Many of the questions I get (and I’m sure Elisa gets even more of) all revolve around where she is from. One of the reasons I even signed up for this host parent gig was because of my love for travel and exploring the world and cultures. This provided a chance for me to give someone else an opportunity to do that while welcoming all the things I love about travel into my own home. That being said, here are some things I’ve learned so far about the Faroe Islands:
- There are 18 islands that make up the Faroe Islands. It’s located up by Norway and Island in the North Atlantic Ocean.
- The Faroe Islands, Denmark, and Greenland all make up what is known as the Kingdom of Denmark. In that way it is kind of its own country and kind of not. The Faroe Islands has its own currency (but also use Danish money), flag, and language, yet is still kind of under the rule of Denmark. The best comparison I’ve found would be like Puerto Rico and the US.
- There are about 50,000 people between the 18 islands making up the population of the entire country.
- The school system is different than in America. Compulsory school goes through 9th grade (though they learn many “high school” topics long before 9th grade). You can go one additional year (Grade 10) if you would like, or you can go straight to what they call college. From what she’s describe it seems like somewhat of a mix between upper level high school and early college, kind of like a community college here in the US. They pick a specific educational path focused toward certain types of jobs and go for either 2, 3, or 4 years. They typically don’t start college until at least 17 or 18 years old. It is very common for students to go abroad for one year during their late teens. Some just go to Denmark. Others, like Elisa choose to go further. This is especially helpful for them to become more fluent in another language besides Faroese which is, obviously not a very common language in the world. Students begin learning Danish around grade 3 and English typically in grade 4, to help prepare them for any careers that may take them outside of the Faroe Islands.
- Food overall is differnt in the Faroe Islands than here. There is more fish in their diet (which of course would be a similarity if she was placed in a location near the coast and not with a host mom who grew up in landlocked Kansas). Where cows are prevelant in America, sheep is the main animal of the Faroe Islands and is common in their diet. From what Elisa has said the best tasting and most traditional dishes in her country all smell horrible haha. It’s been hard to replicate foods here in America, but we did manage to Skype with her mom a few weeks ago and have her walk us through making Faroese pancakes!
- The country is absolutely gorgeous! I guess I’ll end with sharing a few pictures Elisa sent me before she arrived. I look forward to a day in the future when I can come visit her homeland and experience it all firsthand!