At lære om livet: Interview med Josh fra Vanløse

For Joshua (Josh) var målet klart. Han ville bo sammen med en værtsfamilie for at komme helt tæt på Danmark og vores familietraditioner. Vi har interviewet ham til bloggen for at høre, hvordan det går.

›› Hør mere om, hvordan man bliver værtsfamilie hos DIS

It is such a special opportunity to be able to get to know a Danish family. You learn a great deal about your culture from their perspective, their culture, and even yourself.

Tell us about your homestay – who are they and what makes them special to you?
“My host family consists of four people total. Mom, dad, and two sons (6th and 8th grade) plus a small dachshund named Malou. They are special to me in a number of ways. They are a strong reminder of my family back home, which has been a blessing.

Coming here was not easy – I had feelings of apprehension, doubt, and uncertainty upon arriving in a new country that I would call home for the next four months. Having a family that resembled my familial structure back home allowed for me to flourish in the Danish community, as well as in my DIS community. Whether I find myself talking about world issues with my host parents over a cup of tea or running in the forest with my host brothers, I am grateful each day for my host family.”

Why did you choose homestay?
“I chose to live in a homestay to become immersed in the culture. It is understandable that you will meet a good amount of people, regardless of where you may live. However, I specifically chose the homestay option so I could have the opportunity to meet family members, celebrate family traditions, and to see Denmark in a way that can’t necessarily be seen in any living situation.”

Josh fra Minnesota sammen med sin værtsfamilie-bror fra Vanløse

What is the biggest cultural difference so far you have discovered between your homestay here and your family back at home?
“I would say that a big cultural difference is that the Danes are very reserved when initially meeting them. I felt as if it was troublesome to initiate conversation with my homestay’s friends and family. However, continued conversation and time showed me that they are very interested and intentional with wanting to hear my story. It is very nice to have this whereas back in the U.S., small talk is much more common than having a deeper conversation.”

What is something you or your hosts initiated in this first week together that was a good icebreaker to get to know each other?
“I found that a good icebreaker with my family is just to say “yes.” It is inevitable that they invite you to a cool place in Denmark or even a family event. For example, my family brought me to a birthday party on the day I moved in. Though I was extremely exhausted, I said yes. In my first 8 hours in Denmark I had already tried traditional Danish food, jumped in the sea, and met a whole family that I would soon get to know even better. The moral of the icebreaker is to be open with your family and what they suggest – you will often be surprised at what they have to offer.”

Student illustration

What is your favorite small moment you’ve shared with your family so far?
“I would say that one special moment was making mac and cheese for my host brother, Marcus. Though it was just between him and I, it was very special to be able to take a piece of my culture and share it with him over a glass of Faxe Kondi (which is much better than Sprite).”

Tell us one thing you would recommend to a future student considering choosing a homestay?
“Choose a homestay. It is such a special opportunity to be able to get to know a Danish family. You learn a great deal about your culture from their perspective, their culture, and even yourself. I can feel myself developing relationships with them that will last much longer than my four month stay. It has been my best decision about going abroad, other than choosing Denmark!”

Josh studerer til daglig på University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. I efteråret 2017 læser han Human Health and Disease på DIS og bor hos en værtsfamilie i Holte.


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