Exchange student from Sweden experiences the 'American highschool'


"I really wanted to experience the American High School," Linnea Skoldenberg explained. "The sports and the school spirit have been amazing- just as I expected."

Last August, Linnea embarked on a long journey from southern Sweden to Wayne, carrying with her enough clothes to last her the school year. She, now a senior at Wayne High, has lived with the Tiedtke family (parents Dan and Teresa and their children Brodrick, Myles and Bryn) for around seven months.

Long before Linnea began her American adventure, her parents back home took adventures of their own.

"My parents had both studied abroad in school and told me their stories," Linnea said. "Ever since then, I knew I wanted to study abroad and come to the U.S."

Across the ocean in Sweden, Linnea said Swedish schools have a few clubs, but no sports. Instead, they focus on classes at school and take part in hobbies at home. At Wayne High, she has been involved in basketball, cheerleading for the football season and One Act.

These last few months, according to Linnea and Teresa, have been a life changing experience for everyone.

"This has been our first time hosting a student in our home," Teresa said. "I was a bit worried she wouldn't want to eat any American food, but that has not been the case! Linnea fits in so well with our family. It's just like having another child."

Teresa also added the Tiedtke family hopes to visit Linnea and her family in Sweden and have her back in Wayne for more future visits.

In addition to Wayne, Linnea has also visited a family member in Los Angeles and another Swedish exchange student in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

She explained she misses her family and feels excited to see them again in May, but wants to take advantage of every moment here in Wayne. With only two sisters back home, having two new "brothers" has been a fun surprise, she said.

"I've never had brothers before, but Brodrick and Myles are fun. They definitely have different interests than I'm used to," she laughed.

Following Wayne's graduation, Linnea will return home and finish up her final two years of school. After that, she plans to go to college to become a civil engineer.

"We don't have a lot of the things back in Sweden that I have been able to experience here," Linnea explained. "We don't celebrate Thanksgiving and our Christmas is very different, so those were both fun. I also like that I got to choose my classes in school and do art."

If given the opportunity, Linnea said she would love to study abroad again somewhere to have many more adventures.