Troels og Lena bor ved Toldboderne i København og har i efteråret været værtsfamilie for Izzy fra delstaten Georgia. Det er ikke første gang, at familien har åbnet deres hjem for en studerende. Her fortæller både familien og Izzy om, hvordan de har fundet tid til hygge i en ellers travl hverdag.
One time, she (host sister) slipped a little note under my door that said, “Hi Isabella, do you wanna hygge?” and I thought that was so cute.
Set indefra: Troels og Lena fortæller
DIS: Hvorfor valgte I i sin tid at blive værtsfamilie? Hvor mange studerende har I indtil videre haft boende?
Troels og Lena: Vi så et opslag på de sociale medier, og tænkte det kunne være sjovt at få en studerene boende. Vi tænkte også, at vores datter på 9 år på det tidspunkt kunne lære at blive bedre til engelsk.
Vi har haft 5 studerende fra DIS indtil videre.
DIS: Hvilke er jeres bedste øjeblikke sammen med Izzy?
T & L: Når vi lufter hund sammen, og når vi spiser aftensmad, hvor vi hygger og driller hinanden lidt med vores udtalelser/accent på engelsk.
DIS: Kan I komme i tanke om en særlig ting, I eller Izzy gjorde for at “bryde isen” i løbet af de første par uger?
T & L: Vi tager opvasken sammen i køkkenet. Her får man talt meget sammen.
DIS: Det er dejligt, at I har haft så mange forskellige studerende boende! Hvad er med til at få jer til at fortsætte som værtsfamilie?
T & L: Det er rigtigt hyggeligt at møde de studerende og deres familier, som ofte kommer på besøg. Man lærer noget plus at man har det sjovt sammen og får en masse nye bekendtskaber rundt omkring i USA.
DIS: Hvad er det bedste ved at være værtsfamilie?
T & L: At se vores datter lære en masse af de studerene både sprogligt og socialt. Vi kan se, at de studerende trives med at bo sammen med os, og betragter os som deres reservefamilie imens de er langt væk hjemmefra.
DIS: Har I nogle gode råd til kommende værtsfamilier?
T & L: Det er vigtigt bare at være sig selv, involvere de studerende i sin hverdag, og betragte dem som en del af familien. Tag dem med på tur i det danske land.
Set udefra: Izzy fortæller
DIS: Tell us about your homestay – who are they and what makes them special to you?
Izzy: My host family is comprised of my host mom, dad, older brother, and younger sister. My host mom is a pastry chef and makes delicious desserts. My host dad works with the Royal Guard and is a skydiving instructor in his free time. My host brother is finishing his gap years between high school and university, which is very common to do in Denmark, and my host sister is in 5th grade and she is just the sweetest.
I love my host family because they are light-hearted and constantly joking, just like me – we all have very good relationships constantly teasing each other.
DIS: Why did you choose to live with a homestay?
I: When I read about the different housing options, I had no doubt that I wanted to live in a homestay. I chose to study abroad to engage with a new culture as fully as possible, and I knew that a homestay would be the best way for me to do that.
DIS: What are your favorite day-to-day experiences you share with your host family members?I: My host sister, Ida, is quite insistent on us having “hygge” time every day. One time, she slipped a little note under my door that said, “Hi Isabella, do you wanna hygge?” and I thought that was so cute. Our hygge time is always in the evening after dinner, but can be anything from me French braiding her hair for school the next day to just relaxing on the couch, eating Danish sweets, and talking about our day while we watch some TV (in Danish).
DIS: What have you experienced living with a homestay that you couldn’t had otherwise?I: My whole semester in Copenhagen is shaped by my choice to live in a homestay, and definitely for the better. In the beginning of my semester, my host family walked me through my commute to DIS, showing me how to use the public transportation system, explaining bike rules, and giving me other tips on getting around.
We went sailing a number of times on their sailboat, which allowed me to see Copenhagen from another perspective. We have hosted extended family members and family friends for dinner parties a number of times and I even attended my host grandmother’s big 70th birthday party where I really met all the extended family.
DIS: Have you gotten involved in any clubs and organizations while abroad? How have they shaped your experience in Denmark?
I: Yes! I started curling in college and wanted to continue it while I was abroad so I wouldn’t get rusty. I found a curling club here, emailed them shortly before coming to Copenhagen, and they were extremely welcoming and excited to have me!
Curling here has definitely added to my time in Denmark and allowed me to meet more Danes. Most of the people at the curling club are middle-aged or older, so it is a unique opportunity to form relationships with Danish people of that generation, and gain insight into their perspective and mindset. There is one Junior Girls team aged 13-18, and I have become good friends with the older girls. Without curling, I would not have had the chance to befriend Danish people who are my age!
DIS: What is an example of a Danish cultural insight you have gained?
I: I have been very curious about the Danish healthcare system and welfare state, and through my hosts I have learned that my host sister goes to the dentist in the middle of class because there is a dentist office in the school building (crazy to me!) and my host parents usually get home from work by 3 pm. When my host sister was sick, my host mom had no problem staying home with her because her job has a certain number of sick days – both for the employee and for taking care of their sick children.
Izzy er en af vores studenterbloggere dette semester, og I kan følge hendes liv i København på hendes blog.
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