Local News

Danes Dig Into Dixie Through Student Exchange Program

Posted March 12, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Twenty-four students from Denmark are comparing notes with 16South Johnston High Schoolstudents in a crash course in cross-culture.

The Danes are spending two weeks getting used to southern culture, including its food.

"The food is greasy over here," says Danish student Peter Schjoedt.

"There was spaghetti on the pizza, corn on the pizza, and anchovies on the pizza," says Johnston County student Ruth Stevenson of Danish cuisine.

"Here, all the students have cars, but not back home," says Schjoedt.

"Sometimes we did so much walking we thought we were going to die," says Stevenson of her trip to Denmark.

Johnston County students got a taste of Danish life in October.

Before each group made the journey across the Atlantic, they jumped on the information superhighway. A Web site was created bythe Danish schoolto learn more about their new friends.

"I thought it was amazing we could do that," says Stephenson. "They had their pictures all on the Web site, and we had our pictures on the Web site. So we got, in a way, an opportunity to meet these people -- even though we hadn't, really."

Now that the students have met face-to-face, they are using the Web site to file daily reports with pictures.

They transit what is going on at the moment, and what they find interesting.

Teachers say this is a way to broaden the exchange program so others can learn from what these students are experiencing firsthand. Something they have noticed -- food aside -- is that they have a lot more similarities than differences.

"If you put Americans and the Danes together and they were silent, you couldn't tell the difference," says Schjoedt.