“Hello!” From Sweden

Karessa Elsberry

    Egypt,Thailand,Malta,Vietnam,France,Cyprus, and theUKare just SOME of the places our new foreign exchange student, Paula, has visited, and this year she chose to come to theU.S.

     Paula was born inEskilstunaSweden, along with her two younger brothers. She described in fervor whatSweden, or rather,Eskilstuna, is like in comparison toGregory,South Dakota. It is much larger. She says she misses being able to take a bus to any place she wants to go, such as her nearby dance studio or perhaps a café or restaurant. Though, she was willing to give that up to come to a small town like Gregory, in exchange for learning the different culture and bettering her English. 

      Her school back home is a bit different than here; the extra activities/sports are in no way connected to her school. It is just strictly education based. She mentioned as an example that there are two parts to a math test. The first part you couldn’t use a calculator, and the second part you could. You have one class period of 45-60 minutes to get it done. Once that time is up you can’t come back to finish the rest.  It is much easier here in Gregory she says.

     For Paula there are two major “holidays” she and everyone in Sweden, for that matter, celebrate.  June 25th is National Day, and they dress up like their ancestors and dance around a sort of pole with loops at the top decorated in flowers and vines. Another holiday is at the end of April; it’s called Majbrasa. On this day they make a big fire and say good bye to winter and hello to summer.

     Paula is staying with Mr. Murray and his family; she says, “They are very welcoming and nice; the kids are also sweet and affectionate. Like my own family.”