Farvel America


Towards the beginning of the year, I had written an article about our new foreign exchange student, whom many will know as Benji, from Denmark. He had compared the differences he had seen, done, and heard from here to his home in Denmark. Benji had also stated the things we lack here but are in Denmark and vice versa. Now that the school year is coming to an end and Benji will be going back home shortly, it is bittersweet for him. I thought it fitting that I would interview Benji again once more on his experience in America for a whole year. Since the timing was never right and things were so hectic, I had asked Benji to answer some questions of mine via email.

Some of the questions I had asked were overall what his favorite and least favorites were about the school year and what America had to offer. His answers to some of them surprised me and some made sense to me. He had said that his favorite food here was the fried chicken and least favorite food was the mashed potatoes (in which I totally agree with). He loved basketball season and the fact that it is done by the school. Benji also stated , “I’ve gotten to know a lot of cool people throughout my time here.” After I had asked him about his favorites and least favorites, some other questions I had asked were about the differences in American and Denmark and what his input was on them.

Apparently, the only sport Denmark does not have but we do is baseball! According to Benji, the weather between here and Denmark is about the same. When asked what the best thing he has done since coming here, he responded with, “There has been a lot of things I’ve liked. It’s hard to pick just one.” He is glad sports are done through the school but he does wish that we have public transport here as well. When I had asked what the difference was between students here in America and in Denmark, he stated that, “Students in Denmark are probably more hardworking when it comes to school.” After asking him about the differences between our home country and his, I had also asked about his experience with his host family and what it was like living with people he did not know for a whole year.

“At first it was a little weird, but now they don’t feel like strangers anymore” was what Benji replied with when asked how it was living with strangers for a year. He also stated that living with his host family has been awesome and that he has a great relationship with them even though they have differences. Last time I had asked if he missed home, he replied with a “not really,” but when asked again, he said, “I have mixed feelings about that. I miss home, but it’s gonna be sad leaving you guys behind.” I had asked if it was hard for him being away from his family for so long and he said that yes, he did miss them sometimes.

I asked Benji if it was hard for him to adjust to American customs and he said, “It was a bit of a culture shock at first because i wasn’t really used to living so far away from everything, but i feel i’ve gotten accustomed to it.” The hardest thing for him to get comfortable with when coming to America was living in the middle of nowhere. He said he would definitely come back to visit sometime and that he wishes he could stay longer.

Overall, it seems like it has been a good year for Benji and I’m sure he will miss it here tremendously just as we will miss him. I am sure it was a cool experience for him and it was also cool on our part to meet someone from Denmark. Benji did cross country and track just like me so we would cross paths quite often because of our practices and I learned that he is a very shy, introvert person but once warmed up to, he’s a funny dude and very athletic. I find it brave of Benji to study at a different country, much less a different school, and adjust to its culture. As I stated before, I am sure it is bittersweet for him but I’m sure he would love to come visit again.