Quick Links

Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Main Navigation


Front Page > breadcrumbs: Jr-Sr High >


Ajax Loading Image


The Exchange Student Experience

By Nils Røstad


 The change about coming from a fairly big city in Norway to a small town in Nebraska, USA is big. My hometown is on the coast of Norway, where I live with both my immediate family and close to my extended family. Not even a year ago I told my parents that I was never going to move outside that town. That was where I had decided to spend all my life. Now I live here in a whole different country, in a small town for a year. 

Being an exchange student means that you move abroad to study in another country for a period of time. My friend Georg Sørensen, who is also a Norwegian exchange student in Canada, says this about the life of an exchange student. “Being an exchange student is fun. It is a fun experience. What I miss most about Norway is my family and dog. I also miss Julebrus which is Norwegian soda with a Christmas flavor. I also miss Norwegian food.” 

With being away from home, there are both some benefits and negative sides. Sometimes you want to experience something completely different than what you are used to. That is why I decided to do my exchange year. To study abroad, and to have lived in an English speaking country is very attractive for future employers back in my country. To speak good English, and to have an understanding of how it is to live in an English speaking country is important for the future.

What I miss about home is some of the same things that Sørensen told me earlier. I obviously miss my family, and in my case cat instead of dog. I also miss Norwegian food, especially now that it soon is Christmas time. 

The thing I have noticed the most, that is different from back home, is the amount of people texting and driving at the same time. In Norway that would either give you a minimum of an $800 fine, or even days in prison if caught being on your phone while driving.

“It was so weird to leave Nils Christian at the airport, seeing him go through security, knowing the person you’ve spent pretty much every day with is on the opposite side of the world. So the house is quiet, and we miss him a lot, but we also know what an incredible experience this is and the extreme learning that comes from such a year. That makes it all worth it,” says Marius Røstad, father to Nils. 

Exchange students come from all over the world. And there are plenty of opportunities to do an exchange year in other parts of the world. If this sounds interesting there are many websites that can help you start your own exchange year. I would recommend it if you want a once in a lifetime experience. 


Pierce Public Schools 201 N. Sunset St. Pierce, NE  68767

402.329.6217 Fax: 402.329.4678

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Back To Top