Greetings from sunny and windy Denmark! The spring is already here and the weather is getting warmer every day. Although I live more north than where Denmark is and I am used to the cold weather, I am still freezing here all the time! The sun is fooling you and every time there is colder outside than you expect based on the view from your window. Now I really understand the number of the windmills! They are everywhere!
I live in Trekroner, which is a small part of the city called Roskilde. This place is well known abroad because of the annual Roskilde festival. Besides of that this is just like any other small city, not that “alive” outside holiday season. I began to like this place from the very beginning, because I am not a big city girl. This is a good combination of both, countryside with farm animals and houses with thatched roofs and a city center with nice pubs, shopping centers and other activities, both couple of kilometers away from our home.
The life here is nice and cozy. Almost every exchange student from my course lives in this same student dorm where I am. Although this is a student dorm, and there are (of course) a lot of parties, the walls are so thick that I’m not suffering from the lack of good night sleep, thank god. People are also very nice to each other, and there is always someone to help you if you need. With the people from my course we have invented a lot of different “theme days”, almost every time they have something to do with food. Every week we do something together, with the whole group or in smaller groups. We have done bike-trips, day-trips, hanging out at the park, picnics, playing music, doing groceries, cooking and exercising together. We have a real community spirit, and we have done a lot to build it like this, and we are eager to remain it this way. It is a priority that everyone feels included, and not being left out. Also the group’s atmosphere has to stay friendly and open, because we are doing a lot of drama and other studies at school where we have to feel comfortable around others.
Studying here is (and I’m not exaggerating!) amazing. Our course is called Aesthetics and Learning in Early Childhood Education. That includes a lot of drama, art, music and activities used as a method to work with children. Those methods are also adaptable to use in work with almost every client group in Social Services. Before I came here, I was a little bit afraid that the studies here will be similar that I already had in Finland. Although I have done studies with this “subject”, this course has gone deeper with theory and more practical and usable with the activities than the courses I had before. I have learned a lot, and after this experience I feel more ready to my future work. I have also enjoyed every lesson we have had, and because of that I am motivated and excited to learn more. The feeling that I have found my place in life (at least what comes to work!), what I want to do and in where I am good at, is even stronger now.
Before coming here, after my research of the target country, I thought people here are quite similar than us in Finland. Very quickly I found out many differences that I didn’t expect. People here are much more friendly, and willing to help you and do kind gestures, like giving compliments or hug you. They are also interested in each other, and here you can notice a lot more chatting to the strangers in the bus, at the gym or basically anywhere. They are not too familiar with the strangers, and they respect your personal space, but still they are taking more contact that I was used to. I find it very nice, and I have got cheered up from a non-expected compliments and nice gestures multiple times. Of course there have also been not so nice things, for example if you are accidently blocking some cyclers way or if you talk in the silent zone in the train. Then you are disturbing the danes, and they will let you know, loudly! All in all, this place has been easy to fit in, and I haven’t noticed an actual culture shock at all. Being well prepared and open-minded has helped a lot with that. I really like to be here, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my stay, what adventures and experiences it will bring. At the same time I’m also waiting for this to end, and go back home to see my family, my dog and my friends. And eat REAL rye bread