The Erasmus project with the partner school Rødovre Gymnasium had its kick-off with the first part of the exchange. The 4AS and the French-group of the 4CS travelled all the way from Bolzano to Copenhagen by bus and train to visit our partner school.
Our trip or rather the odyssey started at 04:45 on Sunday 12th November and ended at 22:20 at the Danhostel in Copenhagen.
On Monday we had our first encounter with the Danish students. We were warmly welcomed by the headmaster, teachers and students with a nice breakfast in the school’s canteen. Afterwards we all started on a tour through Copenhagen, where we first got guided by a History teacher who gave us interesting insights into the history of Copenhagen as a harbour city. This was the first chance for our students to really get to know their Danish peers. Later on in the afternoon the student discovered even more of the city through a treasure hunt organised by our partner school. In the evening our students had dinner with their host families and got a first taste of the Danish cuisine.
Day two began with a guided tour at the Heerup Museum in Rødovre. Henry Heerup was a popular Danish artist who shaped the contemporary art scene in Denmark.
Then we travelled to Helsingør by train to visit the (in)famous Kronborg Slot, also known as Elsinore Castle. This is the castle where Shakespeare set his Hamlet. The cold weather didn’t stop us from enjoying the wonderful tour of the castle. It was a very special place to visit, also for the fact that Helsingør is the closest point in Denmark to the Swedish coast.
Afterwards we even paid a short visit to Freetown Christiania in the centre of Copenhagen. As a controversial area it has become a tourist attraction but also a turning point for strong debate due to criminal gangs controlling the area. It is the home of various artists and so-called Hippies, who moved into abandoned houses in Christiania mostly during the 70s.
The evening after such an eventful day ended with a dinner that we enjoyed all together in the city centre.
On Wednesday, by the way the first and only sunny day, we took an early train to Malmö and explored the Swedish city. Obviously a hot beverage with a typical cinnamon bun could not be missing for our Swedish experience.
In the afternoon we walked through Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden and then continued our walk in the nearby park surrounding Rosenborg Castle, an impressive building which holds the Danish treasury.
Wednesday night was the first time our students slept at their host families’ houses - which was exciting for everyone. The next morning everybody met at Rødovre Gymnasium for a special English lesson, where our students got to discuss various topics around growing-up, parenting and the concept of family in general. Then the work on the project continued in the music room. There our students worked with the Danish peers on cultural identity. In one of the activities they filled out their language portraits and discussed them in smaller groups. Some of the most discussed topics were multilingualism in South Tyrol and the rather difficult pronunciation of the Danish language. We all had fun exchanging stories and comparing stereotypes of different cultures. In groups the students tried to compare the South Tyrolean culture with the Danish one, focussing on differences and similarities. All the students were really engaged in this activity and the issue of cultural identity turned out to be extremely interesting, as it sparked many discussions. It was also a great opportunity to speak to and get to know each other better. It was definitely fun discussing and comparing our different cultures.
After a delicious dinner prepared by the canteen’s staff, the students presented their results on cultural identities and the evening ended with a round of ice skating.
Friday morning began very early at the main station in Copenhagen. It was the beginning of what later turned out to be an exhausting and also horrible journey from Copenhagen to Bolzano. Everything went well until we were about halfway between Hamburg and Munich. There our train began to be delayed due to a detour it had to take because of a train accident that had happened a few hours before on the route we were supposed to take.
The events of our journey back home will definitely leave a dark mark/scar on the trip, however, we will not let it ruin our beautiful and lovely memories of our days in Copenhagen. We are already excited for our Danish friends to come visit us in April 2024, when we will have the chance to show them around and let them taste South Tyrol with us.
A big thank you to Rødovre Gymnasium, we will always have wonderful memories of the time we spent there. Maybe until your visit in 2024 we will finally be able to pronounce Rødovre correctly - we will definitely be practising it! “Is it Radoevre or RRRRRööödovre?” ;).