Dane Overcomes Fire, Enjoys Exchange


Erika Riedel, Co-Sports Editor

Danish exchange student Anna Simonsen shared her story of coming to America and integrating herself into the Campolindo culture only days after the news that the house of her host family had burned down.

As part of the American Field Society (AFS) program, a non-profit program that provides intercultural learning opportunities for international students, Simonsen ga

ve the presentation to her German class about her experience as an exchange student on March 21 and plans on giving another to her host family before she returns to Denmark.

1 of the most notable topics in her presentation was the chaos the fire caused just a few days before Simonsen arrived in America.”I was scared because I thought I wouldn’t be able to stay with them anymore, which meant tha

t I would no longer be able to go,” said Simonsen.

However, a plan was quickly devised and Simonsen, along with her host family, moved in with the host family’s aunt.

Simonsen’s host family includes current Campolindo senior Marika Dow.

Dow said, “We were really nervous to tell her family but they were so nice about it and all of the AFS people

were very helpful in making arrangements for her to stay with us. We are so glad that she was able to come and stay with us.”

Despite this early obstacle, Simonsen has been successful at Campolindo as a result of her excellent English and engaging personality, according to German teacher David Blumberg. “I thought she fit right in and my students were really receptive and friendly to her. She is a pretty cool person. It is easy to be nice to her,” he said.

Since her arrival, Simonsen has participated in both the Campolindo track and cross-country seasons as well as traveled to Yosemite, Oregon, and New York with her host family. Simonsen traveled to Hawaii in March with an organization called B

I-LO, designed to offer vacations for exchange students from all over the world.

Simonsen arrived in America in August and will return to Denmark this June. According to Simonsen, she was inspired to study abroad by her mother who also participated in a similar program.

“You get so many new friends from all over the world and connections. You get to be a part of a new culture and gain so much life experience because not being in your own home and being around your family all of the time really makes you mature and ready for life,” said Simonsen.

“It’s been a lot of fun having her. We’ve even got to know even a little bit of Danish from her and we’ve gotten to learn about Danish culture and gotten to know just as much as we are teachin

g her,” said Dow.