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I had the opportunity to live aoabrd as a teenager, I was an exchange student in Denmark when I was 17. To say the experience was life changing is an understatement. There's the obvious part of trying to learn a new culture an language while attending highschool, but that wasn't the biggest eye opener for me. 2 out of 5 days a week I attended a language school for foreigners. I was surrounded by immigrants from Afghanistan, Romania, Russia, China all over the place. It took a few months before we had a stong enough grasp of the language that we could converse with each other, but once we did we told each other about our respective lives. Some of the stories were absolutely heart breaking. I talked to a former coach of the Afghan national soccer team who had been chased out of the country for fear of his life. He had not seen his wife of son in 15 years. I talked to a young woman who was pregnant with her first child, who did not know what the concept of playing was. I watched blatant racism as my fellow classmates were eyed suspiciously by the locals after class, while I wasn't given a second look because I could pass for a local. It was sickening. This was during 2001, immediately after the twin towers collapsed. Things that I had taken for granted, or never given a second thought, came to the forefront: I'm caucasian, I speak English as a first language, I grew up in a first world country, I'm educated, I have the right to make my own choices all of these things have made my life easier in their own way. If I hadn't spent that time aoabrd, I might have continued to take these for granted.