Moving from Sweden to Minnesota

Foreign exchange student shares her experience

Sara Tifft

This school year, junior Amanda Flote flew all the way from her hometown in Bastad, Sweden, to come to school here at Park.

“It’s through a program called Youth for Understanding. I didn’t pick St. Louis Park specifically, I chose the U.S,” Flote said. “I wanted to do something different and see a new place, a new culture. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone back in Sweden and to something that would make me realize what I want to do in life.”

Flote said she is here the whole school year and is staying with a single woman who lives in St. Louis Park, but she said this year won’t count for any of her schooling back in Sweden.

“I’m not registered at school in Sweden, but I’ll go back to the same school when I go home and I’ll be in my junior year,” Flote said. “I’m sure I’ll regret being a year behind later, but I won’t regret the experience.”

Flote said the first difference she noticed between her school in Sweden and Park was the diversity of students.

“All the kids in my school in Sweden are Christian, white or Muslim,” Flote said. “Another difference that was big for me was moving from a small town to a city.”

Speaking with Flote, one may notice the ease with which she speaks English. She said she learned the language early on in school.

“I started studying English when I was nine, everyone does that in Sweden,” Flote said. “A lot of TV shows and movies in Sweden are in English and it also just comes naturally to me. Back in Sweden I would listen to English in my everyday life.”

Flote said her experience here in the U.S. is exciting and has taught her to appreciate life and the people that surround her.

“This year is the scariest but best thing I’ve done so far,” Flote said.

 

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