Denmark students tell cultural differences

Denmark students tell cultural differences

Danish exchange students served traditional Danish pot roast and boiled potatoes with rice pudding and cherries for dessert after their presentation for the Denmark Cultural Night held on Thursday evening in the Loading Dock. Photo by Jennifer Friese/The Dakota Student.

With less than a week and a half left of their trip, 10 Danish exchange students held Denmark Cultural Night to tell an eager crowd about their home country and serve a traditional Danish meal Thursday night at the Loading Dock.

During their stay in North Dakota, the students took several classes about successful entrepreneurial techniques and web design.

“There are new, different ways of teaching over here,” exchange student Lucas Piejarup said.

But perhaps one of the biggest differences for the students was the cost of living shift.

“Everything is cheap out here,” exchange student Nikolai Jacobsen said. “Cars cost tens of thousands of dollars more in Denmark, and gas is around $2 per liter. You pay more money for less gas.”

Even fast food is expensive in Denmark. A simple Big Mac at McDonald’s costs around $6, with the entire combo costing over $10.

“In Denmark, you buy a Coke,” Piejarup said. “Then another Coke. Then another Coke. There are no refills.”

He added that he was not used to the large portions of food served in America.

Free healthcare and education are coupled with a low 4.5 percent unemployment rate in Denmark, giving the nation the 10th highest gross domestic product per capita in the world. But all of this prosperity comes at a cost, with an average income tax of around 47 percent.

There are several more options for education in Denmark than in the United States. However, Denmark does not have as rigid of a school system as the U.S. and Danish students can choose to begin college two years before the average American student. The exchange students were in their “pre-university” phase of schooling, which is the beginning of higher level education.

Brendan McCabe is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].