One of the reasons for the Danish custom of letting your child drink alcohol for the first time in relationship with the confirmation and the general age limit on 16 when it comes to allowing the teenagers to buy alcohol on their is that it keeps them at home within parental supervision.
In Denmark we don't have party busses. In general there is no problems by letting our youth drinking alcohol so soon. The problems the police report is caused by youth with non-danish origins who don't drink for unknown reasons.
Our government conducted a massive research into this matter when they adjusted the laws the last time and they found no scientific reason to forbid the youth to drink that early. In fact they double-checked the existing research and found it to be based on religion only and without foundation in scientific facts.
Should exchange students then drink, now where it is proven that it is safe?
No, they should not.
They have chosen a year in social isolation. They have to take the consequences, which follows as result of their choice. Hopefully they have not been forced abroad, so they can say no if they feel that they cannot stick with their choice.
Regardless of how wrong Mr. Andersen was it remains a tragedy and a reminder to parents how dangerous it can be to send their children to a country where the youth culture is so different from the superior culture we have in Denmark.
2 foreign students arrested over death, rape (ABC7, Oct. 31, 2010)