Skandinaviska Institutet

Louise, Pennsylvania

What were your reasons for applying as an High School Student?
I have always wanted to know what it was like to live and go to high school in America and I also wanted to get out in the world and try something different.

Tell us about your host family, siblings or no siblings, relatives to the family:
I live with a mom, dad and a younger sister, the two older brothers are in collage so they don’t live at home.

Describe the area you live in:
I live in the suburbs around 40 minutes from the city, it’s a rural area but also close to the city which is nice.

What does a typical day look like, how do you get to school and home after school?
I ride the school bus to school together with my host sister in the morning and my 1st period starts at 7:29am, every class is 41 minutes and I end the school day after 8th period at 2:25pm. My host mom packs my lunch for me and I eat it in the cafeteria. In the beginning of the year I sometimes had after school activities and stayed after school but now I ride the bus home when school is over, when I get home I spend time with my sister and somedays we have soccer practice in the evening, sometimes my host parents cook dinner and sometimes we eat out.

Did you get help to choose subjects in school? Which subjects did you have to take? Which other subjects have you chosen? Are you happy with your choices?
My guidence councelor helped me choose my subjects, I had to take US History and English, other than that I’m taking Forensic Science where we investigate crime scenes and learn about blood patterns, glass etc., Art Extentions which is creating and editing pictures mostly using Photoshop, Ceramics, Precalculus and French. I am very happy with my subjects because I got to try a lot of new fun stuff and I also don’t have any heavy subjects that need a lot of studying.

Tell us about any activities you participating in or are planning to join? Give examples of what is offered:
There are teams and clubs for almost everything, drama, diving, skiing, lacrosse, volleyball, football and so on. I joined soccer which was a fall sport, we had practices six days a week and got to go to a lot of different schools to play games. Since the soccer season ended we have had non-mandatory indoor practices that I’m participating in.

Tell us about any travelling you have done or are planning to do:
I went on the ASSE trip to Hawaii and had the best week of my life, I got so many new friends from all around the world and just had an amazing time! I just got back from a road trip with my friend and her host family during spring break which was a lot of fun because I got to see the south which was very different from Pennsylvania.

What have you gained during the year?
Besides improving my English I have a much better understanding of not only the American culture but also the Swedish. I’ve also learnt to take more chances and to do what makes me happy.

What has been the best experience so far?
I have really enjoyed being on the school soccer team and just getting a chance to really try the life of an American high school student.

How have you been spending you pocket money?
Mostly on things with friends, eating out, watching movies etc.

What has been most challenging so far?
How much you need to rely on others when it comes to going places took me a little bit by surprise when I got here, if I want to go somewhere there’s really no bus to take, I have to get a ride everywhere.

Write anything you can think of that you feel could be of help to students coming after you!
Be open minded and don’t be afraid to try new things, don’t expect that everything is going to be like you think it will. I would highly recommend joining some kind of sports team or club because it’s an important part of the High School life and it’ll help you get involved quick and meet people. Also I have really enjoyed taking classes that I would not have thought about taking back home, have fun with your choices and try new stuff and you might end up really liking something you never thought you would try! Last but not least, it’s your year, have fun with it!

Write a short message to exchange students thinking about joining Skandinaviska Institutet / ASSE:s High School program:
Do it! Being an exchange student has been the best thing I’ve ever done and it is an amazing experience! Scandinaviska Institutet and ASSE have been very helpful since the beginning and I feel like I made a good choice by going with them.