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All alone at Christmas

While others celebrate, Mauro will stay in his room and cook soup and potatoes

For countries in the Western world, Christmas is the most important family holiday. But many international students in Copenhagen are far from home, with no opportunity to go back to celebrate.

Carlos Mauricio Castaño Díaz, in short – Mauro, is one of them. He has never been so far away from his family at this time of year before. And everything about this Christmas is different.

»Usually there are about fifteen to twenty people at my house on Christmas Eve and we sit around the Christmas tree«, Mauro says.

Christmas is a family holiday

Instead, his plan this year involves staying in his room and cooking soup and potatoes.

Mauro’s original plan for the holidays was to travel here in Europe. But since he is trying to save money he decided to stay here in the city.

»I really want to go home but I can’t. So I have to stay here. I am a little worried that I will get depressed over it« he says to the University Post.

Misses family, barbecued sausages

A full degree student in Cognition and Communication at the University of Copenhagen, he moved here from Columbia in August. It is his first time in Denmark.

This is the first time that Mauro is abroad and away from his family Christmas Eve. Back home he is used to spending Christmas with his whole family. Everyone comes together to eat, laugh, give presents and take pictures.

But getting back to Guarne in Columbia is too far and too expensive.

»It is going to be very different for me to be alone this year on his favorite holiday of the year,« he thinks, before adding in a sombre tone. »I already miss my family.«

Mauro’s favorite Christmas meal back home is barbequed meat and sausages. Now all he has is his soup and potatoes.

Never seen snow

Not to get bogged down, Mauro went for his first traditional Danish Christmas meal just recently, the so-called ‘Julefrokost’. He tried new things that he had never tasted before like duck and cranberries.

These are not the only new things that Mauro is experiencing. He has just seen snow for the first time, has made a snowman and has been involved in a snow fight.

»It was amazing. All I could think was Oh my God!, it is so beautiful« Mauro said of the first time he saw snow.

Skype not good enough

He originally planned on spending time with his family through Skype. Then he could talk to them and feel like he is a part of their night.

But now he thinks that it will be all too sad. Perhaps he should meet other international students instead?, he reasons.

Going to stay here in Copenhagen over the holidays, and nowhere to go?

Tell us what you are doing below or by writing to Maybe you could meet up with students in the same situation!

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