Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Exchange Students Take on America: Patrick Kruse

Maybe you’ve seen him around school, towering over most of the student body. That’s Patrick Kruse and unless you’ve heard his cool accent, you wouldn’t guess that he’s from Denmark. He’s just one of us, trying to make it through high school, endless homework and long, basketball practices in the evening. Though for most of us it sounds like our average day, for Patrick it’s not. He’s still trying to come to terms with the fact that there is homework every night.

“First of all, classes in Denmark were much shorter. We might’ve had nine classes a day. And homework was less often recommended. I mean, it existed, but you could’ve easily gotten all as without turning in any homework, ever, because they judge you on how well you do in class and on tests,” Kruse said.

Homework isn’t the only strange part of Patrick’s experience here in America. Mountains, which most of us take for granted are hardly existent in Denmark.

“It’s pretty flat there. We have a mountain that we call the “Heavenly Mountain” and its 200 meters tall! Yes, the tallest point in Denmark,” Kruse said with a laugh.

Kruse is looking into doing something with math after high school, something you wouldn’t hear from most students. What you also won’t hear from most high school students in America is that college is free.

“College is free in Denmark. I can go to college which is paid by the state and they will even pay me to go,” Kruse said.

Aside from free college, citizens of Denmark are paid approximately $1,500 just to live in Denmark. He describes his home country’s issues with immigration- people come from impoverished countries and life off the money that is doled out to them by the government.

“We have so many immigrants and people always say, oh no we need more! We need to be open, we need to be nice. But 80% of the people who come from African countries don’t work. They just live off our money. So it’s a serious problem. But our government goes, oh no we need them!”

Kruse also likes to poke a little fun at the Prime Minister of Foreign Relations. So the next time you see him in the hallways, towering over the Freshmen, ask him about his mom’s run-ins with the Princessbecause it’s quite a good story, and Kruse enjoys telling it.

“He cannot speak English. We joke that 80% of our taxes go towards his English lessons.”

Other than that, Kruse lives a pretty simple life. Well, with the exception of his mom who runs into the Princess of Denmark on a regular basis at the market.