Four thousand two hundred and thirty one miles away from home, Swede Vera Tiger has been attending Buffalo High School for the past 10 months. Leaving her family, friends, and school behind in her country of Sweden, she took on a new lifestyle with her host family and nervously waited for her American senior year to start.
“To leave Sweden for a year was really difficult for me because it meant that I had to leave everything. I had to leave my family and my friends and everything that I was used to.” Tiger expressed. “I remember writing a long list of pros and cons because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go or not but I also felt like if I didn’t go I would miss out on something and I had the opportunity, so why not take it? Honestly, I was really scared and nervous for meeting new people. I was afraid of so many things but I think it has turned out pretty well.”
Tiger met all her fellow exchange students in the very beginning of the year, quickly becoming close with them and spending all her time with them. Throughout the year she visited many places, including Colorado, the Guthrie theater, and Minnehaha Falls – all of which were made better with the company of friends.
“I will feel very sad to leave this place after a year, I didn’t think I would get this close to people.” Tiger explained. “This year has been so much better than what I expected. I will miss everyone very, very much but at the same time I’m really glad to see my friends again and my mom is coming here in a few days so I’m really excited to see her.”
As the last days of school approach, Tiger’s been talking to her friends back in Sweden, and has been planning a surprise party for her secret return. Looking back on the year, she admits she is sad to leave, but this isn’t the last of America for Tiger.
“I plan on coming here again, I will visit everyone, see everything again, visit my host family, friends, but I’m thinking that everything is going to be very different when I come back because most of my friends will have graduated and gone to college, but hopefully most of my friends will still be here.”