Good Times in a New Place

Kyle Currington and Kayla Horton

Kristine HeimstadWith a love of experiencing new cultures, Kristine Fjield Heimstad was recently welcomed to Central High School. Kristine, a native of Norway, lives 4,000 miles away in Vikersund, Norway. She says she did not have sufficient time to prepare herself for the trip to America. She received a phone call telling her where she was going, who she was going to live with, and about CHS. She traveled alone, and two days later, she arrived in Missouri. Her last days in Norway were very nerve racking and emotional. Although this is her first time in Missouri, she has had a lot of experience traveling.
When Kristine was 11, she went to a camp in Austria. She left her family for three weeks to live with other people from all around the world. After this camp, she learned how important the English language was, and she really wanted to learn more and get to know the new culture.

The greatest challenge living in America for Kristine is to use our currency and measurement systems. She has to calculate everything from the Norwegian kroner to the United States dollar. Also, she has to convert measurements from the U.S. system of measurement to the Metric System.

In Norway, Kristine attended a school with about 600 other students. At her school in Norway, they don’t have sports, clubs, or school spirit compared to CHS. She speaks Norwegian fluently and knows other languages including English, Spanish, French, and German. She also understands Swedish and Danish. Kristine was only allowed to bring one fifty-pound suitcase. She packed letters and pictures from her loved ones, Norwegian food, and, clothes as well.

Kristine applied to an organization, and after an interview and a lot of paperwork, she got accepted on their exchange program. The Norwegian government pays half of the cost because they realize that it is an investment in her education.

In Norway, everything is different compared to America: the school, nature, food, politics, people, and culture. So far, her worst experience is just being away from everyone she loves. The best experience was homecoming.
“I really enjoyed dressing up every day. The parade, football game, and school dance is something I will remember for a long time.”

Kristine’s favorite foods in Norway are Norwegian chocolate and brown cheese. Her favorite foods in America are she replied with, “I love Skittles! I’m already addicted to them. I can’t believe we don’t have them in Norway!”
Her favorite things about America are the people and the food.

Kristine has two parents, a sister, and a brother. She is 17 years old and a senior at CHS this year.

“I actually have a job in Norway. I write articles every third Saturday about my life here in the USA and they get published in my town’s newspaper,” says Kristine. She says she will come back to meet her host family and all of us again!