My name is Jennifer Eriksson and I’m 17 years old and I come from Sweden. I live in a little city called Kungsör, and it’s about 10 minutes away from Köping. I go to Ullvigymnasiet in Köping. I study the second year in the economics program and it’s very stressful and sometimes really hard so it was very nice to go away to France and change my everyday life for a week. I’m fluent in Swedish and English, and I also took a French class in my first year of high school so I know a few words.
I was so excited to meet Celia and her family, but at the same time, I was a bit nervous to be in a whole new family for one week. But it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life actually.
Before I left for Lyon I was worried that Celia and I wouldn’t agree with each other or that her family wouldn’t like me so much but I clicked very well with the family and Celia. We became friends very fast and after a few days, I could talk to her parents like we had known each other for a long time.
I imagined that the biggest change would be the food, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. When I had arrived at the house the first night the family offered crepes which tasted like Swedish pancakes and it was super delicious. On the other days, I got very similar food to the one that I eat at home. But I can believe that others in the exchange got more traditional French food. One thing that I noticed was that they eat more sugar and carbs than we do and that they eat more but only three times a day unlike us that eat less but five times a day. So it was very hard in the begging to adjust to that. In the end it felt totally natural to me to only eat three meals in a day and also the time of day it was breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Every student at the school must bring an ID-paper to identify themselves as students at the school. The students also need to bring all the books in their bags because they don’t have any lockers where they can put all their books. One thing that I also noticed was that they have dress codes which we don’t have at my school. For example, they couldn’t have jeans with holes on the knees or wear a cap or hat in the school. But the most shocking thing I noticed was that they were not allowed to use their phone in school, they were not even allowed to use it on their lunch break. The French school is very different from the Swedish school and after spending a week in the French school, I’m very thankful for the Swedish school and its system. But I loved to be in a whole new environment and seeing how they have it in their school.
Paris and Lyon:
Lyon was such a beautiful city and I would really love to go back there someday. It was so different from the cities we have here in Sweden. Everything from houses to streets to how the schools were built was different to how it is back home. Paris was like a whole new world and the buildings were very unique. The painted walls in Lyon was an incredible experience. It was so beautiful.
I loved to be in a new country with a whole new culture. It was something different to Sweden and it was a once in a lifetime experience. I learned so much in just one week. It was everything from what it feels to live in France for one week to how it is to be away from my family. I also learned how teenagers my age act. I am very surprised in a positive way by this exchange. I really miss Celia and can’t wait for her to come to Sweden so I can show her around in my little city and show her everything.