It’s very unusual that a foreign exchange student will come from a smaller town than Exeter, Milligan or Cordova but that is just the case for Karoline Knudsen.
Knudsen is from a very small town in Denmark about thirty minutes away from Germany. She lives with her parents about seven miles from her school out in the country where her father has a small herd of cattle.
She enrolled in the program to improve her English. “I wanted to experience something new and I just wanted not to be in Danish school anymore.”
Knudsen is living with the family of Travis and Sherri Due and their children Macy and Tyler in Cordova.
She is enjoying the school year and the experience so far. She and Macy were members of the golf team during the fall, which helped them bond. She had a great time with golf even though “there was a lot of homework to make up.”
The food has been a highlight of the experience for Knudsen, “I like the food. I like cheese and pizza. At home we don’t go out and eat as much as we do here, maybe once a month.”
School has been a good change for her as well, “I was getting bored in Denmark. This is a new way of going to school, a new system. In Denmark the students stay in one classroom and the teachers rotate.”
When she returns back home she plans to skip a year of high school since she is taking a heavy course load of classes at Exeter-Milligan.
She has found Nebraska to be very different from her homeland but she is embracing the different experiences and culture. She had a ball at her first Husker game and thinks maybe she was a part of the good luck charm that helped Nebraska beat Michigan State.
There are some things that Knudsen misses in Denmark, primarily her family which includes her parents and three siblings. Knudsen especially misses her little sister who is three but they are getting the opportunity to talk on the phone.
Her future plans include a military career. Knudsen wants to be a fighter pilot and all of the communications are in English so the language is very important to her future, “In Denmark you are sent to the United States for 2 years of training to become a fighter pilot.”
Knudsen’s grandfather had a plane and took she and her siblings for a ride. She loved flying but noted that a commercial pilot’s job was “boring.” So far she has done an internship in the army for a week and also with a pilot for a week getting a real view of her future.
When she returns to Denmark she will finish high school and then attend college which is free, well according to Knudsen, “free to everyone who makes the qualifications.”
In the meantime, at Exeter-Milligan, Knudsen is playing basketball and will join the track team which is very different from her homeland where sports are outside of school and primarily soccer or handball.