Meet a former student

Mateus Poltronieri Pereira from Brazil

Mateus from Brazil, 23 years old and student in Spring 2018

What were you doing before you became a student at Viborg IH?
I was in college, studying physical education.

Why did you choose to join a Folk High School course?
Being an exchange student has always been a dream but I was not really searching for an exchange opportunity. One day a Professor in college said she had the perfect opportunity for me and told me about Viborg IH and how it worked. In Brazil we don’t have anything like a Folk High School, so I didn’t know for real what I was coming to until I got there. But from what I could read and see on the internet I didn’t think twice. It was very different from everything I had ever been a part of, but in a very good way.

Why did you choose exactly Viborg IH?
When my Professor told me about Viborg IH and I took a first look at the website I freaked out instantaneously. I understood what the school was all about and it was exactly what I wanted and even better than I could ever dream of. I love sports, I love nature and I love being around people. Viborg IH was all of these together with the opportunity of learning about a different culture, practicing English and trying to learn a new language. I heard that there was another school in Denmark but it was more about Gymnastics, so I had no doubt Viborg IH was where I should go to. And it was indeed!

What did you hope to achieve during your stay at Viborg IH?
I wanted to learn the most I could every minute. And it’s not only about the technical part of teaching sports (as a physical education student that was the main focus) but it’s also about the culture, the relations, the way things were done and why/how it affects me and the people involved.

I also got invited to play on a kayak polo tournament which was an great opportunity in many ways. And joined a few people on a GIV-fri kayak expedition around Fur island and that was another awesome experience. I was the first international to do so, if I’m not mistaken.

What was the best of going to Viborg IH?

The social life
The food
The Facilitys
The buildings and the placement in the nature
The Teachers
The daily Schedule

This was the most difficult of the questions. It’s impossible to choose one of the alternatives. I loved the people, I LOVED the food, the facilities, the buildings and the beautiful nature around it (I miss going for a run/bike ride/walk in the woods or watching the sun set by the lake SO MUCH), the teachers were all amazing, they were very patient with us, and the schedule was very well thought and balanced.

Can you recommend a stay at Viborg IH to others?
Without a single doubt. I would recommend it to anyone willing to have a life changing experience. I believe if someone is opened to get out of the comfort zone, make friends, smile, learn and try new things Viborg IH’s the place to go.

Have your expectations been met?
Definitely! They were not only met but they were exceeded.

How can you use what you have experienced at Viborg IH now and in the future?
If I had to say only one thing I learned in Viborg it would be about being a better person. The Danish people and their way of living taught me so much. They were helpful and treated me well from the moment I stepped out of the plane. I learned to think more about the common interest than my own (not that I had a problem with that before), I learned to see the best in people, to see their efforts and good intentions and to trust people. I also learned to better face challenges and to pursue my goals and dreams. I learned to do things with my heart. I learned that smiling is an universal language and if you’re ready to respect, accept and open up to people they will probably do the same. Some morning assemblies also taught me to look to the world and think of what you can do to make it a better place.

Moreover, the things I experienced during my time in Viborg have taught me to deal better with the obstacles I face everyday and to appreciate life more.

Can you recommend some specific subjects to others? If so, which ones and why?
Each person have their particularities and I believe Viborg IH subjects could fit different interests but if you’re ready to be challenged, go outside and get dirty like me I would recommend the Adventure subject.

Do you have something special about you stay at Viborg IH that you would like to highlight?
I feel nothing but gratitute about Viborg IH. Life in Viborg IH felt like a dream. I woke up everyday to do the things I love most in life in a beautiful and loving place, surrounded by nice people. The atmosphere at the school was great. The teachers, the staff, the students. I was very far away from everything and everybody I knew and it quickly made me feel like I was home (even thought on the first days I got super lost inside the schools facilities haha). I made friends for life and I have only good memories.

What subjects did you choose, and what do you think about them?
My focus was on the physical stuff, getting my body moving, spending as much time outside as possible. So I chose Kayak Polo, Swimming/Lifeguarding, Communication, Trailrun, Handcraft (because there’s a physical activity limit to respect), Adventure, Swimming, Sea kayak and Picture communication. I loved each and every one of them in it’s particular way, but mostly the sports subjects. So I’m gonna talk a bit about the ones a liked the most. I loved to play kayak polo, but I think sea kayaking is what I would do for the rest of my life. I loved both Johnnie and Henryk Bock’s classes and the way they would approach us students. Trailrun changed a lot in me. Jonas and Martin were awesome and also Henryk Bock in a few classes. I always thought the people running on trails were crazy, but after this class I not only saw it was completely possible (and not that risky) but also fell in love with it and I now practice it back in Brazil. Swimming and lifeguarding were also very cool. I was raised very close to the beach so the water was never a strange, but swimming on a regular basis was very cool and it got me in very good shape. And Henryk Ozol’s classes were another level. Everyday he had crazy cool ideas of different activities. Sometimes we were very tired and lazy because Swimming was the first class in the morning, but once we got to the pool he’d cheer us up from the start. And the Adventure classes were AMAZING. We tried so many different things. I would wait the whole week for the classes, specially if it was the whole friday (just like with seakayaking).

Video portrait of an International student. Larissa Mayara from Brazil.

Statements from former students

Meet Juan Bautista

I come from Argentina. My favourite sport is football. I have been playing it since i have memory knowledge. I chose to spend time on a high school cause its a very popular and common thing to do in Denmark. I chose Denmark for one special reason, i have danish nationality, so i wanted to learn and know more about the country and culture. I came to Viborg IH, because my mother came to this same place when she was around 17 with her sister, so i knew this was a place where i was going to have a nice experience.

I love sports and Viborg IH offers a hole variety of them. The only thing I was hoping it was better was football training, but maybe that feeling relies on the fact that i’m always expecting a high level on training and match development. If I had to choose only one thing to say it was the best, it would be the relations and friends that I’m taking with me after this experience finishes. But also I have to say that alle the facilities we have are incredible and are in great conditions. Viborg IH has been very kind and care a lot for us, international students.

Meet Sofia Echeverria

My name is Sofia. I come from Uruguay. Before coming to Viborg IH i went to the university. I love all balls sports, so i do not have a favourite sport. I stopped my studies in july and after that i decided to came to Viborg IH and have a good time and do a lot of sports and decide about my future.

My choice about Viborg IH, had nothing to do with Denmark. I chose Denmark because it was there Viborg IH was. I have chosen Viborg IH because it was highly recommended for an ex-student from here. My stay lived completely up to my expectations.

The best thing about my stay at Viborg IH is the friends that i made. I would recommend this school to others.

Meet Nicholas Mburu

My name is Nicholas and i come from Kenya. Before i came to Viborg IH, I was in another high school for 16-19 years old. I love all sports but athletics edges over the other. I chose to spend time in a high school because it allows you to find your true interests, maximise your social and physical potential. One of my very good friends came to Denmark before me. She is the one who told me how amazing high school was. So i decided to try it out for myself. After i went to the past high school, i needed somewhere i could do a lot of sport but also have fun and be social. My stay here fullfilled more than my expectations, i met new lifetime friends and also did a great amount of sports.

My highlight from Viborg IH was the people. As being the youngest in the school, everyone treated me like the others and i was not left out of anything. I would indeed recommed high schools especially if you need sometime just to get out of everything and have fun while learning something. Viborg IH is just fantastic and it would be my first recommendation to others. It was some of the best months of my live!