I’ve been involved with the University of Oregon chapter of Spoon University since January, and as the only non-American writer in that group, I thought I’d share a little bit about my experience.


I was born in Denmark to Danish parents but have spent most of my childhood living abroad in the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom before moving back to Denmark at age fifteen. (Quick note to save you a Google search: Denmark is that tiny country north of Germany you only ever heard about because your English teacher made you read Hamlet in high school.)

I had kind of a rough start with the English language, in that I didn’t speak a word of it the entire first year I attended public school in California (thanks, Mom and Dad!). I think that out of a mixture of confusion and frustration, my little Danish-and-Dutch-speaking mind decided that the solution was to not only learn it— I should try to be great at it.

Photo by Marissa Arnett

Once I actually learned to speak English, which was pretty cool and useful for my social life, I just kept wanting to be better. In a poetic unfolding of events, sixteen years later, I’m now hoping to make a career out of it. To do that, I figure that the best way to master that skill is to put pen to paper (hands to keyboard…?) and practice.

I decided to join Spoon University because one of my friends was on the executive board of the Oregon chapter, and she recommended I get involved. It seemed like a great way to practice my writing and get some of my work published, and it has worked out wonderfully.

Photo by Jeffery Ho

What I love about writing for Spoon is the creativity they not only allow, but encourage you to express, and the funny, sarcastic voice all the articles have in common. I recommend it for anyone who wants to work on their writing skills and learn a bit about what journalism and online publishing entails, from a source that is student-run and flexible to students’ busy schedules.

On top of that, the group of students that make up Spoon University at the U of O are some of the most hardworking and dedicated people I’ve met in college, and I imagine the same is true at other schools. Whether they’re doing marketing, updating our social media, or creating our article content, everyone on the team is determined to put in their best work to show what Spoon has to offer.

Photo by Phillip Quinn

Another thing I’ve found to be great about writing for Spoon is how cool it is to actually get feedback on your work, especially when it shows you that people relate to the things you’ve written. As a writer, one of my favorite things about having an article published is seeing that people found it funny or relatable, or that it taught them something new and interesting.

As an international student, it’s been really great to be a part of Spoon Oregon because I have so many unique food experiences to draw from. For example, because of Spoon, I have a place to pitch an article detailing 9 reasons why black licorice, a delicacy in Denmark and one of my favorite foods, actually isn’t disgusting, as almost every single American would have you believe. (Although, sadly, I’m quite certain that article would never get published. I’ll have to bring that idea back with me to Europe, they’ll get it.)

Photo courtesy of spoon_uoregon via Instagram

So, although I always resented having to move around so much as a kid, it’s definitely paying off now, in all aspects of my life, including as a writer for Spoon. Thanks, Mom and Dad! (That one’s not sarcastic.) I encourage any international student with an interest in writing, or even just in sharing their love of the food their home country has to offer, to join their local chapter of Spoon University, and offer their unique viewpoint through articles and recipes.

Even though we may be from another country and there are many things that set us apart from the readers of this American food publication, I find that despite my different background, I’m writing to a young audience that, in many ways, is just like me: on a budget, on the Internet, and probably hungry right now.