I’m sorry for the lack of blogging lately, but I have been so busy getting ready for my trip to Denmark and exploring Copenhagen that there has been no time to write. And I also apologize in advance for how long this blog will be, but there is so much to say!!
Thursday was a busy day spent preparing for my weekend. I started with a full day of school, then I took the train to downtown in order to exchange some money so I could have a little Danish currency while I was there. When I got home, dinner was ready so I sat down to devour a plate of food before Ebba and I left for choir practice. Later that night, I packed my bag and showered before heading off to bed.
Friday morning I got up at 8:30 so I could have a nice breakfast, got ready, do a little last minute packing, and then head off to the train. Mamma drove me and directed me where to go and how to find my seat before giving me a hug and saying goodbye. The train came after a couple of minutes and I got on, stored my luggage, and found my seat successfully.
On the five hour ride, I kept myself busy by doing some homework, listening to music, and looking out the window to see the beautiful Swedish countryside. I ate the wonderful lunch Mamma packed for me of a meatball, lettuce, and cucumber sandwich, an apple, a kiwi, two drinks, and a chocolate bar.
When finally arrived at the Copenhagen station, it took a while and a little panic for me to find the meeting place but I eventually managed. When I met with the group, we headed off to get our Copenhagen cards that would let us use the trains and get into Tivoli during our time there. On the way, me and another exchange student to Sweden from Holland began to talk and get to know each other.
We talked a mile a minute about all sorts of things from where we were placed, how we liked our host families, what our schools were like, and each other’s accents. When we got our passes, me and two other exchange students had to go back to the hotel to check in while the others were able to go off on their own for two hours. The other two exchange students were both from Italy, like almost half the group which was surprising to me, and also both placed in Sweden.
After we checked in, we too got about an hour and a half to explore the city on our own before meeting back up at the hotel for a pizza party.
At the pizza party, all the exchange students from both Norway and Sweden was there and the energy in the room was so overwhelming. We were a super diverse group from all over the world including Italy, Mexico, Canada, Holland, France, Germany, New Zealand, and of course, the USA. I even found out the girl from New Zealand lives two train stops away from me, we were so close and didn’t even know it!!
When the leaders could finally quiet us down we played a few get-to-know-you games, served the pizza, and then split into three groups to discuss how our experience was going so far. It was nice to hear how other people were adjusting to the lifestyle and learning the language and to know that others were going through the same things you are and they could give you tips if you ever ran into problems.
When all the groups were finished, we headed off to Tivoli, the second oldest theme park in the world, to have a night of fun on all the rides. We had about three hours to so what we wished so me and some friends went on two rides, walked around the park, and then just sat and talked because we had so much we wanted to know about each other.
When we got back to the hotel, my roommates and I invited the other girls back to our room. There was a girl from New Zealand, Holland, the USA (me) and 5 from Italy who had all just met that day and we bonded so well that we became instant friends. At around 2 am, we were all sleepy so we said our goodnights and headed off the bed.
Saturday, we woke up around 8:30, had a nice breakfast in the hotel, and were off by 10 to our first destination, the National Museum of Denmark. It was interesting to read about the history of Denmark, but I think we may have spent a little more time talking than looking at the exhibit. When our time was up, we were guided to the center of Copenhagen where you could see the Parliament building, an important church, and the “Wall Street District.”
They let us go for four hours to do what we wanted throughout the city of Copenhagen. I went off with two girls from Italy, one from France, and one from Holland in search of some coffee and fika. We spent the rest of our time darting in and out of stores of any kind from clothing to shoes to souvenirs.
The whole group met up again to head off on a canal boat tour. We shared so many laughs and so much fun on the boat in between telling stories and waving to passer-byes walking along the canal.
We ate dinner at the Hard Rock in central Copenhagen and returned to the hotel full and happy. At the hotel we invited everyone back to our room because we had gotten to know everyone more over the course of the day.
We each shared our story of why we wanted to come abroad, even though most got interrupted along the way since they led to other stories and conversations. We also shared where we would go if we hadn’t gone to Norway or Sweden. We had to say a sad goodbye to all the Norwegian exchange students, they were flying back early in the morning so this was our last time to see them, and then headed to bed.
Sunday, we woke and headed down for breakfast before starting on our way to the Workers Museum. Somehow were we still able to talk enough to distract us from the exhibits but from the parts I saw, it looked like a lovely museum! We then took the train out the the famous mermaid statue so we could get our pictures with it, even though it was a little rainy, and stopped by the houses of the Danish Royals on our way to lunch.
We were then let go for our final hours together to do what we wanted the the whole group took off together to find a coffee shop for some fika. We then thought it would be smart to use our Copenhagen passes one last time and decided to go up in the Round Tour to get a great view of the city. Normally, you can see Sweden from the top but it was too cloudy.
We then rushed back to the hotel to grab our bags before heading to the train station. There we said our sad goodbyes and went our separate ways back home.
Even though today was a little rough in school because I didn’t get home until midnight, this past weekend was better than I ever could have imagined. We all were so equally interested in each other that it made it really easy to talk to everyone and become friends. Everyone had so much to say to each other, not only about the exchange experience but about each others home countries.
I was asked tons of questions about the U.S. but I was also able to ask tons of things about Italy, Canada, and New Zealand. I learned things I never knew before about myself and other countries and made friends that will last a lifetime. Because we were all exchange students, we had one thing that bonded us together, even if we would never be friends in a different situation, and that’ what made it so great.
There were so many different personalities and nationalities brought together that everyone was able to be themselves and become a close exchange family. I am so happy I was able to get the experience to meet others from all over the world, going through the same thing I am.
To my fellow exchange student or hope-to-be exchange student, I absolutely, 100% recommend going on the trips. I have no doubt it will be one of your favorite parts of your exchange, like it has been mine.