Norwegian student adjusts to life in the United States


Greighsen Adams

Going once! Going twice! Sold!

Against popular belief, the exchange students have no control over where they go in the country when first signing up for the student exchange program, exchange student Ida Andersen of Norway said.

“I did not choose to come to Montana. You fill out this application and then host families will look through the students available,” Andersen said. “I felt like I’m for sale or something.”

Because there are many different countries she could have chosen, Andersen narrowed down her search by watching television.

“I learned English from watching TV pretty much. Lots of TV,” Andersen said.

Norway may be Andersen’s home, but being in Great Falls has made her see the differences between her home country and United States.

 “When being back home, I thought it was really interesting what impression other countries have of Norwegians. What I read over and over was that we are a very reserved group of people. When I came over here, I thought we were reserved compared to Americans,” Andersen said. “If you are sitting on a bus in Norway, no one would talk. Here, you could make conversation with a stranger and no one would care.”

To prepare for her journey across a very large pond, Andersen said she read a lot of blogs about Norwegian exchange students who were in America at the time. She also watched movies galore.

 “I watch a lot of movies. My favorite movies are ‘Edward Scissor Hands’ and ‘Million Dollar Baby’,” Andersen said. “Yeah, I like movies with no happy endings, which is ironic because I’m a cheerleader.”