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Danish girl has played basketball in the U.S.

By Staff | Nov 4, 2013

Katrine Robertsen can’t hardly wait for the basketball season to start at Blue Earth Area High School.

The 16-year-old exchange student from Denmark wants to try and play on the Buccaneer team.

“I have been playing basketball since I was seven or eight years old,” she says. “I really like to play.”

Robertsen is staying with Bruce and Becky Anderson this year, on their farm east of Blue Earth.

Bruce Anderson has played a little one-on-one basketball with the diminutive Dane.

“She really isn’t too bad, for being so short,” the much taller Anderson jokes. “She dribbles well and is pretty fast.”

When Robertsen gets a chance to play a little round ball in the BEA High School gym, it will not be the first time she has played on an American basketball court.

“My basketball team (in Denmark) went on a two-week tour of the West Coast last summer,” she says. “We played in high schools in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.”

It was while she was on that tour that she got the idea she wanted to be an exchange student and spend a year in the U.S.

“I did the research about how to be an exchange student on the Internet,” she says. “Without telling my parents.”

By the time she did tell them it was getting a bit late and she had to quickly fill out the paper work and do the interview process.

She ended up arriving in Blue Earth just two days before school was going to start.

“I really, really like the school here,” she says. “It is so different than my school in Denmark.”

One difference is that here students move from room to room. In Denmark, the teachers move around and the students stay put.

At her Danish school, which is called gymnasium instead of high school, she must take her own food for lunch. Here, she can buy items she says.

“Homework is kind of the same amount,” she says. “It’s just graded differently. Here everything is graded. In Denmark we only get a grade on just some of the things we do.”

Other differences between the U.S. and Denmark that she has noticed is the transportation.

“Here, everyone has a car and drives everywhere,” she says. “In Denmark we go everywhere by bus and train.”

She lives just five minutes from her school and walks every day.

Robertsen is from the city of Ballerup, north and west of Copenhagen. It is about the size of Mankato, she says.

Her father, Per, is a computer expert and works in IT. Her mother, Helle, is an interior designer. She also has a younger brother, Simon, age 13.

“People from Denmark are sometimes called the Happy Danes,” she says. “I think that is because someone once said Denmark was the happiest place on Earth.”

Robertsen is not so sure about that. She is pretty happy to be in Blue Earth.

So far she has been to Mankato shopping and to Fairmont to go boating on lakes.

“We are going to Florida in March,” she says with a smile.

While there is snow and cold in Denmark it is not to the same degree as in Minnesota.

“I don’t know what she will do when winter hits,” Bruce Anderson says. “She already is cold all the time. She will need a trip to Florida.”

This is the second time the Andersons have hosted an exchange student. The first time, a couple of years ago, they had not planned on doing so, but ended up taking in a student who needed a new home to stay in.

“It was a pretty good experience,” Becky Anderson says. “So, we decided to do it again.”

Besides basketball, Robertsen has two other main interests that might get her through the winter months in Blue Earth.

“I have played piano since I was seven or eight too,” she says. “I like to play.”

And, her favorite activity is to watch movies.

“My favorite movies are the Hunger Games movies,” she says. “But I love to watch all kinds of movies.”

So when she isn’t busy playing basketball, she can always watch a movie on a snowy Minnesota night.