Maja: Exchange Student from Denmark

Video by Aly Klug

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Grace Johnson, Reporter

Q&A with Maja:

Did you always want to study abroad?

No, I didn’t know of the program until eighth grade but I knew I wanted to be apart of it after learning more. I didn’t really think about it that much, I specifically remember thinking “why not” and going for it. 

What things did you pack that were not needed?

I did pretty good with packing, however, I brought my iPad but I only used it once on the plane… for ten minutes. 

Are there any items you wish you brought more of?

I would’ve liked to have brought more clothes, especially for winter. 

What was the best thing you packed?

The best thing I packed was an adaptor since Denmark and the United States have different plug-ins, I also brought an extension cord. 

What advice do you have for immersing yourself in a new language?

Be open to everything, don’t be scared to make mistakes, try everything; expose yourself to the culture, and dive in. I definitely recommend learning at least a little bit of the language though it is possible to learn it from “scratch” but knowing the basics definitely helps. 

What was the biggest shock when you came here?

Everything is so big, the buildings, I thought people would be bigger… because in Denmark you hear about Americans’ unhealthy way of living. While there are more fast food places, and bigger portions the people aren’t as big as I thought they’d be. My friend and I went to get ice cream and the ice cream size was huge… like big, big. We went to Panda Express and even my American friend was surprised by how big the cups were. 

How is public transportation different from America to Denmark?

In Denmark, the majority of people use buses, trains, metro’s, boats, that can get you anywhere. The only thing you need is your transportation card or buy a ticket. That’s one thing I really miss, the freedom, if I had a car here I might feel different. In Denmark, the legal age to drive is 18. 

Will you stay in touch with people? What were the locals you met like?

I will definitely try to stay in contact with the people I met, people were nice, but I felt like people stuck to themselves and had their own “bubble”; that might have been because of covid though. I’ve definitely made a few great friends though. I have made friends with other exchange students from different countries, it’s nice to have an outlet so we can all relate to each other. 

What were your expectations vs. Reality?

I tried to get my expectations as low as possible, but with covid that really changed. I definitely thought it’d be more like the movies, not like with the songs and dances but I thought there’d be more people at the football games but Covid kinda wrecked that. I was hoping to experience the school dances, like homecoming and prom. Even though Covid changed a lot of what I was looking forward to doing, I’m still grateful for the experiences I’ve gotten so far. 

Check out Maja’s life in America so far: