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Skandinaviska Institutet

Victoria, Minnesota

What were your reasons for applying as an High School Student?
My main reason for applying as an exchange student was to challenge myself. I wanted to try something new and experience something that was different from what I already knew. There’s so much to being an exchange student, I wanted to meet new people, learn how things are in my host country – the culture. I knew that I would get an experience and I wanted to learn from that and develop myself as a person. Also it’s an amazing opportunity to develop my english.

Tell us about your host family, siblings or no siblings, relatives to the family:
I have an amazing host family, we work so well together and I honestly don’t think I could’ve had it better. I have a host brother and host sister living with me at home, they are 14 and 16. I also have a host sister who’s moved to college, she’s home often so I basically have three host siblings living with me. Also I have a host dad and a host mum. they’re all super great!

Describe the area you live in:
I live in a small town, about 14 000 people in the town, which is pretty small in comparison to my hometown in Sweden. There’s about 1500 students at my High school.

What does a typical day look like, how do you get to school and home after school?
A typical day for me is waking up early in the morning. My host sister drives me and my host brother to our school. school starts at 8.19 and ends at 3.05. after school ends I have Ice hockey practice which both me and my host sisters play. The practice is usually 1 and a half hour. After that I either go home with her or I hang out with some friends.

Did you get help to choose subjects in school. Which subjects did you have to take. Which other subjects have you chosen. Are you happy with your choices?
In my High school we have 4 terms, in every term we have 4 classes. The required classes I have is U.S history 1 and 2, Social studies – U.S government and two english classes which I could choose myself. Other subjects I choose was mostly classes I normally can’t choose in Sweden such as photoshop, curling, video class, ceramics, art, physical education, film studies and American sign language. I’m very happy with all the choices I made.

Tell us about any activities you participating in or are planning to join? Give examples of what is offered.
I play ice hockey on the girls high school ice hockey team and we have practice everyday after school. I really enjoy it, joining an activity or sport is a great way to find friends. When hockey season ends i’m going to play softball in our softball team which is very exciting. I wanted to try a new sport. Also outside of school I dance at my host moms dance studio. Other activities at my school is volleyball, basketball, track, wrestling, trap and football, soccer and a few more. there’s also a lot of clubs that the school offer such as art club, video club, robotics and the list goes on and on.

Tell us about any traveling you have done or are planning to do:
I’ve done quite a lot of traveling during my months in the U.S. I went to Hawaii with American Adventures and got to meet a whole bunch of exchange students. It was an amazing trip that I’ll never forget. Also I went to Florida with area representative and a group of other exchange students in my area. I’ve done some traveling with friends too, most of them within the state I live in but also a couple to Wisconsin. Also I’m currently planning to go to Montana for skiing with a friend.

What have you gained during the year?
I’ve learned and gained a lot through different experiences in the U.S. Me as a individual forms what happens in my life and I’m the one who makes sure that my year in the U.S is full of different experiences. As long as I set my mind to it and is brave enough to try new things I’m widening my comfort zone and also i’m gaining more confidence.

What has been the best experience so far?
My best experience during my year so far is the Hawaii trip I did with American Adventures. I got to meet so many new people who all shared their own experiences as an exchange student in America. I have now great friends from all over the world that I know for sure that I will stay in contact with.

How have you been spending you pocket Money?
I’ve been spending my pocket money on a lot of travelling. Also a good amount on school activities and school atire. And of course on a lot off food. You’d be surprised on how much food of all kinds you’ll stumble across!

What has been most challenging so far? 
What has been the most challenging so far is to be brave enough to reach out to so much new people. And to be able to open up to both family and friends.

Write anything you can think of that you feel could be of help to students coming after you?
Just be yourself and believe in yourself that you can do anything but only if you set your mind to it. Be prepared that you might end up in situations that’s out of your comfort zone, but it’s okay, that’s how you develop yourself. Try as much new things as you can, you’d be surprised how fun it can be and how much you gain of it – such as new friends. Be brave enough to reach out to new people. who knows, it might be your new bestfriend.

Write a short message to exchange students thinking about joining Skandinaviska Institutet / ASSE:s High School program:
Hello possible future exchange student. I think and believe that by joining Skandinaviska Institutet/ASSE:s High School program you’ll get all the help you could need. It’s a great program that will support and guide you through your whole exchange year and is going to try to make it as successful and as fun as it possibly can be.