Studying in the 805


“Denmark-1” by didkovskaya is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Sixteen year old Nicoline Runge, is spending the school year 5,482 miles from her home in Denmark. Runge had only visited the east coast a few times, but decided to follow in her sibling’s footsteps and experience life in another country.
Despite english being her second language, Runge has assimilated quite easily to the 805 lifestyle. However, she noted that the most significant changes are the lack of public transportation and how school is run.
In Denmark, taking the train is the norm, but in Thousand Oaks Runge has to rely on her host parents to be her personal taxis. Having to wait on other people diminishes her independence and makes for a slower lifestyle.
The difficulty does not end there. Her school in Denmark has a significantly lower amount of students per grade. The TOHS campus has a sea of students in the halls, which can be overwhelming for someone not used to the environment.
“We do not go from class to class, we are in one class and the teachers go around…we have 23 students in my class and I have been with them for three years,” said Runge.
Although the infrastructure of American school systems are different than Danish, Runge noted that the course material is remarkably similar.
“It’s Danish school but in english. So like in english class, it’s like having danish but just in english,” exlaimed Runge.
Runge is grateful for her experience at one of the most spirited high schools around. She is truly getting a taste of the SoCal culture. The friends she has made have taken her along to all the football games, school events, toppers nights, and given her a taste of Malibu beaches. Although her experience in Thousand Oaks has been great, it has not influenced her to move out of Denmark permanently.