The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

From strangers to true family

February 11, 2023


Courtesy of Agnes Sorensen

My second host and I at a Georgia game. I have been on the student exchange trip for more than six months. Throughout the experience, I will live with three different host families.

Time. The time has gone by so much faster on my exchange than just being at home in Denmark. I have experienced so many new things, met so many people, and I am just living a life in a year. 

When I arrived in Georgia this past summer, I went home with strangers: my new host family. I had previously exchanged emails with them and had a Zoom call, so I felt like I knew them a little bit. I cannot truly describe how it felt to arrive in a new country, meeting the people I was going home to live with. 

Through the exchange program that I am currently doing I will live with three host families. This means that I get three totally different experiences. I am currently living with my second host family after meeting them a few times. 

Now, six months later I have gotten new families across the globe, which I am extremely grateful for. 

With each new transition of host families, we had to get to get to know each other. My parents raised me to be polite, which I truly was in the beginning, but at some point we started making jokes and had these moments and I felt very happy to be here. I would never have had all of this if I never took that flight and got the experience of a lifetime.

When you step into family as a stranger, everything is very different and it takes time to get settled in. The first couple of times I had to go get a snack, make my lunch, or ask to go to the store was weird. But at some point It started to get normal and my new life in America came together pretty quickly, because I felt very comfortable with each of my families. 

Whenever I felt like I had something that made me nervous or scared such as a presentation, my approach currently is, “I flew across the world all by myself, so I can do this.”

‘I flew across the world all by myself, so I can do this’.

— Staff Writer Agnes Sorensen

There has also been a difference between my first host family and second besides the members. When I first arrived it was more like getting a better grasp of understanding English and arriving in a totally new country. Whereas my second host family experience was more like getting to know them and their routines better. I will be moving in with my third host family soon, which is very exciting but sad to leave my second family. 

Being so far away from my friends and family back home has of course led to some homesickness. Honestly, I thought it would have been a lot worse than it has been, because it has not been a huge problem for me so far. 

Christmas was definitely the hardest because Christmas here is very different. We celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24 with great food, family, dancing and singing around the Christmas tree and presents. 

When you are “forced” to live with a family you eventually get really close with them and  learning new things about each other everyday is much easier. A host family is more than just hosts for you, well three for me. They are a new family that cares incredibly much about you and you even more for them. I will forever have this bond with them and have a second home right here in Peachtree City, and they will have a cool opportunity to come and visit me in Denmark.

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