When I applied to have a visiting host family this semester, I had no idea what it would entail. The Visiting Host Program was something that I stumbled upon while I was doing my pre-study abroad thorough stalking of the DIS website.
While I was excited about the idea of living in the Culinary Living and Learning Community with other DIS students, I was a little worried that I would not end up meeting anyone besides the other American students I would be living with and attending classes with. So, I decided it was probably a good idea to sign up for a visiting host family.
But I did have some doubts. What if we didn’t get along? What if I was too busy to see them? What if they were too busy to see me? What if they hated Americans, or if they hated me?!?
Fortunately, all of my “what-ifs” were dismissed after meeting my visiting host family for the first time. They were so welcoming, and immediately made me feel like I had a second family here in Denmark.
Since meeting for the first time in September, I have been able to see my visiting host family many times and have truly gotten to know them. We have even FaceTimed with my family back home in New Jersey, so that now my family feels as if they know them as well! Additionally, my host sister, Pernille, is very close in age to me, so it has been so awesome to hang out together in Copenhagen and meet her friends, and to introduce her to my DIS friends!
We have shared so many fun days together, and I have learned so much about Danish culture, Danish food, and hygge (my favorite thing ever) from them. I will always cherish these memories of my semester abroad—from apple picking in September, pumpkin carving in October, celebrating Election Day in November, to baking Christmas cookies in December, and all of the experiences in between.
Thinking back to when I arrived in Denmark, I never expected that my visiting host family would become such a valuable part of my study abroad experience. I had no idea that I would gain a second family and lifelong friends in Denmark.
Karen, Finn, Pernille, and Thomas: thank you—mange tak—for everything this semester.
I feel like I have known you all for so much longer than the 3 months that I have! I am sad knowing that Sunday will be the last day I spend with you this semester, but I am sure our paths will cross again. (And Pernille, I am so looking forward to having you visit in August!) You will always have a place to stay in New Jersey.