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13 - 21 May 2016
India Meets Denmark: “Velkommen” in Haslev
Haslev, Denmark

Ms Anjali HANDA
Global Co-ordinator
St. Mark's Girls Senior Secondary School, Meera Bagh, New Delhi, India

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The Moroccon traveller Ibn Batuta considered experience gained through travels to be a more important source of knowledge than books. To gain knowledge about other cultures and to share one’s own, makes you more dynamic.

To achieve this very end, a delegation of 10 students and 2 teachers from St. Mark’s Girls Senior Secondary School (India) visited the Nordskov School, Haslev, Denmark from 13 to 21 May 2016 for a Student Homestay Programme. The main purpose of this exchange programme was the promotion of cultural knowledge, creativity and intercultural understanding amongst the students by creating awareness on the similarities and differences between the Asian and European culture.

Cultural education creates a constructive basis for encounter, discussion, co-existence and cooperation. Through this international collaboration, the students got the opportunity to experience each other’s educational system. In addition, they also got acquainted to various aspects of the Danish culture and tradition through group discussions, presentations, dance recitals, and a guided city tour through Haslev and Copenhagen by the Danish Teacher, Ms Helene TIND and the Principal, Mr Rene JORGENSEN. In Copenhagen, the students enjoyed the Tivoli Gardens and he Canal Tour. They visited famous sites like Stevns Klint, a white chalk cliff which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Faxe Limestone Quarry in the Zealand Region.

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Other than cultural visits, the students also had the opportunity to visit a boarding school at Haslev and met Mr Knud Erik HANSEN, the Mayor of Haslev. They enjoyed the interactive sessions for the ASEF ClassNet Online Collaboration “Language – A Mantle of Communication – Level 2” and “Tribes around the World”. Our students attended Maths, Danish and Biology lessons with the local students, and learnt to play Round Ball from their Danish counterparts.

The students formed strong bonds with their exchange partners which they now maintain through a closed Facebook group. The exchange programme was diverse and enriching, giving our students the taste of the Danish culture from different perspectives.

Thus, the homestay programme reinforced cultural as well as personal bonds between the Danish and Indian students, serving as a platform for the students to acquire cross-cultural and collaborative skills which will stand them in good stead for the future. A special thanks to Ms Helene TIND and Mr Rene JORGENSEN of Nordskov School who made it possible, and to the ASEF Classroom Network for giving us this opportunity to work hand in hand together.

Let me share with you the impressions by our students:

Denmark is known for its stunning coastlines, cosmopolitan capital and contemporary layout. We had an exchange programme with Denmark that began in Copenhagen on 13th May 2016. The city is full of open spaces and is an ideal place to stroll and ride a bike. My host lived in the heart of a beautiful countryside near Haslev, which is about 60 km from the capital. I explored the long distance and picturesque trails on foot along with my host. One can actually sense the beauty of nature. During the 8-day trip, we visited the host school, got an idea about their education system, and gained a lot of knowledge. We visited a church, a cliff, which is a UNESCO world heritage site that separates Denmark from Sweden. In Copenhagen we took a cruise ride along a canal and saw the little mermaid statue, beautiful churches, royal castles, ancient wooden boats and the colourful canal houses painted yellow and red. On the last day, we had a farewell dinner. It was heart breaking for all of us because we did not want to leave our Danish friends and Denmark. Now that I have returned to India, I have a bag full of beautiful and precious memories. I will never forget this exchange programme as it gave me an opportunity to know the rich heritage of the Danes and experience their lifestyle.

Ms Shivi THAREJA (Class 10-A)

. . . . .

What I have realised in the one week that I was in Denmark is that it is a happy nation with the best quality of life. Beyond the capital and the bigger cities, Denmark offers a mix of lively towns like Haslev, where we stayed, medieval churches, ancient castles, the sleekest modern design one will see and the people who invented Lego-who could ask for more?

Ms Bharti MISHRA (Class 10-B)

. . . . .

Denmark has been one of the best countries I have ever been to. It is one of the most beautiful, clean and peaceful countries and the people are warm, funny and kind. I am glad that I got the opportunity to stay at a complete stranger's house, as it made me learn a lot of things that I would not have been able to learn if I had stayed in a hotel. I got to learn about their daily routine and how they treat their guests. It is just shocking that they are extremely straight-forward. I had a lot of fun and made so many new friends that I, would otherwise never have met. All in all, it was a great experience that I will never forget”.

Ms Jaspriya KAUSHIK (Class 12-A)


Article and photos courtesy of Ms Anjali Handa (India)