Notes from Abroad from Tabatha Pilon in Denmark! No Snow Days Off From School in Denmark! December 10, 2011

Notes from Abroad from Tabatha Pilon in Denmark!  No Snow Days Off From School in Denmark! December 10, 2011
CFN – Winter; the coldest season of the year; the prettiest time of the year; the shortest and yet, longest time of the year.  A season that brings the warmth as well as the cold. A season that brings happiness and yet sadness. A season of love.   But, let me say, winter is not the same when you are not living in Canada.
As a student, every single day that you wake up is done with one hope in mind: ‘Are buses cancelled?!    And mostly everyday students across the country are disappointed, and have to drag themselves off to school as they see that buses are, in fact, not cancelled.   But then there are always those days where you get out of bed, turn on the radio/the computer/your parents come into your room, and they all say the same thing: “buses are cancelled, you can go back to bed…” or, similarly: “buses are cancelled, you can still go if you like…” which, unless you reaaaallllllllyyyyyy enjoy school, we all know the answer to that.
Those days are exciting; a free day off. A time to enjoy yourself, to relax, to invite friends over and to just hang out.  Imagine what it’s like to be a student in a country where school buses are non-existent. There are no chances of waking up and waiting to be informed that buses are cancelled. You have to still drag yourself out of bed, and drag yourself either out to your parents’ car (if you’re lucky) or to the city bus stop or to your bike, and make your way to school.
Yes, they still ride their bikes in the winter time here. I was alarmed as well.  Not all hope is lost for us in Denmark during the winter, though, as we have one thing over the Canadian school system: not all of our classes are set in stone. So, instead of racing to listen to the radio, or for your parents to inform you, you rush to your computer, open the website that we use for our timetables, called “LUDUS” and hope that it, well, works(most definitely not completely a reliable source). Once you are able to find your class’s schedule, you are able to glimpse which classes you have, and if any of them are cancelled. It’s always a good day when one of your classes are cancelled.
Or even then, a lot of the times, there will be a student from my class to text me, or our class’s Facebook page will be alit with notifications of exciting classmates proclaiming: “IKKE HAR VI HISTORI I DAG! WOOOOO!” (we don’t have history today! Woooo!)  So, sometimes Denmark has some advantages over Canada in the school prospect, but when it comes to the winter season, Canada has one upped Denmark. The mounds of snow — which may not make everyone happy — makes things look magical and beautiful, whereas here…there are no mounds of snow to speak of. Although it is only the beginning of the winter season, I’ve already been told not to have big expectations for snow, as getting a lot of snow here is pretty rare.   As disappointing as that is, I’ve made sure to wear a cute fur hat every day regardless of the fact that it isn’t really cold, only rainy, so that I can at least feel like it’s winter; like it’s a Canadian winter!
Tabatha Pilon is a 17 year old student from Cornwall Ontario spending a year in Denmark.   She will be writing to us  each week or as her “gymnasium” schedule allows.  If you have questions for her or would like to sponsor her column email us at

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