STS High School 14–18 years of age
Scholarships available when you apply by 31 December 2019

It's time for Emma to move to the USA

Tue Aug 01 2017

This Saturday, Emma Åkeson is on her way to the STS Welcome Camp in New York, where she, together with other future exchange students will get prepared for the upcoming year in the USA. We asked her some questions about her host family, why she wanted to go to the USA and what she was most looking forward to during her exchange year!

Name: Emma Åkeson
Age: 17 years
Hometown: Kalmar
On exchange in: Arkansas 17/18


Hi Emma! Tell us, what prompted you to do an exchange year?
I have dreamt about going to the USA for so long and living the American lifestyle, but I never knew how I could fulfil this dream. Now in my first year in high school, I have had an exchange student from Switzerland in my class which made me realise that I can fulfil my dream through an exchange year.

Why the USA? Did you ever consider another country to go to or did you always know it was the USA?
All that I was thinking of was the USA so I missed that you could actually go to other countries. But even now that I have checked out other destinations I can still say that the USA is the right choice for me. One of the things I’m excited to experience during my exchange year is the High School spirit, which I will experience, since the school I am attending, Greenwood High School, is an extremely sport orientated school. I think I will try to join the football team myself.

How did it go finding a host family?
It went better than expected! I was late submitting my application compared to others, who submit theirs several years in advance so I was worried that I wouldn’t find a family before I left. However, I got a placement in no time.

I was speaking on the telephone with you at STS while finishing the last part of my application and at the same time I had completed it, I got my placement in Arkansas, southern USA. I will live with the Odell Family, with mother Kristi, father Rick, a little sister and a big brother. Since the first letter from my host family I have felt so incredibly welcome and the more I speak to them, the better it feels. It feels fantastic that a family on the other side of the world is waiting for me with open arms.


Do you know anyone else going on exchange this fall?
Yes, I came to know three other girls that I met at the STS Pre-Departure meeting in Gothenburg and we have had contact with each other since then. It’s great that we who have this big adventure in front of us can share our thoughts and tips with one another. I can imagine that the people I know that are NOT going on an exchange year are pretty sick of me talking about USA, haha!

Finally, Emma: what are you most looking forward to with the year?!
Everything!!! To become a part of the family, going to an American school with American football and all new friends! I am also looking forward to the USA as a country, especially New York and Arkansas. But most of all the family, to have another home on the other side of the world must be amazing.

Now there is just a few days left to go, it feels unreal that so soon I’ll be in New York, but I am so ready for this adventure!

We wish Emma a great trip to New York, an amazing year in Arkansas and we can’t wait to follow her on her adventure!

You can follow Emma’s year in the USA on her blog

Click here to apply for an exchange year in the USA.