Twice in a life time experience

“I like how everything is bigger here.” – Anker Ryhl, Exchange Student

By Rese Collins

While most people have traveled a few miles or maybe even a few states away from home,  Anker Rhyl has traveled 4,616 miles from his home in Copenhagen, Denmark to be a foreign exchange student at BSHS. This is not his first trip abroad; Anker has been to the U.S. twice.

Notable to Ryhl is architecture and design in the Kansas City area.

“I like how everything is bigger here; for example, we don’t have one single skyscraper in Denmark,” Ryhl said.

The school day itself looks very different at BSHS then at his home school in Denmark.  

“It’s very different from Danish school. You just stay in one class and different teachers would come to you. So it’s pretty different to have to go from class to class yourself, and I also like the different options here for your classes. In Denmark you could only choose an extra class and you could only work in that class for about three hours a week,” Ryhl said.

Ryhl has only been here for about a month now and has already made friends.

“I’m friends with the people on the soccer team, kids in my classes, the other exchange kids and just people I meet in the hallways. Everyone is so nice here. I meet a lot of new people and they are always asking about Denmark and my accent,” Ryhl said.

He has big plans for when he goes back home after the school year is over.

“I just finished primary school and will be going to high school when I get back home. There are only like 200 kids in my class,” he said.

Traveling to a foreign country might present a language barrier for some students; not so for Rhyl.

“Everyone in Denmark can speak English since we are such a small country,” Rhyl said.

Ryhl noted it was a really long process to become an exchange student.

“I had to fill out a lot of papers about myself and had to get a lot of vaccines. I also had to visit the American Embassy to get my visa, ” Ryhl said.

Hopefully Ryhl thinks that long process was worth it because he seems to have made a very good impression on the students here, one being his friend junior Daniela Cervantes-Garza.

“There is never a language barrier. He speaks English very well and sometimes when I’m talking to him I used a little slang and he seems to understand it,” Cervantes said. “I’ve known Anker for literally two or three weeks and we talk after our 5th hour because we have no classes together,” Cervantes said.

The story of their first meeting is a relatable one.

“I was walking to my 6th hour and he came up to me and asked me where the history hallway was. I said ‘of course i’m actually heading there right now.’ But it turned out that he had another teacher and it was in a completely different hallway than where I was heading.  The minute bell had already rang so I rushed him over to the door and basically said ‘go down this hallway there and I hope you find it, good luck’,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes has plenty of great things to say about Ryhl, and the two have found common ground in the fact that English isn’t either of their first language

“He has a very heavy and super cool accent, he speaks Danish and he’s super polite. I like that he’s very outgoing and super nice and I kind of relate to him about speaking another language. My first language is Spanish so I speak it fluently and I speak English of course. I really like talking to him it’s very cool to hear his experiences here in Blue Springs, America,” says Cervantes.

All in all, Ryhl is adjusting to BSHS very well.