Louisa Holm Bak, our Rotary Youth Exchange student from Denmark, informed and entertained club members with an overview of her life and land in her “My life and Denmark” presentation.
After hearing her talk, we can all agree that there are no cows on the ice.
Louisa Holm Bak, our Rotary Youth Exchange student from Denmark, informed and entertained club members with an overview of her life and land in her “My life and Denmark” presentation.
 
Louisa hails from Ringsted, an island in the center of Zealand, about an hour from Copenhagen. Ringsted has a population of almost 23,000 in an area a little over 1,100 square miles. Residents pay high taxes (60%) and receive free school/education and health care. The big crop is Christmas trees. Denmark exports the largest percentage of the homegorwn Christmas trees in Europe.
 
While she has lived in the same house her whole life, Louisa had dreams of seeing other places from an early age. Louisa lives with her family and, though an only child, is very close with her cousins and sees them almost every week, so feels like they are more like siblings. She spends a lot of time with her family, and enjoys many activities.
 

School days

She described her schooling, which has spanned several types of schools, including a small private Catholic school (275 students) with a class for each grade, the True North Efterskole, which spanned grades 9-10 and emphasized strength-based learning to promote personal leadership and life skills.
 
Her best experience in school was when she studied as part of a “Naviteam,” which was more like a small family of two students and one teacher. The group ate meals together and provided emotional support.
 
“It was fun to experience going from home to sharing with others,” she said. “We got really close, and it was wonderful to make such amazing friends. We got closer in one year than I did with any friends in my previous 10 years of schooling.”
 

Varied interests

Louisa’s interests are music, basketball, the environment and animals. She hopes to pursue a career in the latter two. She has been in the cast of four musicals but lessened her participation in those because she had too much homework.  
 
She has studied German and English since grade school, and it is demonstrated by her flawless command of the language as she presented to 30 strangers! She entertained us all with her references to the slide entitled “Danish Sayings” and “Danish Sayings II.” Now hang on, we are almost at the raisin at the end of the sausage.
 

The American Dream, my dream

She always wanted to attend American high school, and in 9th grade wrote a paper on “The American Dream, my dream.” It was during her year at SOSU – Social and Health Education (school year 2018/19) that she decided to pursue the exchange student path. Louisa was not standing with her hair in the mailbox. She filled out the application, and began her journey to Wisconsin.
 
“I wanted to experince all the things you see in the movies such as American High School, yellow school buses, American football, Homecoming and Prom.” Let's hope she enjoys her time out swinging the wooden leg.
 
Louisa helped prep us for winter by describing the concept of Hy-gge (pronounced Hue-gah.) It’s described as a calm comfortable time with people you love. The art of building your own cosy sanctuary. Also, to cherish oneself; to keep or make oneself snug. Celebrating the everyday,enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Cosiness of the soul and of course, cocoa by candle light.
 
Thank you, Louisa, for sharing a little about yourself and Denmark with us!
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