Danish GRSP student compares life in home country to Georgia

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

GRSP student Pernille Schmidt spoke to Rotary Club Tuesday about her life in Denmark and how it compares to her experiences abroad in the U.S.

Schmidt, 19, graduated from high school last summer in Denmark. She enjoys being active and has completed two half marathons in the past two years. She does this because she is goal-oriented, she said, and enjoys accomplishing her goals through running.

It’s not just her, though. Her entire family is active, Schmidt said, and when they travel abroad, they like to visit places where they can walk or ride bikes. It is common for Denmark citizens to have up to five weeks of paid vacation a year, and Schmidt’s family takes advantage of it. They have visited New York, Paris, Rome, Madrid, San Francisco and many other places.

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Schmidt shared photos of her and her family’s recent visit to the Grand Canyon. She also shared her experiences visiting the Little Grand Canyon in Stewart County, which is not as large, but looks similar, she said.

She shared photos of her community in Denmark, the home she lives in and what a typical day looks like. There are some key differences between living in Denmark and Georgia, she said.

For starters, a gallon of gas costs roughly $2.50 in Georgia, whereas it is not uncommon to see a gallon pushing $6 in Denmark.

“Everything here is cheaper,” said Schmidt. “We buy a lot of stuff over here because it is so much cheaper than in Denmark.”

Surprisingly, though, a gallon of milk costs roughly the same. The difference is how long it lasts. Once opened, milk in Denmark will spoil after a couple days in a refrigerator. She was amazed that it could last up to two weeks in the U.S.

Another detail about life in Georgia that Schmidt found interesting was how people cross the street even during a red light. In Denmark, jaywalking laws are strictly enforced by police, but in Georgia, it’s common to cross the street when there is no traffic, even when there is no crossing signal.

Schmidt is very proud of her country, and told Rotary Club that the Denmark flag is the oldest in the world. It was adopted in 1219 and was said to have descended from the heavens, she said.

She also shared that the popular building block toy brand LEGO is from Denmark. Schmidt brought small bags of LEGOs for Rotarians to take home with them.

Denmark is also known as having the highest population of pigs per person in the world.

All in all, though, her experiences in the U.S. have been amazing and she has enjoyed every minute of it.

“I look forward to meeting new friends, new people, getting a lot of experiences and learning more about myself and the American culture,” said Schmidt.