Posted by Gabriella Fera, Rotex
Going on an exchange was something I never thought I would do. Since my parents were both exchange students, they would always ask if it was something I was interested in, but the answer I always gave them was no. It wasn’t until we were having lunch with one of their friends they met through exchange, and I heard all of their amazing stories that I started to wonder, am I making a giant mistake by turning down this amazing opportunity? The answer to that was a huge yes. Luckily, I was able to get into the program just in time, and after many helpful orientations I was off to start my journey in Copenhagen, Denmark.
When I arrived, I was greeted very warmly by my first host family. They were eager to show me around, and they took me on an amazing boat tour through the canal in Copenhagen on one of the first few days. I thought things couldn’t get better until I started to meet the people that would help shape my exchange year. I first got to meet all the other students in Denmark through intro camp where we participated in activities teaching us about the Danish culture. I loved having friends that I could explore the city with, and that were going through some of the same excitement and challenges I was facing on exchange.
My school in Denmark was the place where I met my local friends who were also all so incredible. They showed me so many cool places in the city, introduced me to delicious traditional Danish foods, and made me feel welcome every day at school by including me, and helping me adjust to life in Denmark.
From the families, to the friends, to the food, to the sights, exchange is something that has given me so much. It has given me relationships and memories that will last a lifetime, and it has also shaped me as a person. Through exchange I have gained more independence and more confidence which makes me feel as if I am ready to take on any challenge I am faced with. Being immersed into a new culture and a new way of living has also opened my eyes to see how people in another country may have a different lifestyle, but in many ways they can also be similar, and can relate to me.  I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity of a lifetime, and I am so happy that I took it. I will remember my year in Denmark for the rest of my life as the best year of my life.