Where I Have Been

So I was just recently reminded that I have a blog to which I have not contributed to in several weeks. In all honesty I have forgotten about life back in the states and have been completely absorbed into my life here. I have done the necessities like applying for summer internships, skyped my mother, and registered for Interim and Spring classes. When it came to recording my time here, I was just as diligent on that front as I am posting pictures (which I haven’t done since my trip to Sweden back on September). I think that was the point of the experience: to be so enveloped by my experience here that I don’t focus on what is happening back home. I have my host family to thank for a lot of that. They have all kept me busy in the best ways. Some of the greatest memories I will have of this place are thanks to them. I have been to family outings, a birthday party or two, castles, spoken to an 8th grade English, and on walks through town and the forest. I have gotten the chance to taste Danish food, watch handball, and watch the Danish Music Awards with running commentary in English so I understand what has been going on. I have done some fun things in Copenhagen and some fun traveling to Germany and Ireland which have been such an amazing experience as well. But there is nothing that compares to the daily life around the house whether it is hearing Peter in the next room playing video games and yelling over Skype, helping August and Christian with English homework, going on walks to the store with Lise, or watching Aksel dance around the house to his David Bowie music playing on the speakers. This house has become a second home that I will be very sad to leave in less than a month. Thanks to them I have truly had the most eye opening and transformative 4 months of my life. I have made friends for life with this family and it is a bond I hope to continue to have with them even after I head home.

So what exactly have I been doing that has kept me so busy for the last 2 months? Here is a quick recap!

1) Immediately after returning from Sweden, I attended a family day event. There were 40 people there and they all had been told about me coming for the event. It was certainly a little overwhelming but definitely an experience I am thankful for having. We all sat outside at a park when the weather was still warm and sunny. We spanned 5 picnic tables and everyone had packed their own lunches. I met so many people that I can not even begin to recall names or how everyone was related to each other. They were all interested in what I thought of Denmark, what I had done already, where I planned on travelling to, and where I was from. They asked questions about the differences between Denmark and the US on all fields from transportation to education to lifestyle. I even made it into the official family photo. I have been told I fit right in and even my own mother had a hard time finding me!

    

2)  The following weekend I got a visit from one of my good friends! Alex, who is studying in Berlin, was able to come for the weekend. My host family was kind enough to let him stay in the house as well. He arrived on Friday night, which ended up being a bit of a challenge because he had broken his phone so we had no way of contacting each other. We walked through the city that night and just marveled at the amazing time we were both having in out respective cities. While he was here we were able to go to an FCK soccer game which was an great time! We also spent a lot of time with my host family playing Yahtzee and the boys gave Alex different Danish works to pronounce. He was also able to be the first one to wish me a Happy 21st Birthday!

3) September 26th! Yes my 21st birthday! It started with my host family and Alex singing Happy Birthday in English and Danish at breakfast waving Danish flags. It is a really cool tradition they have. I unfortunately still had to go to class ad give  a presentation. After class I took Alex on more of a walking tour of the city before putting him on the Metro to get back to the airport. I came home to find birthday presents from my host family! They gave me a season pass to Tivoli, some beautiful candle holders from Lyngby, and two mugs from the Royal Copenhagen collection from Lise’s parents.We all had dinner at the house with Shelby and Vanja. The day ended with my parents and brother singing Happy Birthday over Skype while holding a cupcake with a lit candle. My brother was even kind enough to eat it for me (what a guy!).

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4) Next week on the 5th of October came August’s birthday. We had a quiet afternoon with the family, Askel’s mother, Lise’s brother and his wife and 3 year old daughter (whom I adore and is the sweetest thing), and Lise’s parents. We had coffee, tea, and desserts. It was a smaller gathering because at the end of the month August and his best friend Casper were having a joint birthday party. It was a great afternoon with the family. Aksel’s mother had just returned home from a trip to Greece so she told us a little about that. It was a great break from a busy week on a Wednesday afternoon.

5) The next day, my parents arrived in Copenhagen shortly after I got out of class. We spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning touring Lyngby and Copenhagen. I showed them Rosenborg Castle where the crown jewels are housed, Christiansborg tower which has a fantastic aerial view of the city, and Nyhavn. Friday evening, my family, Shelby, and I all went out to dinner which was great! Suffice to say between jet-lag and all the walking, they were happy to have an evening at my host family’s house for dinner Saturday evening. We sat around the table and shared stories. It was nice to see my family and my host family getting along so well. Early Sunday morning we left on a train to for Germany. While in Germany we went to Eppelsheim which is the town where my mother’s family comes from. The town is even named after my mother’s family; her maiden name is Eppelsheimer. We also go the chance to spend a day in Berlin where I got to have dinner with Alex and my family at this great little pizza place called Amici Amici. The food was delicious; I wasn’t expecting to find such great Italian food in the Turkish district of Berlin. After Berlin we got on a train to come back to Copenhagen and my parents and brother got on a plane to head home.

 

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6) After my parents left on Thursday, I had a couple days of downtime before classes started again. On Sunday, my host family and Aksel’s mother took me took Kronborg Castle which is more famously known as Hamlet’s castle. In his play, Hamlet, Shakespeare uses Kronborg as the setting and renamed it Elsinore. The English nerd in me jumped for joy when I was at the castle. We toured the castle seeing places like the great hall and the King’s tapestries some of which were over 500 years old. It was surreal, standing in front of a carpet that was older than the country you are from and after the election I see that as an odd comfort. If as frail as a tapestry could survive 500 years then whatever happens in the next four years. While also in the castle, we went down into the dungeon to see Holger the Dane. Legend has it that Holger will rise again whenever his homeland is danger but for now he is a giant stone man sleeping over a sword. We also got to shoot some arrows while on the castle grounds and I am happy to say I was the best shot (though my host brothers will deny it). After leaving the castle we went to Aksel’s mother’s apartment where we had soup for dinner followed by cakes and coffee for dessert. While enjoy dessert, Aksel’s mother showed us her binder full of memorabilia from her time in Greece. The pictures were beautiful and made it clear that I definitely need to visit Greece one day.

7) The rest of October was mostly spent in class and being swamped with homework. My parents were relieved to hear that I was actually getting some learning in during my study abroad trip. On the last Sunday of the month however we departed for Ireland. My class was taking a week long study trip to Dublin which absolutely thrilled me! We did some great academic visits including Enterprise Ireland which is a government organization that sought to help out start-ups, Airbnb (which is the second picture below), and Google. We also got to do some amazing touristy things like doing a pub crawl lead by a couple of Irish musicians, visiting Croke Park which is one of the largest sports arenas, a bike tour of the city, and a tour of Guinness Storehouse.

8) Most of November was spent swamped with presentations, tests, and papers. It felt like a hell week at Wofford that lasted for two. Last Saturday, however, Shelby and her class were going to the ballet at the Royal Danish Theater. She was able to get me and Christian a ticket to the show and I was so excited to go! The show being preformed was Giselle and it was absolutely beautiful. The Royal Danish Ballet is the third oldest dance companies in the world. It was such an amazing experience!

So those are the highlights! That is what has been happening in my last two months. As of today I have 21 days left in my semester and I am sad that my time is coming to a close. I still a few fun things left up my sleeve like getting to spend Thanksgiving in Berlin with Alex and some outings with friends. I look forward to writing about my final weeks here. Until next time!

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Tackling Sweden

What can you accomplish with only three days in Sweden? Well according to the plan my professors put together, the answer is quite a lot. We covered three cities in Sweden as well as a quick stop in Denmark before boarding the ferry. Sweden is a beautiful country with so much to see and do and its a shame we didn’t get to spend more time there. However what we did get to do made memories that will last a lifetime.

When planning to leave Monday morning I checked all the train schedules and gave myself about 20 minutes of extra time just in case I got lost. Seems like a full proof plan, right? Wrong. Due to some of the worst train delays I have seen since I arrived I ended up being 30 minutes late to the bus stop. I began to panic on the train too because our professors had said that if we were late the bus would leave without us and we would have to find our own way. Luckily I was not the last to arrive so the delay was not blamed on me. So as I got on the bus, sweaty from running after getting off the train, I breathed a small, labored sigh of relief.

Next came a trip to a chocolate factory in northern Denmark. The name is Peter Beier Chocolate and it was absolutely incredible! The business is a huge success and Peter Beier, who spoke to us, knew how huge of a success he was. He would be telling us of his tremendous journey to becoming the best all the while handing out samples every 5 minutes. I kept a tally of the number of samples which added up to 13 different types of chocolate at 10:30 am. My personal favorites were the chocolate pyramids filled with coffee cream and the chocolate balls with a beer filling. The purpose of the visit was not to eat chocolate however, Peter Beier had build an entire business with his networking connections and hadn’t taken a penny from a single investor. He farmed his own plants and designed his business model to not settle for anything less than being the best.

So Peter Beier was the only business trip we made that day but we did get to do something that was by far my favorite part of the trip! We went on a hike in a country called Ladonia which is on the coast of Sweden. In Ladonia there is a driftwood playground of sorts called Nimis that you can climb on and is kind of unstable. I had more fun climb the towers, playing the “how stable is this piece of wood” game, and trying not to cut by random nails sticking out (one of my classmate’s pants weren’t so lucky). This wooden wonderland was right on the coast so the view form the towers and the surrounding walks were breath-taking. I am working on posting all my pictures to Facebook because there were a lot of them. I wasn’t ready to leave when my professor finally said it was time to head back to the bus. I did manage to get myself stuck in of the structures and my professor found it so funny that she took pictures of me trying to get myself unstuck.

The next day we visited two start-up hubs. One was part of Lund University and worked as a launching point for students in school looking to start their own companies. We got a small lecture about how the effects of planning and not planning the business’ success. The other start-up hub, Minc, had all sorts of different companies that used the hub as a networking platform. We got to speak with one of the employees of Minc as well as a couple start-up founders to get a better understanding of the business world in Sweden. After visiting Minc we were given some time to ourselves before making our way to dinner.

Dinner was at Malmö Brewing Company which had an astonishing 42 beer taps at their bar. We got to speak with the owner and he told us about the journey it took to open this brewery. The brewery is in a historic building in the center of Malmö. The owner said that when he bought the building it was right before they were going to tear it down. In order to get a loan form the bank he put up all he had plus his parents retirement money (with their permission of course). Before he could start buying the equipment to make beer and open his taproom restaurant, he had to get some income. So he opened the top floor as a night club for a while. He convinced his brother and his brother’s wife to come start a chocolate factory  in the building. Between those two successful enterprises, he was able to start buying and making his own beer. This entire process from buying the building to finally brewing his first batch of beer took about 8 years. The passion he had for his craft was truly inspiring and just proved how far someone is willing to go to accomplish their dream.

Our final day in Sweden started off with getting to sleep in and having a leisurely breakfast. We got to go on a canal tour through the heart of Malmö and got to learn some of the history. It was a perfect day and a beautiful ride. The more I talk about my time here; the more I realize that I am actually on a vacation with some mandatory reading mixed in. I am getting the opportunity of a lifetime and it almost doesn’t feel real!

Our final stop in Sweden before heading home was to a start-up hub called Media Evolution. They are similar to Minc but they only work with online media and design companies. We got to hear from three different companies’ founders that all had different starts and how their previous experiences led them to the business success they have now. It was fascinating to hear about their journeys and how they all came for different parts of the business world. Two co-founders that had worked together in a big design firm decided to quit and start the company they have now. One owner had gotten laid-off but rather than try and get on welfare, he took his knowledge of computer systems and created a successful start-up that is used by major names. The final company co-founders that spoke to us had started their company in London but wanted to move somewhere with a better economy so they moved themselves to Sweden. They spoke about how the start-up hub even helped them find a place to live in Malmö!

One our way back to Denmark, I sat in my window seat looking over the Oresund Bridge that connects Sweden and Denmark and thought about my trip realizing just how incredible those three days were. I am only a month into my study abroad experience and I have already made memories that will last a lifetime!

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Takin’ Care of Business

Quick question. Do any of y’all one day feel motivated to go work out and then find that everything in the world is trying to keep you from being active? Well that is where I am now. I had the brilliant idea to go for a run today since I finished classes at lunch time. It is a beautiful day her in Copenhagen and I thought what a perfect chance to take advantage of it. I got less than a mile down the road before twisting my ankle on the uneven sidewalk which lead to a spectacular tumble ending in a summer-salt. After the incident I brushed myself off and tried to get up at which point I realized I got my ankle really good. I limped back home feeling defeated and am now sitting on my bed with my foot raised writing to you all. Rest assured there is no swelling and I think I just tweaked a nerve but nonetheless an eventful afternoon.

Anyhow I wanted to talk about some of the really cool nerdy things I have gotten to do over the past week.

Lets start with something that will make some of my accounting friends happy. I got to go hear a presentation at an auditing firm named BDO. BDO is the number five auditing firm in the world and I got the chance to hear from and eat lunch with an assistant partner and the only female partner in the firm. Suffice to say being an accounting major and getting to rub shoulders with pretty high up people in the firm was pretty neat. Not to mention the cafeteria where we ate lunch had so amazing food including crab cakes, citrus flavored fish, and some of the best seafood pasta I have ever tasted. When I commented on how good the food was, one of the employees looked at me and said this is a typical Wednesday.

Following in the theme of academia, my classes here take us on field trips of sorts in which we get to explore things in Copenhagen that relate to that particular class. On one of these trips I got to go see Founders House. Founders house and other projects like it are pretty unique to Europe. Founders House is a business that acquires buildings in what is now know as Start-up Village and rents out desk space to young start-ups. Copenhagen is home to many organizations like this and each has a specific purpose. Founders House for example is home to tech companies only. They also encourage collaboration among the business so they don’t allow certain businesses to reside in the house if they are competitors to any of the current residents. The spaces are full of color and creativity which really encourages the concept of a freer work environment. Copenhagen is becoming a huge industry for entrepreneurs to give their businesses a go.I have the chance to intern in a similar environment, the building complex is called KPH Projects and its businesses have more of a cultural focus.

I also got to go to this beautiful 51 acre museum where they have taken centuries old houses from all over Denmark and rebuilt them in this park. We got a tour and our tour guide wore some traditional Dutch clothing. They had farm equipment from all the different eras as well as the typical cobblestone paths leading to the houses. Being somewhat of a history nerd I found this place fascinating and something totally different because we don’t have anything like in America. We don’t have that kind of heritage back in America and it was really cool to see that old of history right in front of me.

Stay tuned for when I get to take on Jonstrop and Malmo, Sweden next week with one of my course!

 

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Strangers on the Train

Well I have been in Denmark for a full week now in which time I have explored some beautiful places, gotten lost, made friends, and started classes. It has been a fantastic week!! And as the semester goes on I am sure I will be writing about classes, but today I wanted to rely my last 36 hours which were funny, sweaty, and a little bit scary.

Friday night: we have just made it through our first week in Denmark so myself and a few friends decided to going out that night with a Dane who was a mutual friend. He showed us all the sites out towards the harbor like the famous street Nyhavn which is the street with all the colorful buildings and it is so beautiful with all the lights at night. We walked to Paper Island which had a festival going and they were playing Salsa music and the place was so full of life and energy! We then went to Christinia which is  small town just outside the city where Hell’s Angels had taken over ad built their own town where the sell all sorts of drugs. Yes I know this sounds scary and those of you back home who are worrying, don’t. Its a really chill place and the only two rules are no pictures and no running. The Dane we were with assured us that we were in no danger and he was right. It started to get late so we decided to get back to the train station because the trains stop running around 1 am. The walk back was fun to see all drunk people enjoying their night. We made it to the station and got on our train. We got to my stop and I said good night and went to the platform with the connecting train that would take me home. Seems simple enough right? Of course not…

My connecting train had stopped running for the whole weekend! They wouldn’t be up and running until Sunday evening and the normal schedule wouldn’t resume until Monday morning. So I did what any American in a strange city would do, look helpless until you figure out a plan. Well luckily there was a girl who was a Dutch masters student at Copenhagen University that needed to get to the same stop I did. A stop that was a 15 minute ride by train away. She and I talked until we got to the main road where she said okay hop on! She had a bike with a little metal platform on the back tire which was to be my seat. Well if didn’t go so well for us and we feel off the bike so we decided to walk to the bus stop and try to catch a bus that would take us closer. We saw the bus and ran like maniacs to catch it which wasn’t easy in my sandals mind you. We caught and and sat down with a sigh of relief. The buss let us off at Brede with was one stop away from where we needed to be. We walked together until we found the station and parted ways. I made it back to the house and promptly passed out on my bed.

Now if you are my mother or anyone else who has that motherly instinct towards me, I’m okay. Nothing bad happened and in Denmark nothing bad really does. It is a very female friendly society and walking home at night no different than walking home in the day time. I had my handy dandy leather-man tool equipped with scissors and two blades should anything have happened but as I am learning about the culture here, I see just how safe Copenhagen and Lyngby (the district I live in just north of the city) really is. Safety is something that is taken very seriously here so that people can ride the trains, metros, and buses or even walk and not feel threatened. I also have the luck of living in a very nice town so I am a safe as can be so again I saw don’t worry!

The next morning around 9 am my host mom and I left to go workout which let me tell you I feel it now. The class was taught in Danish and my host mom did translate some of it but for once I didn’t need it because mountain climbers, lunges, and yes burpees are the same in any language. So to all the Burn Bootcamp ladies that are reading, I have not escaped the dreaded burpee though I tried. We ended up taking two different classes that were back to back. The first which was a 55 minute class was a circuit workout that had 8 stations and we did exercises after each round of stations. The second class was 30 minutes and it was called Ass Attack which pretty much speaks for itself. So that made a grand total of an hour and a half of working out after a late night the night before so the rest of the day was either spent napping reading or watching movies with my host brothers.

My first week here has brought excitement and a great sense of finding myself metaphorically and literally (I get lost a lot). I have had to step far outside my comfort zone to fully grasp the advantages this trip has given me thus far. I look forward to what my first full week of classes will bring which includes meeting with the company I am interning with for the semester and a field study where I will get to meet auditors at a Danish accounting  firm which I know sounds kind of boring. But I am an accounting major and it makes me happy. Sending all my love back home!

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We are Family

Have you ever been living with a family from another country and after just 3 days they invite 16 relatives over for a your host dad’s birthday dinner?? No? Well let me tell you it’s one hell of an adventure. The awkward handshake that turns into a very stiff even more awkward hug then having to do that with even family that walks through the door. Then comes answering the same questions over and over like what state do you live in, where is that, and do you like Denmark. There are those awkward moments where everyone is speaking Danish to each other and you just smile and sip you wine waiting to hear a single word in your native tongue. This was probably one of the most “fish out of water” moments I have ever experienced and it turned into one of the best dinner parties I have ever been to.

So 21 people gathered around a table in the back patio all praying the weather held off long enough for us to enjoy our evening. I am going to try and remember every one that was there so forgive the list. In attendance we had my host family (mom, dad, and all three sons), host dad’s mother, host mom’s parents, host mom’s aunt, host mom’s sister with her husband and three kids, host mom’s brother with his wife and daughter who is 2 years old and refuses to speak English with me and thinks I should learn more Danish (trust me I’m trying!), as well as who I believe was my host dad’s cousin and his daughter. I think including me that makes 21. Right?

The evening started with the awkward introductions then the awkwardness faded as they began to ask me about my program and what I have seen of Copenhagen so far. I was also impressed by the amount of research that my host mom’s parents did on North Carolina in order to have something to talk to me about. My host mom’s aunt even gave me a little present which was a pair of adorable mittens (note to self: write a thank you note, are thank you notes a thing in Denmark?) and as she gave them to me she smiled and said you will need them in November. Once dinner started I was seated with the older relatives so I could could get to know them before I sat with the other kids. We talked about the sustainability of Denmark and the differences between living in Denmark and America. They were absolutely astounded by the amount we drive cars and how little we use trains and metros.

At the kid’s table once I got moved over we talked about all sorts of topics. A couple of the cousins were near my age so they, my oldest host brother, and I discussed politics mostly. They are so curious about how our system works and they were so open to listening to any side of the debate I could give them. Denmark is very invested in America’s politics, but their media mostly gives them the pro Hilary press because they are a socialist society. They were however very open as to why people get behind Trump and were asking questions that I had a hard time answering. They were interested in the whole debate not just talking about how bad Trump must be. We also talked all about the age restriction differences like they can legally drink at 16 but it typically starts more when they are 13, however, they can’t get their driver’s licenses until they are 18 and it is very expensive and the tests are much more difficult. Diver’s tests don’t have the multiple choice computers tests, instead they have multi-page exams that they have to write out the answers then the driving portion can last upwards of an hour. I was in the car for my driving test for maybe 5 minutes and I didn’t even park the car in the lines when the test was finished. They were a little jealous with the lax requirements to acquire a license in America.

We also gave each other tongue twisters; they gave me some in Danish and I gave them some in English. Danish uses a lot more vowels sounds and it almost feels like you are swallowing your words. I threw them the old “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” which stumped them all but in return they gave me one about fruit I think and I didn’t even know where to start. The night was absolutely amazing and it made me feel part of the family. They made a real effort to speak in English when I was sitting near them which can be hard and if they ever started speaking in Danish they would translate it for me so I would be caught up.

After the night was over and all the guests had gone home, I was in the kitchen with my host mom and dad and they asked me what I thought to which I told them I enjoyed the night and meeting the family. I told them that I really felt like a part of their family and that it meant a lot to me that they worked so hard to make sure I am included. My host dad looked at me and said, “That is our job, to give you the best 4 months of your life.” Suffice to say I am in good hands (you can relax now mama).

I am so jealous of families like my host family’s because they live so close to each other; no one was more than 40 minutes away. I wish I could see my family that much. My dad’s family I see at Thanksgiving and my mom’s family is just at weddings and funerals. Family is so important to the Danes, and my host family is truly a blessing to want to include me in their entire lifestyle.

Until next time friends, Skål! (That’s “Cheers” in Danish)

 

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I’m just sitting around here watching airplanes

So nearly 48 hours after arriving at Raleigh Durham airport with my parents, I am in Copenhagen in my new home for the next 4 months and  for the most part unpacked. It has been a whirlwind between TSA checks, boarding, orientation, and getting settled in all while trying to defeat my jet lag.

My adventure started by meeting my friend, Shelby at the airport. I am sure my trip will involve many life lessons but my first one came bright and early that morning a Shelby’s expense. So if you don’t have a luggage scale at home I highly suggest you invest in one! Figure out your weight before you get to the airport!!! I skated by with a weight of 48.5 lbs which left me 1.5 lbs under the limit; Shelby was not so lucky. She has two bags, both extremely well packed and organized. She weighs the first and its 40 lbs, she’s safe. She weighs the second; its 71 lbs… She then got to embark on the task of rearranging her packing so that her 40 lbs bag got more as well as sending some things home with her mother. And the funniest part of the ordeal was that she figured out the shoes she was wearing were fairly light while her rain boots were 5 lbs. Suffice to say she changed shoes in the airport. Finally after the getting the luggage checked, we said goodbye to our parents and my brother and set off to through TSA.

Second lesson: stay calm! I am one who gets nervous quite easily and I just happened to get my backpack pulled for a random check. I gathered the rest of my stuff and waited for him to go through my bag. I was putting on my shoes as he looked disapprovingly at me and then starting banging on the keys on the scanner. He then looked at me with a scowl and said, “It’s not working,” as if it were my fault. Eventually I got my bag back with nothing wrong with it and rejoined Shelby who got a TSA pre-check.

The rest of the my time in the skies was pretty uneventful. We had a 5 hour layover in Dulles and met up with other study abroad students from our program. We got on the plane headed for our final stop, Copenhagen!! There was quite a bit of excitement as we boarding the plane which soon dwindled away as we settled in for the 8 hour flight. We eventually made it to the Copenhagen airport and I luckily was able to find my luggage, some of my other friends weren’t so fortunate. We then got led to the hotel across the street and got through registration and a short orientation before being picked up by our host families.

My relationship with my host family began before I got to Copenhagen. I am living in a home with a married couple, Lise and Aksel, and their three boys, Christian (17), August (14), and Peter (12). Both Lise and Aksel friended me on Facebook before my arrival and Lise also friended my mom and dad as well. Lise and I talked and she really made me feel comfortable about living with their family. She even bought me peanut butter which she found out was one of my favorite things to eat!! el friended me on Facebook before my arrival and Lise also friended my mom and dad as well. Lise and I talked and she really made me feel comfortable about living with their family. She even bought me peanut butter which she found out was one of my favorite things to eat!!

When I arrived at the house they gave me a tour and told me about their family. Family is very important to them; they have a family get together every year and this year they have extended me an invitation as well. Both Aksel and August have birthdays during my stay here and they also look forward to having me celebrate with them and their family and friends. August’s birthday a few days before my parents get here and he wanted to make sure that I will be here for his party before I go travel with my family. The most touching part of the first day was how welcome they are making me feel. Lise even went on Facebook found a picture of my parents and a picture of my parents, my brother, and myself, printed them out and put them on the wall above my bed so I would have a little bit of home with me every night. I could not have asked for a more kind and caring host family and I look forward to what the rest of the semester holds!!

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