Minnesota is a state that includes a diverse cultural make-up, and much of that culture has its roots in those who emigrated from Norway to America.
They came to start a new life, and they brought their heritage with them.
Mina Wold of Raade, Norway has come Minnesota, but she is only staying for a few months.
She is, however, hoping her experience is life-changing.
“Ever since I was eight I wanted to travel,” Wold said.
As a foreign exchange student, Wold is visiting Redwood Falls for the next several months, and she is being sponsored during that visit by the Rotary Club.
Wold is staying with the Corey and Geri Theis family, and she said they have been very warm and welcoming.
Having arrived just a few days before the start of the school year, Wold adjusted quickly to her new surroundings. The good news is it has not taken a lot of adjustment, as she comes from a city similar in some ways to Redwood Falls.
With a population of approximately 7,000, Wold said she knows what it is like to live in a smaller community although there are bigger cities close to Raade.
Wold said she had considered visiting other places in the world, but said she landed on visiting the United States because it would give her the chance to improve her English speaking skills.
Despite the fact that she has been learning English since she was six and felt pretty good about communicating in the language, she also knew getting immersed in it would take her skills to the next level.
Coming to the United States would also help her gain some cultural understanding.
“I am learning every day,” said Wold.
Speaking of learning, Wold, who is 17, is enrolled as a senior at RVHS where she is taking a variety of classes over the next several months, including American history, English, choir, biology, animal science, math and gym.
Wold said she thinks school is easier here, but added she would know for sure when that first test happens.
Wold said Norwegian youth are encouraged to become exchange students, and the country even provides funding for them.
Wold said when she goes off to college and gets a job down the road having this experience and enhanced education skills should be something attractive for those employers.
As is the case in other European na-tions, sports are not part of the school system in Norway, but Wold said she is in-volved in handball.
While she is not yet involved in any extra-curricular activities, Wold said she is hoping to give basketball and softball a try this year.
Page 2 of 2 - The daughter of Morten and Jorunn Wold said things have been going very well, adding the people in the school and community as a whole have been very friendly.
Wold said she had spoken to others about the exchange experience before her visit, and they all encouraged her to do it and to take in as much as she could during the visit.
With that in mind, Wold is scheduled to go on a cross country visit in June and July through the Rotary, and she said that is going to give her the chance to see all of the places in the United States should would like to visit during her stay.
Wold is having a good time and is looking for that to continue.