A world away

Denmark exchange student cruising through her American journey


In Denmark, a pale white plane gains speed as it races down the straight stretch of runway laid out, the wheels tucking under gracefully as it leaves the ground, prepared for the eight hour long plane ride through thick clouds and warm summer air. On the twenty fifth of August a new adventure was about to begin. Nynne Joergensen had spent years learning English, but in just a few hours her skills would be put to the test in America.

 “I have to admit, I was nervous about having to learn a new culture,” Joergensen said.

 Luckily she was not alone, her family made the decision to accompany her to the first stop in her life changing journey to New York.  But, after that she would have to be the one to endure the five hour plane ride to the Seattle international airport in Washington state. Joergensen has been staying with her host family as an exchange student on the Key Peninsula.

 “I speak with my family every second week. I’m not limited on time but it’s hard with such a busy schedule,” Joergensen said.

 Through many school activities, such as volleyball, Joergensen has had the opportunity to explore and learn new things from a world that is unlike anything she has experienced before.

 “The way that the American school system works is very new to me. The buses here are different, the shape and size. The ones in Denmark have posters all over them,” Joergensen said.

 Coming from Norre Aaby Realskole, a private school located in the heart of Denmark Joergensen has added another new experience to her list, public school. Joergensen said the private school she had attended in Denmark is quite different. The school starts at 8:20 A.M. instead of 7:30 A.M., something that took time to get used to.

 But not all exchange students are as lucky. Some pay thousands of dollars for a summer trip to another country whereas Joergensen heard about a cheaper program from a friend.

 “One of my good friends from the private school was an exchange student for this high school, and that encouraged me to get involved in the exchange student program,” Joergensen said.

With months left on her stay Joergensen still has a lot to learn and even more to experience. But even after the wheels of the plane smoothly land atop the straight stretch of runway once more, the adventure isn’t over yet. Her trip to America is a small step towards reaching her dream goal.

“This trip has been such an inspiration to me! My goal is to travel the world, so this is a great beginning,” Joergensen said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to be an exchange student. I already feel like a whole new person.”