Intersecting Minds: Education, Business and Technology at the North Carolina State Jenkins Graduate School of Management

Friday Afternoon Thoughts | August 21, 2009

I finished my first “class” here in Denmark today, a Crash Course in the Danish language, basic vocabulary and conversational phrases. While Danish resembles English grammatically, mastering pronunciation is extremely difficult. There are three additional vowel sounds and the language isn’t spoken anything like it’s written, so it’s hard to gather phonetic clues from the words themselves. Nevertheless, it’s fun to go out and practice with friends and try to use some simple phrases with the locals. And it’s always fun to learn cool phrases in a foreign language, whether it’s Danish, French, German or Korean.

I’ve also had a chance to get to know more of the classmates here. While we’re a very diverse group in terms of age, background, and culture, we share a common desire: experiencing a culture different from our own and learning from each other. It’s almost surreal to think only 250 exchange students are here, and another 500 will arrive this weekend. And that’s on top of 14,000 local students who start classes with us next week.

The past 5 days have been intensely stimulating, trying to learn a new language, trying to learn everyone’s name, and trying to assimilate into a completely new environment. I’m looking forward to a break in the action this weekend before true orientation starts next week and classes the following.

As they would say here: Hej hej! Har en godt weekend.


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