1. A huge dose of Danish Culture
There’s nothing like waking up at six am to sing a Danish birthday song (that I don’t know the words to) to my host brother on his 10th birthday. Living in a host family has provided me with a true Danish immersion. There are so many things I have seen and done that I never would have if it weren’t for a host family. Between gossiping with my 15 year old host sister about her life in school and talking to my host mom about family life or even just grocery shopping for a family of six I feel like I am learning way more about being a Dane than my Danish Language and Culture class could ever provide.
2. A second family
The day after my phone was stolen, I was up until 4 am changing all my passwords and accounts, I woke up at a bright and early 12pm and my host family was all smiles and support with breakfast ready and a phone for me to use in the meantime. This is just one of the many examples of the love and support I’ve gotten from my Danish family. I’ve met my ‘host grandparents’ and have had brunch with all my ‘host cousins’ and I truly feel like part of the family.
3. A place to call home
Everyones definition of home is different, I personally have had many many homes since I haven’t ‘lived’ at home with my parents for more than a few weeks at a time between living at Bucknell and working at a sleep away summer camp. So having a place to call home for four months and come home to after a long day of classes or a weekend away and relax and be comfortable in is something that just adds to the study abroad experience.
4. The food
I would consider myself a fine cook (feel free to ask my host family as they’ve enjoyed all the meals I’ve prepared for them) but after a day of classes from 10-5:30 the last thing I want to do is cook myself a healthy meal. Cue my entire host family who are all amazing cooks (including my 10 year old host brother). It is great to come home to dinner made, and a fun family dinner table. I’ve even learned plenty of new cooking habits, specifically soft boiled eggs which I eat (and now make on my own) roughly every day.
5. The network
I have met SO many Danes thanks to my host family. Besides their relatives I’ve met friends and friends of friends and other families with hosts. All together I’ve been able to interact with a wide variety of Danes. Without a host family, I have no clue how I would meet Danes. Since we all take classes together with American students, we befriend Americans and so we do everything with Americans. But with a family I am able to meet so many natives and they have continually showed me what it is and what it means to be a Dane and I am so grateful for that.
As a whole, I am so thankful to be in a host family, but more importantly, I am so thankful to be with my specific host family. I could not think of a better match.