Foreign Exchange and Back

Madison Vath

Going to a new country can be frightening for some people, especially going for a whole year. Living with a different family, eating different foods and experiencing a whole new culture is a bit intimidating.
Senior Bridget Stevenson went to Malmö, Sweden for a year and enjoyed herself immensely. She took a trip to the Arctic Circle and was able to see and pet reindeer. She said “I think it was just a great experience meeting so many new people from different cultures: it really expanded my point of view on the world.”
The place she lived with her host family was in a more expensive place. “Where I lived everyone wore Gucci and super nice clothes and were a lot more reserved than the Americans,” she said. Leaving Sweden was hard for her because of all the new friends she had made that she may never see again. It took her some time to readjust to being back in the States but, all in all, she’s glad to be back with her family and friends again.
Senior Owen Heimsoth traveled to Denmark for eleven months. During that time he also visited nine other countries in Europe, including Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and a few others, some multiple times. The main highlight of his trip was “having a whole new life in another country and all the people I met,” Heimsoth said. For him, it wasn’t too difficult to adjust to life in Denmark other than the language, and like Malmö, Sweden, people are a lot more reserved than here in the States. Heimsoth said, “The people are more ‘cold’ towards newcomers like myself, but once you gain their trust you get super close, which meant I made a lot of good friends.”
Coming back, Heimsoth made remarks about the general size of everything compared to Denmark. “The first thing I noticed straight out of the airport was how big our cars and pretty much everything else is,” he said.
Finally, senior Jack Bullock went to Hildesheim, Germany for eleven months. He noticed how the people there weren’t exactly “social.” He said “Generally speaking, people in Germany aren’t very social with strangers like in the U.S. If you walk past a stranger and say ‘hi’ you’ll definitely get a weird look.” The best part about the experience for him was the Eurotour, where he spent time traveling around to other European countries. He credits his friends for helping him fall back into place coming back home. “Honestly it didn’t take me very long to fall back into place here. I think it had a lot to do with my awesome group of friends,” he said.