Et semester er slut: Tilbageblik på de bedste minder

Ana_Natalya_Carolyn_SP15

Forårssemestret 2015 har nået sin slutning, og de fleste værts- og besøgsfamilier har sagt tak-for-nu til deres studerende. Inden de studerende tog hjem til USA eller videre på rejseeventyr, fangede vi tre af dem til en snak om deres fire måneder hos danske værtsfamilier.

Vi glæder os over, at DIS-værtsfamilier så tydeligt gør et kæmpe stykke arbejde for at byde de studerende velkomne og inddrage dem i hverdagen i fire måneder.

 

1. How have these last four months been with your homestay family?

Ana: The past four months with my host family have been absolutely wonderful. I love that I get to go home to people who want to hear about my day, tell me stories, and hug me goodnight. In return, I really enjoy having the opportunity to share and talk about my experiences being from the US (and Texas, which is an additional topic of interest). We have found that we have lots in common and have interesting discussions about our differences.

Natalya: They have been fantastic. My home stay family made it clear from the beginning that they really did want me to be involved in their family life, not just a guest, and that has been a great experience. I really can’t say enough good things about my home stay family; they have been extraordinarily warm and welcoming to me.

Carolyn: These past four months with my host family have flown by. I love that they want to share not just their home, but all of their favorite parts about this country with me. I feel like I have experienced so much more of Denmark than other students who don’t live with a host family or have visiting families.

natalya with host family
Natalya med sin værtsfamilie

2. What are some of your best memories with your homestay?

Ana: For me, the best memories are the little things that have happened throughout the semester. We regularly have dinner together (which means great conversations) and then watch a few episodes of Modern Family together. It’s an evening tradition that includes chocolate, tea, and laughing. Another great memory is going with my host mom to greet my host brother upon his return from a basketball tournament in Sweden, which his team had won. The families of all the players were there and I got to participate in the classic Danish flag-waving greeting and cheering as the team got off the train.

Natalya: I’ve gotten to do a lot of fun activities with my home stay family: watching movies together every Friday night, going out to Halifax (our favorite burger restaurant), playing tennis with my host dad and siblings, going to a Copenhagen Phil concert with my host mom, going for a family outing to Bakken, visiting family friends for dinner, running a 5K with my host sister, and biking to Nørrebro for Sunday brunch with my host parents, just to list a few! It’s been really nice to be able to participate in family life and do things in Denmark that I might not have otherwise.

Carolyn: Some of my favorite memories have been the excursions we’ve gone on together, like the time my host dad took me and the girls to their favorite forest outside the city for a nature walk with the dog. Also, I am always invited to family gatherings, so I love getting to know the uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents. I really do feel like part of the family. Then there are the little things, like now I get teased just like the kids do and we have our own inside jokes like the way I pronounce chicken in Danish (kylling). It’s small moments like these where I really feel like a part of the family.

ana and host brother
Ana med sin værtsbror på cykeltur

3. How do you feel that your homestay has given you insights into the Danish culture? 

Ana: Although I’m taking Danish Language & Culture, there’s so much that isn’t covered by that class that I have experienced living in a homestay. With a host family I get to live with ordinary Danes and experience what happens in their regular lives. The importance of close relationships with friends and family is one insight that particularly resonates with me. I have been to several dinners and birthday parties that last hours longer than I am used to because of the long and meaningful discussions that are going on.

Natalya: There are countless ways I’ve gotten closer to Danish culture through my home stay! I’ve gained a lot of insights just through casual daily conversations – I find that my home stay family is eager to tell me fun little facts about their culture and language. Dinner table conversations also sometimes turn into cultural discussions; if I’m curious about any aspect of the Danish culture, language, government, current events, or anything else, I know I can ask my host family and they’ll be happy to talk to me about it.

Carolyn: My host family is extremely social with family and friends, so I have been to my fair share of Danish get togethers. Most notably, many birthdays and a confirmation. It is so interesting to see how they celebrate birthdays here with different songs, lots of Danish flags, and plenty of lagkage. The confirmation party was a huge culture shock for me because I got to witness just how long the Danes can party and socialize. The whole party, without the church service, went from 5 PM to 2 AM! Going to parties with my host family has really given me some insight into how much Danes love to socialize and have hyggeligt get togethers. I feel like I’m really beginning to understand what it means to be hygge.

fødsesladagskage carolyn
Carolyns danske fødselsdagskage gjorde stort indtryk på hende

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