Cultural Immersion: Joining a Danish Football Team

Louie_copenhagenThe day after Louie Souza arrived in Copenhagen for summer Session 1, he was already researching train routes to Rødovre. For the next three weeks, he’d spend afternoons after class as a defenseman, kicking around a soccer ball with a team of 18 young Danes.

“That first day when I got on the wrong bus, I was really nervous, I almost didn’t even want to go,” Louie admitted. But it didn’t take long for this feeling to subside, when he realized he landed himself quite the gig.

Training with BK Avarta (BK standing for Boldklubben), a semi professional Danish football team, has its benefits. Between the intense summer training, a new coaching style, and the cultural immersion, Louie has gained a new perspective in soccer, but also in Danish culture.Louie_football

Louie explained the coach’s welcoming spirit – how he made sure to be attentive to the new member of the team, and how he actually treated Louie as a member of the team!  The coach was curious how Louie was immersing to Danish culture. Yet, the players on the team were not hesitant to help out with that, as they were quick to suggest the best sausage to order at the team concession stand, and taught him some very necessary Danish lingo for the field, including: “højre” and “venstre” (right and left). In return, Louie offers stories of life in America and American culture, a common curiosity in the locker room.

Louie_FootballPractice is on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, leaving Friday nights for Louie to hang out with friends from his kollegium, Hoffmans Minde, and students from his course, Human Trafficking in a Global Context. They are all curious to know about his team, and what it’s like to play alongside Danes on the field. There are some bragging rights – including the “must-win” game he watched from midfield. But mostly, Louie is just happy to be a part of the team, and jump into an irreplaceable cultural experience.

If you’re a DIS student looking for a chance to hop on a sports team, check out this page!

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