Students and faculty members from Denmark wrapping up a month-long visit to UND to study entrepreneurship, technology at UND


Amy Halvorson

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Students and faculty members from Denmark wrapping up a month-long visit to UND to study entrepreneurship, technology at UND

The University of North Dakota has been overrun by Danes-- well at least twelve of them.

For nearly a month, UND has been playing the role of host to a Danish dozen -- students and two faculty members, from the Skive Tekniske Skole in Denmark -- providing them with a glimpse into UND's manufacturing, industrial and graphic design technologies, as well as the spirit of American entrepreneurship.

The students flew into Fargo, N.D., Sep. 26 and have been staying at a motel in Grand Forks while attending classes at UND. During the first two weeks of their visit the students immersed themselves in UND Department of Technology courses and during the third week they took entrepreneurship classes. Their experience in North Dakota is being capped off by a tour of the state this week, their fourth and final week in North Dakota.

"I didn't really know what to expect in North Dakota, I just knew we weren't going to the beach," said Peter Nielsen, one of the Danish students.

The Danish students attend a technical college in Denmark and have taken their education to the next level by heading to America, which is known for its entrepreneurship. This trip has been highly anticipated by the students. It's been what their education has been building up to.

"I was very excited, I couldn't sleep for a week at least," said Simon Olesen, another of the students.

UND was approached to host the students as a result of a connection with a Danish student who had studied abroad at UND in the past.

"The teachers who have taught the different classes have done a really good job including (the Danish students). We have been feeling very welcome; I know you're supposed to say that, but really," said Andrew Davidson, a Danish English instructor who accompanied to the students on their trip to the U.S.

The students have been taken under the wing of Matthew Mutzenberger, a UND graduate student in public administration. Mutzenberger has been guiding the students and helping them navigate the UND campus, as well as Grand Forks, and has been lining up activities for them. He will also be serving as their tour guide for their tour of the rest of North Dakota.

The student's tour of North Dakota will allow the students to see the oil fields, the state's geography and wildlife, and learn some of the state's history. They will be making stops in Bismarck, Williston and Rugby, to name just a few places.

During their time here, the students have enjoyed several UND sporting events, in fact, they've hardly missed a game. They were able to experience American football in person for the first time during a UND game at the Alerus Center. The students also got to go ice skating and were able to plan and host an international culture night featuring Denmark at the Loading Dock in the Memorial Union.

As a part of their UND experience, the students have been able to interact with and learn from the different cultures here on campus.

"It's a lot of fun playing soccer in the Wellness Center with Americans and other Europeans," said Nielson.

The students are also given the opportunity to meet with established American entrepreneurs, such as the Matt Winjum, co-owner of Rhombus Guys Pizza; Hoa Rodriguez, owner of Northside Café; and Kathy Neset, president of Neset Consulting Service, Inc., located in the North Dakota oil fields.

Amy Halvorson University & Public Affairs student writer

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