She’s Alive

So! I have finally had time to sit down and write this blog entry. The last two weeks have been the busiest and most tiring weeks of my life, but I’ll try and put in as much detail as possible.


If I’m being completely honest, the first 14 hours of my exchange weren’t that bad due to the fact that the first flight was where all the fun was and I was running off fresh tears and adrenaline. I was sat next to one of my chaperones Catherine Sugget (WHO IS THE COOLEST PERSON EVER AND FUNNY AS HIRE HER AGAIN) and surrounded by other friends. We were all very excited for the entirety of the eight-hour flight, talking and laughing the whole time (sorry to everyone around us). At Singapore airport the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian kids said goodbye to all our other friends, who were off to places such as France and Germany. Now, the next flight. That was ABSOLUTE HELL. It was like a nightmare come to life. We worked out in the end that I somehow managed to stay awake 44 hours, with only short naps to break it up. On top of the fact that I can’t sleep on planes, I was sick with the flu of some sort so I was downing eclipse mints every half an hour to numb my throat. I also drunk a lot of apple juice. What a time to be alive.


Arriving at Copenhagen airport was a bit surreal though. We all got kind of delirious and giggly, and we got laughed at by the security guards when the cold air hit us and we all made disgruntled noises of discomfort. After finally picking up our bags (they took forever), saying goodbye bye to most of our Swedish and Norwegian friends and going through customs we met up with our host families at the entrance of the airport. There were signs everywhere and the families were very excited but all we wanted to do was sleep. At the entrance waiting for me was my club and councillor and his wife who I stayed with for the first week of exchange. They were very kind and we talked non stop the whole car ride home (about an hour). Soon after arriving at their house I skyped my family back home in Australia to assure them I was fine and alive. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur due to my lack of sleep but I managed to stay awake til 3 in the afternoon (I think the thing that finally wore me down was the four and seven-year-old grandchildren).


That first week I didn’t attend school but instead got important things done and visited my exchange friends (oldies, the ones that have been here for roughly 6 months already), once for coffee with three girls (Brazilian, American, Canadian) and once for a sleep over (a Canadian, three Americans, one other Australian and a Columbian).  We all get along so well and they taught me how too catch trains properly so I owe them my life.


The second week I attended intro camp with all the other students who had just arrived to Denmark. After a hellish travel day there with my friend Danielle (we nearly got on the wrong train, missed the right train, had the train tracks shut down on us, nearly went back the way we came etc etc) we arrived at camp. There were students from New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and of course A LOT from Australia. Being able to make friends from all over the world that I can visit during my exchange is something that I’m very excited for. The camp was mostly based around Danish lessons, which we had for roughly five hours each day. The classes really helped with my Danish and started to give me a basic understanding of the grammar. On the second last day of the camp we visited Aarhus, the second biggest city in Denmark. It was basically Newcastle. It took about an hour to get there from where our camp was in Bjerringbo, Jutland. As soon as we got there we were taken on a guided tour of the art museum (AROS) which was really interesting. The museum is famous for the giant rainbow sculpture it has on top that you can walk around. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. On the last night we also had a party which was loads of fun because we just danced around like idiots for 4 hours. Saying goodbye to all my friends was so sad, as we can’t see the students from other districts until we reach the three-month point, and then only once a month after that, but I know I can talk to them anytime about any issues I have and they’ll completely understand.


About an hour after I got home from camp (with an uneventful train ride thank god, we passed our bad luck onto the Copenhagen kids) I moved in with my first proper host mum, Hanne. So this week has just been us working out how things work and me starting school (finally!). I now go to school at Nykøbing Katedralskole, about a 10 minute walk from my home. I have yet to be on time. My class is an all girls class that specialises in Physics, Maths and Biotechnology. They are all really nice and help me when I get lost (which is all the time, everyday).


So there’s my first threeish weeks in Denmark! I am alive, and to all the teachers asking where I am, a year means 365 days so no, I will not be back in time for the Darwin trip.


Arki Mei-Ling

(the photos won’t all fit so I’ll try and post them separately)



Jeff Costa

So glad you arrived safely. We miss that smiling face already. Good to hear you have met heaps of cool people and you can’t get out of going to school any longer.
Shame about the Darwin trip, but you’ve got bigger adventures to be had.
Stay safe, enjoy school and all of your new friends. I’m sure the teachers there will be great but not as cool as your teachers back home (particularly your year advisor!!)
Look forward to hearing more about your adventures through your blog.
Be good, stay safe.
Mr Costa


Top job getting a post up given how busy you have been, all that you have had to learn and adapt to in the last 3 weeks, and how exhausted you must be. #proudaspunch

Lindy Twyford

Hi sweetheart, so glad that you have arrived safe and are having the best time of your life!!!
We are all good here and the weather is good. The kids all send their love ❤️ It is Uncle Stephen’s birthday today and he has been deep sea fishing at Nelsons Bay. So fantastic. If you get a chance you can Skype us, just let me know when?
Stay safe and enjoy. Love always Aunty Lindy and Uncle Stephen xxxx


Would definitely love to Skype!! I’ll try and organise a time when I’m free ❤️


Hi Arki!

I was an exchange student in 1997 to Danmark. I went to Nykøbing Katerdraleskole too. My exchange club was Nørre Aslev.

I miss it every day – even 20 years down the track. You will be amazed.

Can’t wait to follow your journey!


Hi Kristie!

That’s insane! My club is Nørre Alslev too. Were you coming from Australia?


Yes! Melbourne.

I was a crap exchange student when I came back to Australia. I had a mental breakdown and lost contact with everyone at the club. I’m starting to reconnect, Palle og Gitte Jørgensen were my final host family. Per og Nanny Wamberg were my second. I loved them all deeply but didn’t stay in contact – a regret that eats me daily. I can’t believe you’re in my old town!
The youth club was Amazing. Highly recommend.


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