So, this is my first ever blog post written in English! I thought it would be fun for all of my American friends to actually be able to read and understand my blog haha. Since the most frequently asked question I get is "what's the differences between your Sweden and America?" I though I would answer this questions today. My three first month of my exchange year has now gone by and I can assure you that there are a lot of things I've noticed is way different compared to Sweden. That I've been here three months now does not means that my English is perfect though so please don't except it to be. ;)
This is not meant to offend anyone whatsoever, I just hope both my American and Swedish friends will enjoy this post and hopefully learn something new!
- In the American school you have a schedule containing six classes, that are equal in time, that repeats everyday of the week. This means that you start school and get out of school the same time every day. In Sweden we have a different schedule for every day of the week. One day we can go to school between 8:15am-3:30pm and have 6 classes, while the next day we might only have 3 classes and get out of school at 11pm.
- In America pick all of your classes for school individually which means you have different classmates for every class. In Sweden all of our classes are spent with the same group of students - every day, every week, every year of high school. This is because we don't choose classes individually, but instead we get to choose a program (a package of classes) that contains what we want to study (ex: science, economy, social studies), so you are in a group of students that has chosen the same program as you.
- During lunch in school in America you can either buy something from the cafeteria, bring your own lunch or go out to eat., while in Sweden everyone gets a hot (and fresh-looking!) meal for free every day in school.
- You are not allowed to drive until you are 18 in Sweden, while you only have to be 16 in America to get your driver's license...
- ...but on the other hand, you can legally drink alcohol in Sweden when you turn 18, while you have to wait until you're 21 in America.
- In the American high school you have a lot assignments and you get graded (by exact points) on every single assignment no matter how big or small it is. And the tests are often multiple choice-questions and takes about an hour to finish. In Sweden you get graded by how you reach goals regarding mostly abilities and some knowledge, that the government has decided for the specific subject. Everything is basically about discussing, analyzing, arguing, seeing things from different perspectives etc. to show that the students get what is taught. This means our tests are all about writing, writing, writing and writing. A 3-hour long test in chemistry, biology or math is not uncommon. ;)
- In Sweden football doesn't exist (yes Americans - that's true!). The top most common sport to play is soccer, handball, ice-hockey and floor ball.
- Swedes are in general very open minded when it comes to equality for everyone, while I've noticed that in America there are a lot of people who has a more conservative perspective on the society.
- Everyone in America is so social! It's not a weird thing at all to chat a little with a stranger in America, while if someone would start talking to you in the grocery store, or just be more social in general, in Sweden you would get very suspicious and a bit freaked out. Because of this Swedes can be perceived as bit shy and sometimes impolite, but I promise that we're all very kind and loving. ;)
- There are coffee shops EVERYWHERE in America!!! And people drink a lot of coffee drinks (rarely just pure coffee) in their cars on the run!!! In Sweden there are basically two options for coffee: black coffee or coffee with milk. Everything besides that is very fancy and is consumed on special occasion.
- Swedes eat in general a lot more healthy food than Americans. Fast food is a lot more common in American. In Sweden we actually have a "rule" that states that you are only allowed to consume sweets, candy, pop or anything that has a big amount of sugar on the weekends - and especially Saturday. That's when we eat our "lördagsgodis" = saturday-sweets. This is promoted since we are very little by both parents, teachers and dentists. In American you can basically grab a snack whenever you want and no one will ever say anything about it haha.
- The Swedish culture is very based on the Christian religion, but not a lot of people would consider themselves being religious though, or believe in a god. Sweden is actually consider being one of the most non-religious countries in the world. While being here in American I have noticed that being religious is very common here.
- In Sweden you actually get paid for being in high school and college!!! While in America college is extremely expensive...
- And last but not least: In America the most common thing to do is doing a sport that is connected to the school, which means that there is a school team. In Sweden we don't have a school team, and instead we do sports in clubs. This means that we don't have. a high school spirit close as great as the American high schools, and it also makes our cheerleading not really about cheering on a specific team, but more of only a stunt sport.
Kram på er alla hemma i Sverige. Ni är saknade!