It was Tuesday, March 16, D Period, Senior lunch. I was in the library trying to get my Math homework done when I got distracted by a friend stopping to say “hey.” Before I got a chance to get back to my work, I glanced at one of the monitors lining the library; on it was a message about Danish students. Needless to say, it snagged my attention. I mean, it’s not every day that you get the chance to interact with
someone from Europe at school! After muttering a “how cool!” my eyes were glued to the TV in anticipation for the rest of the announcements to pass so I could get more information on this amazing opportunity! The slide said that the school was looking for around 20 Junior National Honor Society members for the Danish students to shadow for two days the next week. Shortly after getting all the details, I grabbed a friend and ran to Mr. Castellano’s office to sign up!
Fast forward to Day 7, Thursday March 25. My “shadowers” were going to be brought to my Cor to meet me. That morning I was really nervous, and it wasn’t just because of a Chemistry test I had coming up next period. As I was doing some last second cramming in Cor, all of a sudden everyone started to look out the door and I knew what was going on, even before someone said “Oh! There’s the Danish kids!” I was suddenly extremely excited to meet the students in the hallway.
When I stepped out into the hallway, I was assigned three Danish students to shadow me. I brought them into my Cor for a quick second before the bell rang and everyone stood up to leave, but not before introducing themselves to these new
faces. Everyone throughout the day was extremely intrigued by these new students and their culture and just wanted to know everything about life in Denmark;
a few students even signed up to help the next day! So I waited for everyone to leave Cor and then led the students into the hallway. Let me tell you, trying to keep track of three overwhelmed foreign exchange students in East Top after Cor is not an
easy feat. I was so nervous that I would lose someone! So started my two days of learning about a culture I was nowhere near familiar with a day before.
All of the Danish students were extremely nice and open to conversation. It didn’t take long for me to learn a lot about how life in Denmark compared to life at Prep. The students told me that they were from a small town and thought New York was amazing. They told us about how different everything was from what they are used to. At one point, I was asked how many students attended Prep, and after I gave
them a rough estimate they looked astonished and repeated the figure to the rest of the group in Danish. In each class that day, all of the Prep students were extremely curious and bombarded the Danish students with questions, all of which were willingly
answered. Some questions were even asked to the Prep students about what life in New York is like.
This was definitely the experience of a lifetime for all parties involved. I’m pretty sure that everyone had a good time and learned something new about a culture many of us knew close to nothing about. In following the Franciscan tradition to help others, we all had the opportunity to talk to people who are different from ourselves. It is safe to say that the Danish students and Prep students alike both walked away from these two days with something new and exciting, and above all, they were informed. We enjoyed being hosts to these students and hope to hear from them in the future!