We found this answer to a person asking what to write if you were told to write a Goodbye essay:
I have experienced a year which has opened my eyes about not only a foreign culture, family values but also about who I am and where I came from.
Some would say. Did you not know this in advance?
Of course I knew that I was born in Aarhus, Denmark and that my parents worked in retail business and we originated from the western part of Jutland.
But there is more to your identity than just the name of a birth place and your family name.
When I say that I come from Denmark, I now know also how proud I am of this fact. I know what makes my country a strong society. I am what my strength is and what difficulties we as Danes face if we choose to leave our country.
I have to say that this year besides being rewarding also was the perhaps toughest in my life.
When I entered <name> high school, I found a challenge which was larger than anything I had experienced in my life before. I had no means, no tool to socialize. The method of “hygge” over a couple of beers as we do in Denmark once we are confirmed was not in compliance with your local culture. It was also illegal. For the most of the months here in the States I have lived rather isolated, for three or four months I was in reality confined to my room.
It was not wasted time. I would not be pitied due to my choice of being an exchange student. We live in the year of <year> where Internet is an option. I was able to exchange experiences with my former classmates back in Denmark and with my family. I got advice about how to endure this self-imposed isolation.
Once I return I will start the Danish High School a year behind my former classmates because Denmark has so high standards in their education system that they don’t accept school papers from the United States. Regardless of this I don’t consider my time in the United States for wasted. The discipline I learned when I lived isolated will benefit me in the future.
I feel like I have undergone boot camp. I am no longer the child which left Denmark. I am an adult ready to focus on myself in a higher degree than ordinary Danish High Schoolers which tend to focus on the welfare of the entire class rather than the success of the individual. Based on my experiences here I would have no problem with sacrificing a classmate if it benefits me. This is a though which would have been unheard of a year ago.
I want to thank you for all you have learned me during this year. I learned more about how lucky I am to be a Dane living in a democratic country where you as just 16 year old can buy alcohol on your own, than I learned about the values of being a Dane the previous 15 years.
I know that I will have to adjust once I return to Denmark. The exchange organization hosts an evaluation and counseling party for survivors when I arrive home so I am equipped to live a life as a Danish High School student where the Friday bar is the pivot in the social lives among the students. But the experiences during my stay here, tells me that I can face this challenge without problems.
Thank you very much for a significant year, which have left me changed forever.