Sweden Comes to America

BriLee Peck

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17 year old Matilda Lundquist from Stockholm, Sweden, is here in Gregory, SD, as a foreign exchange student. Her host parents are Jeff and Amanda Determan; Rolf and Katarina Lundquist are her real parents from Sweden. She also has one younger 14 year old sister, Frida.

Her birthday is on November 23, so she celebrated her 17th birthday here in America. In Sweden her name is spelt the same, but it’s pronounced differently. She speaks Sweden, English, and a little bit of Spanish. When she was in first grade, she first started to learn English. In Sweden, she participates in soccer, and she has also tried about every other sport that is available there. Her favorite sport is soccer, and she has been playing for 12 years. One of her dreams was to play volleyball in America, and when she had the opportunity to, she had a blast. Eating dinner or celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas together are small and ordinary things that she would like to do with her host family.

Foreign exchange students don’t get to choose where they get to live in America, but she’s really happy with ending up in South Dakota. If she could go back in time, she would still have chosen to be an exchange student because this has turned out to be the best decision of her life. Her mom influenced her to be a foreign exchange student by telling her stories about being one herself when she was Matilda’s age. The thought of coming to America has also always been in the back of her head. As a foreign exchange student, she has learned many things such as how to be independent and how to manage her own money.

In 2012, her family took a vacation to Florida and that was her first experience in America. Her family has traveled all over Europe and some places in Asia. The most interesting thing that she has seen in America so far is Mount Rushmore. Her favorite part about America is the school spirit and how everyone is so involved in school. In Sweden, they don’t have any school spirit because the sports are not connected to the school. Also in Sweden, there are 1,700 students in her school, so in America it’s much smaller. Her favorite subjects in school are English and math.

If she could bring one person to America with her, it would be her best friend. The things that she misses most about where she comes from are the busses and trains because she can’t drive here in America. In her free time she has been working out, watching many television show, and going to the movies. In Sweden she hangs out with friends, watches more television shows, and goes to soccer practice.

The city of Stockholm, her hometown, is 700 years old and the local church was built 1,000 years ago. The word “lagom” in Swedish doesn’t exist in any other language; it means “just about” or “not too much or not too little”. In Sweden they have a king instead of a president, and they also have a prime minister since the king doesn’t have any power over the country. Those are a few things that she thinks would surprise Americans.

“In ten years, I think I’m going to be living in Stockholm and working with economics. Also hopefully I’ll have a husband and kids by then too.” said Matilda. She will be returning to Sweden after she completes this year’s golf season at the beginning of June.

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