They were at The Danish Summer School together – now they’re getting married.

The Danish Summer School offers Danish language and culture and, not least, communities. For Rebecca and Philip, it turned into even more, and the special camaraderie with other former students still occupies a big part of their lives.

Sommerskole førte til kærlighed for Rebecca og Philip

It’s a little bit the fault of Game of Thrones. And maybe Facebook’s too. But first and foremost, it’s the fault of The Danish Summer School that Rebecca Wandel and Philip Trampe are getting married.

They met at The Danish Summer School in 2008 and were among the oldest students. It was Philip’s first and only year at the school, while Rebecca had spent those three weeks in Denmark as a fixed part of her summer program since she was 9 years old.

Online community

It wasn’t that they were close friends back then. They were just both part of the community that naturally formed – and which continued online via a Facebook group for former students. Rebecca was one of the coordinators in the group.

“We were four girls from the group who had moved to Denmark, and those of us living in Copenhagen started to host a Christmas lunch for former students. People joined, either when they were in Denmark on vacation, or if they moved to Denmark,” says Rebecca, who herself lived her entire childhood and early youth abroad and came to Denmark at the age of 18.

Felt alien in Denmark

Philip arrived in Denmark a couple of years after Rebecca. “It was a special experience coming to Denmark. I was surprised by how alien I felt, so it was wonderful to be connected to a group of other young people who also felt both Danish and international,” he says.

About Philip and Rebecca

Name: Philip Trampe

Age/city: 32 years old and from Copenhagen

Job: Global Head of Client Communications and Content at SAXO Bank.

Name: Rebecca Wandel

Age/city: 31 years old and from Copenhagen

Education: Master’s degree in psychology

Job: She works in child and adolescent psychiatry

Volunteer engagement: Volunteer in the Competence Unit for Expatriates at the Center for Family Development. Here, she helps children and young people who have grown up in multiple cultures (the so-called Third Culture Kids, which Rebecca and Philip also identify as).

“I had a bit of a lead in the group, even before I moved to Denmark. Besides the Christmas lunch, they also arranged other opportunities for us who were in Denmark on vacation to meet,” says Philip, who as a child and young person lived in both the USA and China. The group quickly became important to him.

“We quickly found into that very special thing that also connects us to the others in the group: having that international mentality and understanding each other in a special way,” says Rebecca.

“It was a group of people who understood my life in a way that others didn’t know and understand. When I then moved to Denmark, that community made it much easier for me to settle in,” he says.

Understand each other

It was neither the Christmas lunch nor a cinema trip that brought Rebecca and Philip together again. Instead, it was at the premiere of Game of Thrones where they reconnected.

“We didn’t become a couple right away,” Philip reveals, “but we quickly found into that very special thing that also connects us to the others in the group: having that international mentality and understanding each other in a special way.”

Rebecca Wandel and Philip Trampe at a wedding in Mexico, where another couple from the Summer School got married in November 2022.

Other summer school couples

A few coffee dates later, they became a couple, and the rest is history, as they say. Today, they live together in Copenhagen, and while traveling in Mexico after attending a wedding, Philip proposed. “It was, by the way, also former summer school students (editors note: getting married),” Rebecca shares and continues:

“There have emerged four couples out of that ‘gang’ of former students, whom we still see and who continue to be an important part of our lives.”

Life witnesses

In other words, the summer school became much more than just fun experiences during childhood summer vacations for both Rebecca, Philip, and the others in the ‘gang’. As Rebecca puts it:

“When you travel around the world with your family, you don’t really have childhood friends. Instead, I and we have got important life witnesses, with whom we can share our special kind of upbringing.”

Rebecca and Philip are getting married next summer. And the ‘gang’ will, of course, be there.

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