Sandra Wallström, a Swedish exchange student at Bonneville High School, is working on completing her junior year with many cultural differences and new experiences.
One thing that Wallström enjoys is soccer. She played soccer for the junior varsity team, and in the same year, she advanced to varsity. Another thing that Wallström enjoys is her Food and Nutrition class, where she gets to learn about the importance of certain foods in the diet and how they can affect her. This class is where Wallström is able to talk to her classmates, which is something she enjoys greatly.
Wallström’s favorite part of BHS is the school spirit, the variety of sports, and the reality that something is always going on. Wallström added that if she could choose to travel anywhere in the world, she would travel to the Maldives, a small island in Asia with several houses on the water. Wallström described it as her ideal vacation.
Wallström mentioned several variables she enjoys about Idaho such as the cultural differences and similar weather to Sweden. One of the biggest cultural differences that Wallström noticed is how everyone is always nice to each other in Idaho. Another cultural difference is the lack of transportation; Sweden is booming with different methods of transportation, and Idaho has shockingly fewer ways other than personal transportation.
Wallström mentioned that her favorite food from Sweden is meatballs. Swedish meatballs are based on a traditional recipe from Turkey brought to Sweden by King Charles XII. Wallström mentioned that her family does not have any special traditions; they celebrate the main holidays in Sweden such as Christmas, Easter, and MidSummer, which is a Swedish holiday not celebrated in the US. MidSummer takes place in June, and it is a celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. For this event, there is a pole, known as Maja or Maypole, decorated with greenery and flowers for people to dance around. The Maja flower represents feminine energy for the people of Sweden. As well as dancing around the Maja, Swedes often gather together to have traditional food and drinks such as smoked salmon, strawberry cake, Swedish meatballs, and grilled meats.
Wallström mentioned that the easiest part about coming to Idaho for her was knowing English before she came here; the hardest part about coming to Idaho for Wallström was the cultural differences and the 8-hour time zone difference between Idaho and Sweden. Overall, Wallström has enjoyed her time in Idaho and all of the opportunities that she now has at Bonneville.
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