Travel Blog: The Life of a European Living in America

Hey HC!
Those of you that have been following my Swedish travel blog know that you have been touring Europe through the eyes of moi. While it has been exciting to share my own personal experiences, I thought it would be awesome to do something completely different for this week’s entry.
Instead of reading about life in Europe from an American perspective, you will get to see what life is like for a European living in America. Each of these Swedish bombshells--Clara, Emelie, Lovisa and Johanna--have lived in the US for an extended period of time and all have their unique stories and opinions to share.

From left to right: Clara, Lovisa, Johanna and Emelie.


Q: Can you describe your experience in the US?
Clara: My year in America was the best year of my life. I lived in Smyrna, Delaware. I grew so much as a person and I realized that I could do anything I want in life. I lived with a great host family and I went to a high school with 2000 students. I played for the field hockey team and the soccer team. Most of my friends were my teammates and I also dated an American boy. My favorite memories from my year in the US are prom, Disney world, senior night with the soccer team and graduation.
Emelie: Best six months in my life! Life in Santa Monica, California is as far opposite as you can get from life in Stockholm, Sweden. There was so much more for me to do and see in the US. If I ever get the chance to return and stay longer, I definitely will!
Johanna: Living in the US was very different from living in Sweden. First of all, I live in Stockholm, Sweden where there is a population of 1.3 million people. Coming to live in Minneota, Minnesota, a small town with only 2000 people, was such a culture shock, but it did have its charm. My year was that much more special because everyone knew each other and the people were so close to one another. I remember the first day at school was like jumping into one of the high school movies you see on TV. I especially loved the atmosphere at school sporting events because that is when people come together and build lifelong memories.
Lovisa: I lived in Enola, outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and it was the best year of my life. I had so many great experiences and got to meet amazing people. In my opinion, I had the best host family that meant so much to me. I met people that I will never forget. I wish I could go back and do it all over again.
Q: What is the biggest difference you noticed between the US and Sweden?
Johanna: The biggest difference I noticed was that people in America are so much more polite. They are more social and outgoing and I love that. People in Sweden are not very outgoing or social to people that they do not know very well.
Clara: In Delaware, where I lived, it was very hard to get around without a car and a license. I also think people are more open in America. They are interested in what you do and where you're from. Another difference was how often people go to church. It's not very common to go to church in Sweden. So when I lived in America, I thought it was interesting to see that so many people regularly went to church. I went every Sunday with my host family.
Q: Is there something you like more about Sweden than the US?
Lovisa: I like the fact that we walk or take the bike when we are going somewhere more often than in America. We don’t use our cars as much.
 Johanna: The education program is free and you don´t have to think about paying for high school or college.
Q: Is there something you like more about the US than Sweden?
Clara: I really did enjoy the school more in America. Not saying that I don’t like school in Sweden, but I loved the sports, activities, and that people were so involved. There was always something going on and the school spirit was amazing.
Emelie: The people. Americans are so much more open and friendly than people in Sweden. Swedes tend to be more reserved until they get to know someone. You Americans really make us foreigners feel welcome. Thanks for that!
Q: Can you tell me how Swedish fashion differs from American fashion?
Emelie: I often was told that Swedish people get dressed up more frequently than Americans. I don’t know if that’s true but I noticed that Americans are dressed more simply and often are not dresses as “cute” as Swedes. It’s hard to describe. Also there’s a big difference in jeans. While many Swedish girls wear extremely slim, skinny jeans, American girls wear a loose, relaxed fit jean. When it comes to men’s fashion, it is hard to find a Swedish guy who wears baggy shorts and a t-shirt down to his knees.
Lovisa: I would say that most Americans wear hoodies, t-shirts, and boot cut jeans. In Sweden, skinny jeans are very common and hoodies are not common. Americans also dress in brighter colors than swedes. Swedish people tend to wear a lot of neutrals, like: black, beige, grey, and white. Personally, I prefer Swedish fashion.
Q: What is one American food that you love and cannot find in Sweden? What is one Swedish food not common in America?
Lovisa: Oh, that’s easy! My favorite Swedish dish is traditional Swedish meatballs and I love double-stuffed Oreos from America.  
Q: What is the difference between Swedish boys and American boys? Which do you prefer and why?
Clara: Aaah boys…I actually dated an American boy during my stay so I know about both. American boys are friendlier. They take you out on dates and hold the door for you. Swedish boys don’t give you that much attention and don’t treat you as well as American boys. But on the other hand, American boys get way more jealous than Swedish boys. They get mad if you talk to other guys and they are more controlling than Swedish guys.
However, Swedish boys dress a lot better than American boys. I would love a mix of both. That would be the perfect guy.
Johanna: Let's be honest now, is there any difference between any men? They will always be the same.
American guys are more polite and know how to be a gentlemen...well most guys do.
But I have to admit that I rather prefer Americans because I love their accent!
Emelie: I prefer Swedish boys! There is nothing wrong with American boys. They are actually nicer sometimes then Swedish guys. In general, I’ll have to go with Swedes. Of course, it depends from guy to guy, but the Swedish boys are more to my taste.
After traveling to Sweden, it was so fun to hear from these girls about their observations. I found that many were the same as mine, only in reverse! I had shared some pretty special times with these ladies. Although Clara was in the States during my stay in Sweden, I will never forget Lovisa’s and my two weeks in Italy, Emelie’s and my experience braving Peace and Love, a week-long music festival in Sweden Johanna’s and my crazy nights out, or all the ways Sweden and its people differed from the US and made my stay that much more special.