Every year at Lincoln Lutheran students get a chance to learn about another culture from three Norwegian exchange students. Three seniors come every year to learn more about America by living here and going to school at Lincoln Lutheran. To these new seniors, they are in a whole new world, [insert aladdin song], that is filled with new opportunities. The memories that each of them have in the short year they’re here will stick with them long after they have returned to the frigid temperatures of their northern homes. I have the honor of knowing these three individuals and I got to sit down with them and ask them a little bit about what they have been up to since their arrival and what they think of America.
There are a lot of different reasons to come to America, especially for these three lucky students. Nils Eikeland says, “I wanted to try something new and I felt like America was a great opportunity for me to experience new culture and people.” He also adds that the food was a big factor in his reasoning. Simon Bräthen also says that he “wanted to experience a new culture and school.” America is a huge change for each of them but they all enjoy new opportunities. “I was tired of Norway,” Marita Vigmostad said and America seemed like a good place to go and see.
There is a plethora of activities and sights to experience in the America and the three Norwegians want to do as much as possible before their flight back to Norway in May. Nils says that he “would like to go see Mount Rushmore because [he] saw it in a movie.” Marita’s wishes are a little more simplistic as she wants to “help in a soup kitchen and visit the Omaha Zoo.” Each of them agree that they want to do as much as they possibly can before they go. The new opportunities are almost endless and the trio wants to create as many memories as they can in the few months that they are here.
Since Norway and America are two very different countries, things can come to a surprise or seem shocking to a exchange student. One of the most surprising things in America for Simon is “the amount of homework in school.” He plans to tell his friends “not to complain about homework” because they don’t know how much kids in America have. Nils is surprised by how polite everyone is, “Service like this hasn’t reached Noway yet…” he stated. There are so many differences between Norway and America that it took a little getting used to but the three agree that they will miss being here a lot.
Each day spent in America is an opportunity for new experiences for these three students. All three of them make a lasting impact on the school whether they know it or not. So far, each of them is satisfied with their time spent and look forward to making more memories. The three state that they have learned so much all ready, “especially about Christianity” says Simon. They look forward to telling their friends everything about it here but mostly look forward to going home and seeing their families again. They will miss America but they say they will come back to visit as much as possible.