Volunteering with United Planet and ICYE-Denmark was hands down one of the best experiences I've been a part of. From the beginning with Pre-Departure Training United Planet made sure I was prepared for every possible scenario and answered all of my (many) questions. Even after I had departed for my year long quest United Planet was there to lend support, with Meggie (the long term coordinator) checking in each month to see how I was doing. Also, the ICYE-Denmark team did an amazing job of making sure their volunteers were safe and taken care of; every three months we had mandatory weekend check-ins in Odense where the Danish ICYE-volunteers would gather the exchangees and help them through different things like conflict management, every day struggles, homesickness, culture shock, etc. At first I was hesitant about going to Denmark because it wasn't my first choice country but ultimately I'm glad I went because it turned out to be the right country and the right experience. I had the opportunity to volunteering as an English teaching assistant in a Christian school in Copenhagen. From the moment I arrived at the school I was embraced with open arms and treated like part of the community. I was given the chance to be a part of almost all of the English classes for grade 3 through 9 and was part of the after school program with the younger children. As someone who hopes to have a long career in teaching English, it was amazing to be a part of this small school and to experience first hand what the education system was like in other countries.
In addition Denmark is such a rich and exciting country that is filled with so much to see and do. Copenhagen has such a rich history to explore and a vibrant culture; there was never a dull moment and simply walking around the city was enough to entertain me. In addition I was given the chance to explore other areas of the country from the abandoned World War 2 bunkers, to the author HC Anderson's house, and I even got to stand at the highest point of the country where two different oceans merge into one!
Overall United Planet and ICYE-Denmark go out of their way to immerse you into Danish culture and give you the full Danish experience during your stay. From a traditional Danish Christmas, to Fastelavn (the Danish version of our Halloween), to every day life and learning the Danish language, I walked away from the end of my program feeling like I truly created another home for myself in Denmark, bonding with a country and making friends that I know I'll stay in touch with.