“I wanted to immerse myself fully in Danish culture…by taking a leap of faith and choosing to live with a new family, I believe that I got a lot more out of my experience abroad”
Collin studerede hos DIS i efteråret 2015 som en del af hans uddannelse på University of Colorado i Boulder. Han er opvokset i en lille by i Colorado, og mens hans læste hos DIS boede han hos en værtsfamilie i Allerød.
Vi har også inviteret Collin til vores Informationsaften den 5. oktober, hvor du kan høre ham fortælle mere om sine fire måneder hos en dansk værtsfamilie og stille ham alle de spørgsmål, du vil. I mellemtiden kan du også lære lidt mere om ham her.
Why did you choose to live with a homestay during your semester?
I chose to live with a homestay because I wanted to immerse myself fully in Danish culture. By taking the leap of faith and choosing to live with a new family, I believe that I got a lot more out of my experience abroad and got to see a lot more than I would have otherwise.
What was your favorite Danish tradition they introduced you too?
I don’t know if I would necessarily call it a tradition, but I absolutely love flæskesteg. I have never tried something like that until I came here and when I went back to the states after my time abroad I searched long and hard for a pork roast with the rind on it so that I could show my parents this dish. We have to special order them from a butcher, but we have ended up cooking a flæskesteg for Christmas back in the states each year and I see it becoming a tradition in my family now. I don’t understand why it isn’t standard in the states to sell pork with the rind on it!
What was an American or family tradition from your home that you brought to their family?
My host family was unique in that my host mother is an American. She moved here 25 or so years ago and lives a Danish lifestyle now but the family still knows all of the American traditions so I could not surprise them with any of my American quirks or traditions.
What was one of your most memorable cross-cultural moment with your family?
My first time eating salty licorice was probably the most memorable cross-cultural moment for me. Before I came to Denmark I had no idea that “salty” and “candy” would ever show up side by side. Throw licorice into the mix and I was completely out of my comfort zone (licorice is not very popular in America). My host family thought that it was very humorous to watch my face as I tried to eat it for the first time and I was shocked to see that by the end of my stay as a student I could actually tolerate the flavor!
Looking back, what do you miss most about that time?
I miss hygge by the fireplace most of all. Almost every day I would go home and do my homework in front of the fireplace with my host family’s cat Jokum by my side while it rained or snowed outside. It was textbook hygge and I absolutely loved every minute of it.
You are back now post-graduation as an intern with DIS – how was your reunion with your family and have you kept up any old traditions with them?
I am now living with my girlfriend quite far from Allerød, so I don’t get to see my family as much as I would like to but I do keep in touch with them. Since I have been back, my family has come to visit from the states and they had the chance to meet my host family for the first time in person! It was a very fun time and they finally got to see where I was living while I was abroad.
Do you have any tips for future new hosts about getting the ball rolling on bonding/breaking the ice with their new student?
I found that the list of house rules that my host family laid out on day one was very helpful. It is a bit scary to move into a new house and this allowed me at least to not worry that I would break some of the unsaid “rules” of their home. I also think it is beneficial to take your host student to see some cultural sights. Take your student to see some of your favorite things that are off the beaten path.
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