAY 4 FEB) 6am and 7 of us are up to pack up our things and get ready to catch our train back to Aarhus then back to Copenhagen as we had a ‘disco’ basically a little party thing to meet the ‘oldies’ the group of exchange students that came last summer.
It was amazing to realise that putting 20 Australians in the same compound for more than 3 days is actually a really bad idea, and it should be avoided at all costs however everyone that I met was so amazing inside and out and I wouldn’t change it for the world.