Goodbye Sweden, Hallå Kansas

Senior Sven Stroemsten is an exchange student from Stockholm, Sweden.
Senior Sven Stroemsten is an exchange student from Stockholm, Sweden.
Logan Kraft

 

Life is different from country to country, especially when coming from a bigger city built around water with 975,551 people, 14 islands and more boats than people, to Kansas, which is stereotyped to be seen as nothing other than farmland.

The Scandinavian country of Sweden, which senior Sven Stroemsten is from, has many differences compared to the US, including school activities, food, transportation, etc. 

There is a large difference between school activities and Stroemsten has found himself involved in many here at West.

“I’ve tried cross country, swimming, and now I’m doing tennis and I love them,” Stroemsten said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Outside of school activities, Stroemsten also likes to thrift and play competitive spikeball.

“I feel like I met a lot of people I wouldn’t know if I wouldn’t have done those activities,” Stroemsten said.

Another challenge in being an exchange student is having to leave behind your family and be put into another one full of strangers.

Stroemsten could have paid more to go to a coastal or southern state, but he decided to pick where to go based on his compatibility with a host family.

“I wanted to be connected with a family based on interest and personality,” Stroemsten said. “So that’s how I got Kansas. ”

Even though host families are sometimes difficult to integrate into, Stroemsten feels welcome in his host home which also includes Theo Borge, another foreign exchange student.

“My host parents, they’ve been very welcoming and really treated me as their real son since the first week which has made it a lot easier to learn,” Stroemsten said.

The atmosphere that Stroemsten’s host family has created has allowed him to have an easier exchange.

“It’s very nice and they really encourage [Theo and I] and they’ve told us multiple times that it’s their goal to make our exchange year successful,” Stroemsten said. “Which I think is very nice. It’s really made it easier to leave my family and come here.”

 

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About the Contributor
Logan Kraft, Writer
Logan Kraft is a senior who has been on staff as a writer/photographer for two years. Aside from newspaper, she is the Kay Club President as well as a member of Quill & Scroll Honor Society. In her free time, she enjoys painting, jamming out to music while driving around and spending time with her friends and family. She hopes to improve her design, art, and photography skills for this year's online and print papers, as well as looking forward to getting to know the newspaper staff better!

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