My name is Sandra Bulotaitė. I am 36 years old, and I was born in Lithuania in a small town by the name of Mažeikiai. My native language is Lithuanian. I came to Denmark 4 years ago, and I now live in Nørrebro in Copenhagen.
Before then I lived 3 years in Spain. It’s lovely in Spain, but it was hard to find work, so we thought we’d try moving to another country. I had heard that Denmark was a broad-minded country, and that there was a good health system and free education. Denmark is an expensive country, but you can also earn good money, so we decided to try.
Hard but fun in the beginning
My first job was delivering papers at night. Even though it was a tough job, I had fun. I call that kind of job ‘sport for money’: You go to the gym, and they pay you! After a while I got another job as a cleaner at a restaurant, and a year or so after that I had a child.
I began learning Danish as soon as I got my social security number, even though I was very busy with two jobs during the day and language school in the evenings. It was quite a difficult time for me with so many things at the same time. I speak many languages, but Danish is the most difficult one, I think, especially the pronunciation, such as the difference between a-æ-e-i and u-o-å, and there is such a big difference between how it is spoken and written. I have learned a great deal, but not enough yet. In particular, I would like to be able to understand Danish and talk without any effort. At IA Sprog, I have had many nice teachers who have helped me learn Danish. I love going to school, because I get the chance to meet many people from various countries and different cultures – it’s exciting! Right now I have a really nice teacher, and all the students in the class speak Danish almost exclusively, so we are enjoying ourselves, having fun and learning Danish at the same time. I’m almost done with language school, but since I would like to learn more, I start FVU after the summer holidays and hairdressing school after that. My big dream is to open my own hair salon.
The student council on IA Sprog
I attended the first joint session with my teacher and my class. It was just for fun, something other than just learning Danish in class. At the time I did not understand what a student council was. When it was finished, we talked in class about who wanted to join, and my teacher Maria thought I should sign up. At the first meeting, I was elected president of the council. I still don’t know why everyone agreed to elect me. In the student council we talk a lot, so now I am almost ready for my oral examination.
At the council meetings we always have cake and coffee or tea and enjoy ourselves. At the first meeting we talked about ideas for how to improve the school, how we can learn Danish faster as well as the opportunities to speak Danish outside class. In the student council, it is important for us to hear all students’ opinion of IA Sprog: What is good? What can be improved at the school?
The student council is also responsible for a series of events and initiatives, such as the Hobby Day in April as well as the conversation corner in connection with the student workshop. Before Hobby Day, we made a video for the school’s facebook page, and we toured the whole school, telling everyone about the day. It was fun to meet the students at the school that way. Hobby Day was a good chance to meet Danes, get in touch with associations and establish more network. Some students don’t want to join the student council because they do not speak Danish that well. That is a shame, because it’s a very good chance to learn Danish faster. I have learned so much, though I still don’t understand everything. Teachers in the student council help and explain everything, so everyone understands – all students are very welcome in the student council! There is always room for more students and more ideas.
I feel at home here
I think it’s very important to learn Danish, when you are living in Denmark, so you can more easily integrate into Danish culture, in Danish social life, find more friends and find better jobs. I love living in Denmark. I feel at home here. It is a beautiful country with friendly people and delicious food. And I love to ride my bike here. A lot of people don’t like the Danish weather, but for me it is quite OK, because it is not as cold here as in Lithuania. In the 4 years I’ve lived here in Denmark, I have never had any culture shock, perhaps because Denmark is quite similar to Lithuania. All countries have advantages and disadvantages that it is important to learn to put up with when you live there.