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Swedish exchange student Inez Drakenberg studies as senior at Fulda High School

February 20, 2014

Inez Drakenberg is studying as a senior at Fulda High School. She is an exchange student from Stockholm, Sweden.	 
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman
FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman
Inez Drakenberg is studying as a senior at Fulda High School. She is an exchange student from Stockholm, Sweden.
By Norma Dittman
Inez Drakenberg became a senior student at Fulda High School right after the Thanksgiving Holiday. She is an exchange student from Stockholm, Sweden.

Drakenberg arrived in the United States for a few months of school in Wisconsin. The day before Thanksgiving, she arrived in Dundee, Minnesota, and began living with host parents Brian and Sonda Kass. At the Kass home, Drakenberg met her exchange sister, Jessica Schindler, who is from Magdeburg, Germany.

“I wanted to experience a new culture other than my own. Of course, I also came to learn more of the English language and to meet new people,” Drakenberg shared.

She is the daughter of Thomas and Anna Drakenberg and has one sister, Anna. Her father is a security chief at a bank and her mother is a project leader at the Stockholm City Offices. Anna is studying law.

An avid sports fan, Drakenberg attends a sports school in Stockholm. “That is a school where you have more time to practice sports. We attend classes from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. We practice our sports in the school and outside of school,” she explained. She is a member of a Stockholm City Tennis Team as well as a Soccer Team.

Drakenberg, who likes all kinds of music, is a member of the FHS Choir. She plans to be involved in Track and Field at Fulda High School this spring.

Her classes at FHS include Senior Social Studies, ProStart, American History, Choir, American Literature, Spanish via ITV, and Art. “I like Senior Social Studies. You learn so much about how society works and I am getting to know more about America,” Drakenberg said. “We have a king and queen. You have a president. It’s interesting to see the differences and how it all works.”

In the past, Drakenberg vacationed with her family in New York City. Since arriving in the United States in the fall of 2013, she has been to Adventureland in Des Moines, Iowa, has seen parts of Chicago, Illinois including the Cloud Gate (Big Bean), and Navy Pier. She has also visited the Mall of America in the Twin Cities.

Drakenberg has also secured her driver’s permit since arriving in Dundee.

When asked about her thoughts regarding the winter that she has experienced in southwest Minnesota, Drakenberg said that she had never had a “snow day off from school” before. “We get snow, but not like this,” she stated as she gestured to the winter scenery outside the Kass home.

Stockholm city spreads out over 14 islands in Lake MaLaren. The Baltic Sea borders it to the east. “Because of the water, we are not really hot in summer and not really cold in winter,” Drakenberg commented. An average temperature in Stockholm is 50 degrees.

Drakenberg and her exchange student sister, Jessica, were making plans to prepare the Friday night family meal. When asked about food differences between her Minnesota home and her Stockholm home, Drakenberg stated, “We eat a lot more fish. My mom is a vegetarian. A lot of people eat a vegetarian diet. The United States has a lot more fried foods.”

“Inez and Jessica have a bucket list of things that they would like to do while they are here,” Brian Kass said. “Because of the weather, we’ve not been able to do some of them. Nature has not been cooperating. One of the things that they want to do is make a snow fort. With the prediction of next week’s temperatures, they may be able to do that.”

Inez and Jessica also want to participate in The Color Run, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on April 27th. Plans are being made by Brian and Sonda to help Inez and Jessica do so. The Color Run, which is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality, has been billed as the Happiest 5k on the Planet.

In June, Drakenberg’s family plans to arrive in the United States to accompany her on the homeward bound journey. “That is a very good thing,” Drakenberg said with a radiant smile. “I will be glad to see them....and I came to the United States with one bag, but because of shopping, I will be returning home with three bags!”

About being a student at Fulda High School, Drakenberg stated, “It’s really fun to be here and meet new people. Everyone is really nice.”


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