Amanda Hjelmeland Nes, 17, of Stryn, Norway arrived in Redwood Falls in mid-August. Her home community is similar to the size of Redwood Falls, with a population of 7,000. Hjelmeland Nes has a strong desire to learn and experience how American life is different than that of her native Norway.

“That’s what is great about being an exchange student. You get to see and live differently from what you are used to,” said Hjelmeland Nes.

Hjelmeland Nes is also looking forward to experiencing the upcoming Minnesota winter, adding “it gets cold in Norway, but not as cold as it does here in Minnesota.”

“This already has been a great experience and I’m already dreading leaving. I love it here,” she said. 

“I enjoy the education system here in the U.S. and I find there is more homework here, but I am very appreciative of the education here,” she said.

The math that she is learning at Wabasso Public School is mathematics that she has already learned in Norway. She adds that mathematics in Norway is more advanced than the mathematics taught in the school.

Her host parents are Geri and Corey Theis of Redwood Falls.

Recently she just started playing basketball for the Wabasso Rabbits and mentions that the faculty is so nice here at Wabasso High School.

“People are always willing to help you grasp information,” she said.

Her family in Norway includes her mother, Ann Inger, father, Ove, and her sister, Marita. Her brother Eirik, 24 is attending college at Concordia in Moorhead.

After returning to Norway to complete her high-school education she hopes to return to the U.S. and attend Augustana University with an intention of studying law or business, but she has an open mind when it comes to selecting a college major.

Hjelmeland Nes does miss her family and also notes that she misses the fresh mountain drinking water from Norway. She will be attending the entire academic school year at Wabasso High School and will return to Norway in June or July 2018.

If you see Amanda be sure to welcome her to the community.