By Riley Cappelletti
The students of Sorø Academy in Denmark will be coming to Manlius Pebble Hill tomorrow night, March 13 and will be staying through Friday the 16th. Every other year MPH students and faculty members travel to Denmark during February break.
On the opposite years, students and faculty of Sorø Academy travel to New York during their break in March. Danish students will be staying at the homes of MPH Upper School students. Some MPH students who went to Denmark last year will be hosting the students whose homes they stayed at last February. Other MPH students will meet their hosts for the first time this week. Students and faculty alike are very excited about the arrival of the students.
“The first exchange happened in 2003, and the program has continued on since,” the current head of the exchange, Ryan Zlomek, MPH Technology, said.
Zlomek said a previous head of Upper School, Virginia Satterfield, was the person who started this exchange for MPH. She was at a conference in NYC in 2001 or 2002. At this conference she met a teacher from Sorø Academy and they got each another’s contact information. Here we are, 15 years later, and this program is still going strong.
Former MPH Physics teacher Chad Gregory joined the program in 2005, and was head until he passed the baton to Zlomek for the 2018 exchange.
Zlomek has been lucky enough to travel to Denmark three times with this exchange, and he has countless memories from his time there.
“For me the component of the trip that has always stuck with me are hearing the stories from our students about how welcome they felt with their new ‘Danish Families,’” Zlomek said.
Zlomek said this year will be a little bit different than previous years, but the Danish students will be doing a lot of cool things in their time here. This year, the heads of the program are keeping the excursions around Central New York so students can spend less time on the bus, and learn more about the history of CNY.
When MPH students have travelled to Denmark, the students have gone to the Hans Christian Andersen museum, seen The Little Mermaid Statue, and learned about a Danish fairytale writer, the author of the Ugly Duckling. Zlomek said he thought it would be cool for the students to learn about our local fairy tale writer, so the Danish students will be visiting the All Things Oz Museum in Chittenango to learn about L. Frank Baum.
The Danish students will also be visiting the Stickley Museum in Fayetteville, and Destiny USA to see an American mall.
On Thursday, Danish students will go to school with their hosts and then go on a tour of downtown Syracuse. The Danish students will see the preview of the Upper School musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” and then our American students are hosting a farewell dinner for our Danish friends. We are packing a lot into just a few days, but we want our Danish friends to see as much as possible.
After their time in Syracuse, the Danes will be going to New York City for a few days before heading back to Denmark. Though it is a short trip, the MPH community is thrilled to have our friends from Denmark with us to see New York State, and live American life for a few days.