High School - Sweden, High School Abroad

I Know Why Swedes Settled in Minnesota, and other Observations from Sweden

by Jillian Stallman, CCI High School Abroad Participant in Sweden

I’m in Sweden for five months for my high school abroad program, learning the language and confusing and being confused by the Olssons (my adorable and very nice, helpful, awesome host family) while exploring the marvel that is Sverige (sound it out like SVAR-ee-yah). Socialist, successful, and super trendy: how do they do it?

I really like Sweden. I can also see why a bunch of Swedes decided to settle in northern Minnesota. Why might I notice this at first glance, you may ask? Well.. Uhmm.. There are conifers all over the place, it’s pretty flat, it’s a little chilly, it snows (well, Sweden doesn’t snow, but the clouds around here do), and, oh yeah.. By the way, it’s gorgeous. In that season-changing hardy living outdoorsy kind of way, which I certainly appreciate. I think learning Swedish is going to be entertaining (as long as I can refrain from lapsing back into engelska!)

A little bit on the trip out here, just so I don’t forget. I spent one leg (from Newark to Frankfurt) of the trip sitting next to this cute French lady, who shared her Swedish bread with me while talking about cats and Miami and France and music in spurts of broken English, punctuated with gestures and grimaces. Language barriers are so intimidating sometimes, but her efforts were valiant (and a lot more worth congratulations than my nonexistent attempt at French). Then from Frankfurt to Stockholm, I chatted with this charming elderly Swedish man who actually told me about, surprise surprise, Sweden! I know that who one meets on a plane is just luck of the draw, but it does pay to be lucky, and it just goes to show that it’s possible to find courteous, friendly people of all types, as long as you’re following the Golden Rule. Yep. I got a cheesy moral in there. I am on a ROLL.

Also, in Sweden it’s possible to be prosecuted if you, get this, forget to lock up the guns, have your house broken into, and have a crime committed with your stolen guns. Can that happen in the U.S.? …

P.S. It is possible to learn random Swedish words on the first day of being in a country.
Unicorn – enhörning
Slingshot – slangbella (isn’t that just cool?)

Read more fantastic words and about life in Sweden on Jillian’s blog…


About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.


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