The Norwegian students spent the train ride from Vänersborg to Oslo by writing about their experiences during the week in Sweden. This is what they said:
Picture of the students working
This week we have had a lot of different lectures concerning the use of the internet in different settings. Mark Haché had a presentation concerning IT security in general, and at GKN Aerospace. Haché was a great speaker, and really cot the crowd’s attention. He talked about different security levels, why big company’s get hacked, and how the IT department works. We also learned that the biggest threat to a company comes from inside the company itself. This was a great kickoff for the lectures, and all the students could take something with them from that lecture. Unfortunately our next lecture wasn’t that god. Pär Mauritzon had a lecture concerning Man and Machine, which sounds very interesting, but it was quite difficult to understand what he said, because of his heavy Swedish accent. This made the lecture boring, and many of the students struggled to stay awake. Lillemor Lindberg, Holly Xiao and Elizabeta Velickovic each had a short lecture when we visited Innovatum. The most interesting lecture was Xiao’s lecture on Internet in China. Xiao talked about Chinas sensor, how they didn’t have accesses to Google or Facebook, but use similar sites created and monitored by the Chines government. Xiao also mentioned why so many Chines people hack other people and companies around the world. We had some other lectures to, but they didn’t concerned the internet or security.
Before we left for Sweden, all the students were supposed to have read two articles and watched to videos on YouTube, concerning internet security. When we arrived in Sweden we were already divided into workgroups, including one student from each country. We started our tasks on Tuesday, and each group chose a different approach on how to solve the task. We had approximately 8h to come up with the final product that we had to present for the other groups and the teachers. All the groups had some hiccups along the way, and disputes that wasn’t easily solved, but in the end, all the groups had a great presentation of the final product.
We had some activities in Sweden in school time and outside the school time. The first day in Vänersborg we had activities because the teachers thought that it was a great way to get to know each other. I think the different activities in the gym hall was fun. We played ghost ball, floor ball, volleyball and bingo, which was really fun and good training. It was different stations with different activities. Then we got a paper with some numbers. To get bingo we had to do the activities, the first group that gets bingo wins. On Tuesday, we went for a 6 km walk, and at the end, we played bowling. The bowling was fun. They made a competition, “The best country wins”, and the best country was Norway!
The last day we stayed at school until 21:00. Some played Mario cart, sing star, and some played hide and seek.
The activities in our spare time was also fun but then not everybody got included. I think that it is important to include everybody, especially when we are on a trip like this because it is the meaning that we are social with each other. On Thursday, we played billiards in Trollhättan. It seemed like everybody enjoyed that night and had fun.
The hosts in Sweden.
Starting off, I would like to say that this article is primarily from a personal point of view, and I am talking mostly for myself throughout this article. My name is Atle Espenes, and this is my experience of how the host(s) in Sweden handled and acted during a week of having a student from a different country in their home.
Before travelling to Sweden, I was curious to know what the host families’ habits were like and whom I might have gotten as a host. Would they have a dog, cat or any other house animal? I might be allergic to something in Sweden that I do not know about. Did I pack all the necessary medicine I need? I had a lot of questions, but no answers. Yet…
Personally, I was excited to travel to a different country, even though Sweden and Norway are very much alike. However, this article is not about how my time in Sweden was. This is an article about the hosts in Sweden.
My hosts’ name was Oscar Eriksson. A tall, blonde swede from Trollhättan, a town outside of Vänersborg. His main interest is riding motocross bikes. He is dedicating his life to become a skilled motocross rider. He was in Norway in February, and this is the first time I met him. We made a connection right away, and he had similar interests as me.
The 12th of April was the departure date for the Norwegians and we all (Atle, Anita, Kamilla & Malene) gathered at Flesland’s main entrance. We travelled to Stockholm, Arlanda by airplane, and then went on to have a six-hour bus ride to Vänersborg some hours later. We met our hosts at a local Lidl store, where they drove us to our new home by car.
We arrived late in the evening and got to meet the family members and pets. Oscar had a dog, named Iggu. The street I/Oscar lived on was named “Åmälsvägen” and the street the bus departed from to the school was named “Opalvägen”. At the beginning of the stay, there were a few language barriers, but after some time I got used to switching out Norwegian words with Swedish words. The host family I was assigned were very gentle, kind and hospitable. They told me to feel like home and grab a drink whenever I felt like, and told me not to hesitate to ask if I needed anything. Honestly, the swedes were very nice to me, and made me feel comfortable and secure. They took me on a tour to see Trollhättan citycenter, and told me a bit about the different parts of the town, and I got to see a lot of shops, the motocross track where Oscar practices, and a bit of the “slum” area. They also showed me some bridges and other attractions in Vänersborg.
Oscars’ home was very cozy. They had a fireplace they lit up every evening, something I thought was very nice. Personally, I am not used to light up fireplaces with wood/logs. We mostly use air conditioning systems where I live, even though we have a fireplace. I am not going to go into too many details about Oscars’ home, but I can say that it was a very cozy, quiet and friendly neighborhood.
To write a short summary: I would like to say it was a very pleasant stay, and I would gladly visit Sweden again. The host family was very caring, gentle and friendly. I will contact Oscar via social media to keep in touch, and who knows, I might even meet him some time in the future?
Time will tell.