Exeter-Milligan welcomed foreign exchange students Madeleine Ensrud from Norway and Jesper Anker from Denmark this year.
Ensrud is hosted by the Alan and Amy Emshoff family. The junior is from Soerumsond, Norway and traveled a full day to get to Exeter.
So far the experience for her has been “going great. I love the family, and I love living here.”
Although she is enjoying being in Nebraska she does miss her parents and a big brother and younger sister in Norway. Her dad works in the computer and phone industry and mom is a supervisor at a kindergarten. Currently her older brother is in college working on a degree to teach English and Norwegian.
For Ensrud two of the biggest differences in coming here from Norway have been the people and the landscape. “Everyone is so nice here, that’s very different and everything is so flat. There are lots of mountains and hills in Norway,” she explained.
Along with the landscape are the temperature differences, “In the summer about the hottest day was 75 with the coolest day being around 48. Our average is between 50-60 so it is very cool.”
Agriculture is a big part of the economy of the area where Ensurd lives, “We grow more wheat and different grains than here and we produce hydroelectric power on the river that is just 40 meters from my house.”
Even though the village that Ensrud lives in only has about 5,000 she is used to walking or riding the train everywhere she needs to get to.
So far, the food in America is one of her favorite parts. “The food is very different here. We eat a lot of fruit and only have sweet or fried items on the weekends.
Sports aren’t a part of the curriculum at her school, usually students play on club teams. This year Ensrud plans to participate in FCCLA, one act play and choir.
Anker, also a junior, is already loving his experience in Nebraska. He is being hosted by the Paul and Karla Sheffield family.
“Nebraska has some of the nicest people I have ever met,” said Anker.
Anker is from Stevning, Denmark, a small town like Exeter that enjoys 60 degree weather in the summer and plenty of rain.
Like Ensrud, his school doesn’t have a sports program but he has played soccer for a number of years on club teams. He decided to try his hand at playing football on the Exeter-Milligan team and is really enjoying it so far. He plans to play basketball and also go out for track.
As far as scholastics go, both Ensrud and Anker are working on some of the junior coursework including government. Anker finds the history fascinating, “It’s fun hearing the differences between our government and history and yours. It’s an election year so that’s special as well.”
Anker is definitely missing his two younger sisters along with his dad who works as an electrician and his mom who is a the firm psychologist at a local business, but he is really enjoying having a brother for the first time at the Sheffield household.
Family life is the same here as it is at home but he finds the food very different. “We bring our own lunch and have no cafeteria. We definitely eat a lot more here. Our main meal is supper around 7:00 p.m.”
“We have fast food like McDonalds and Burger King in the bigger towns close buy, in our town we have a grocery store like Greg’s and most of the industry is IT related.”
Both Ensrud and Anker are looking forward to the school year progressing along with the cooler weather that fall will bring.