Roanoke student studies international relations in Denmark, joins ambassador program

Hannah Godsey '15 is majoring in international relations at Roanoke College, so studying abroad to her seemed natural. She was interested in traveling to a foreign country with English speaking programs. She chose Denmark.

Godsey, of Roanoke, Va., is now studying in the small town of Aalborg, outside of Copenhagen, Denmark. Initially, she planned to study abroad for the fall semester. But a few weeks into her time in Denmark, she decided to extend her stay through the spring of 2014.

"After a few weeks of being here I absolutely loved it," she said.

While abroad, Godsey is taking courses in international relations at Aalborg University, exploring options for later studying for her master's degree there and taking free Danish language classes offered by the government.

Studying in Denmark also has given Godsey another opportunity. She has joined the Youth Goodwill Ambassador program.

This program is "a global network of talented international students," states its website.  Its mission is to increase the number of students who study in Denmark and develop a platform for career opportunities between Danish companies and international students.

Godsey learned about this program during her orientation at Aalborg University. She contacted the YGA representative and learned about the application process.

Of thousands of applicants, 350 students were chosen to be ambassadors. Godsey was one of them.

"The atmosphere of the program and the attitudes of the people involved just made me that much more excited and motivated to be involved," she said.

Godsey's interest in international relations pushed her to study abroad, but also to join the YGA program.

However, since the real purpose of the program is to draw attention and inspire other students to travel to Denmark, Godsey said she will become a more active ambassador for the program once she returns to the United States.

As a student, she said the toughest part of studying and traveling abroad is the language barrier. However in Denmark, many classes are offered in English.

Godsey said her experience in Denmark has been eye-opening. It has forced her to cope with the language barrier.

"Working here with so many different types of people from all over the world it definitely changes your perspective on various aspects of life," she said.

After Roanoke, Godsey plans to pursue her master's degree. She is considering whether to study in America or abroad.

-Published Feb. 24, 2014

Released: February 24, 2014