My exchange year at Riverside


Hanna Andersson

Hanna Andersson, Staff Reporter

It is a strange thing to move to a different country for a year. However, I believe it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My exchange year here at Auburn Riverside High School has been so much fun, and I’m so grateful for everybody that made this such a great year.


Looking back at my first day here, I can say that I was really nervous. I didn’t know anybody yet, and I was still getting used to speaking English all the time. But everybody was so friendly, and even if I had to ask three strangers before I could figure out how to open my locker, I felt like I was starting to feel more and more at home in this school.


Of course there were times when I missed home. There is a lot of differences between Sweden and America when it comes to many things, and I believe I went through a little bit of what they call a “culture shock.” I’m not saying that one country is better than the other as there are pros and cons with both. That is one big thing that I’ve learned from living in a different country than my own – it doesn’t really matter where you are in the world, because your attitude will always be the deciding factor of if you’re going to be happy or not in that place.


Experiencing high school in America has been very exciting. Things such as school sports, pep assemblies, homecoming, and spirit weeks might seem like a given to an American student, while they were completely new things to me. All of these things brought so much joy to this year, and also gave me an opportunity to make new friends.


As this year is coming to an end, and the fact that I need to leave in less than two weeks is starting to sink in, my feelings are very mixed. A lot happens in a year, and the thought of leaving the amazing people that I’ve been so lucky to get to know makes me so sad. At the same time I’m dying to see my friends and family back in my home country again, and I’m excited to finish my last year of Swedish high school next year. I will always be so grateful for the kindness, the laughter and the support that I have been given this year. Thank you Auburn Riverside High School!