From Denmark to the Middle of the Mitten, we welcome: Freja Sonderup


Emily Harrier

Freja Sonderup stands in front of a locker.

Emily Harrier, Staff Writer

Freja Sonderup, a Danish foreign exchange student, has traveled roughly 4,070 miles to join us at Saint Louis high school for this school year. She is excited to experience the American school system and the school spirit that comes with it.

“My home town is a lot bigger because I live close to the capital. I always take the bus or the train if I have to go somewhere. That was something that surprised me a little when I arrived. Then again, it is a small community where most people know each other. That makes me feel at home,” Freja explained.

Prior to coming to Michigan, Freja attended high school, which is slightly different than what high school is like here.

“The style in Denmark is definitely different from here. In Denmark, clothing is a very important thing, and it’s important to look nice. The clothes people wear are very different though. It’s either very 90s or 80s inspired and has kind of like a futuristic feel to it, or is very polished and thought through. Many teens in Denmark wear very expensive clothes and we don’t have dress codes in Denmark, so some of the clothing is very revealing,” Sonderup elaborated on the difference in style between the two countries.

One of the biggest differences is that in Denmark they do not have a dress code for students to follow.  Students basically wear whatever they want, and no-one really cares.

Aside from a lenient dress code, “ We also call our teachers by their first name, which, as far as I understand, is a little offensive  here. Another difference is sports are also not a part of the school system, but is something that you do outside of school at a local sports club.”

One thing Sonderup is excited to experience while she is here is the way Americans celebrate the holiday of Christmas. In Denmark, Christmas is celebrated on the Dec. 24, or Christmas eve. There is the singing of Christmas songs, gathering and walking around the Christmas tree, and then the opening of presents all on the same day.

“I am such a Christmas lover, and we celebrate it differently in my country, so I’m very excited for Christmas!” Sonderup said as she explained the differences between the ways the holiday is celebrated in both countries.

On the topic of holidays, Denmark celebrates a holiday known as, “StoreBededag,” which translates to “A day of prayer.” The Danish word “Bede” is a type of bread that is eaten on this holiday before they attend church.

Overall, Sonderup is excited to experience a school year here and try some new activities that Michigan has to offer.

“I’m a little shy until you get to know me, so I was very scared to make friends and talk to people,” she explained. “Especially because it’s in another language. Everyone is super friendly and talkative, so I don’t really know why I was scared.”