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November 27, 2013

Settling in, becoming more Danish

By Max Ofer
Cooperstown Crier

---- — I have been In Denmark for a few month now, and everyday life has started to become a routine. 

I have not been adventuring and exploring Denmark, instead I have started to settle into the flow of everyday life. I have not traveled to Norway, and I have not traveled to the south part of Jutland. What I have done is become more Danish.

I have started to get used to the routine of living in Denmark. I was warned that after the first few months, most exchange students get a bit bored. I am starting to feel some of these effects. I am not saying I am bored, in fact I am still having a wonderful time, but I can feel that things are not moving quite as fast.

I am finding that everything seems to feel normal. Now that I have been here for a few months I am feeling much more comfortable. The things I was nervous about or not used to in the beginning of my exchange, seem normal now. I was not accustomed to utilize public transportation in my every day life, but I have become habituated to it since. I am given more independence, being a part of the Danish youth, and my hosts parents give me responsibilities that are ordinary for Denmark. This independence was a bit strange at first, but I have become accustomed to it now. The things that seemed to be out of place when I first arrived, have become completely normal. 

When I first saw my town, I was surprised how out of place it felt. When I walk there now, it doesn’t feel abnormal. Also, I am getting more accustomed to school. I find it easier to talk to the other students and the teachers. I feel comfortable talking to members of the class who I am not usually conversant with. I also find it easier to participate in class. I am able to help out with class work and I am trying more of the problems that are in Danish. I am happy that I am able to talk with more people from my class, because I am making more friends every day.

I am starting to appreciate Rotary Youth Exchange more and more. I think that it is a truly great experience. I am making so many friends and I am gaining so much knowledge. I am not learning much about quantum physics and calculus, instead I am learning about the world. I am learning how to make connections in today’s society and I am learning how the rest of the world works, by observing it in the first person. 

My perspective on many things are changing, and I am loving it. I feel that I am starting to view things in a different ways. I am starting to appreciate some of the things that I have been taught throughout my life. I am also getting a lot of time to think about my life. I am thinking about my future and how I want to approach my life. I am hearing about other peoples lives and I am learning, constantly. I am meeting people of all walks of life from all over the world. I think that Rotary is the ultimate learning experience.

I think that Denmark is changing me in many different ways. I am learning about myself, and I am learning how other parts of the world operate. I am content with my exchange so far, even though I have not learned the language completely. I have been learning about a different culture and I have been able to compare it to what I am used to. The people I have been meeting have been very nice. Their eagerness to learn about where I am from, and to learn about my exchange is very gratifying. I love that I am able to exchange my experiences and views with people from another part of the world. 

I am finding that Rotary is much more than learning about another country. Rotary lets you learn about yourself and procure perspective on the world.

Max Ofer is a Cooperstown Rotary student in Denmark.