The Pony Express

Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

Girls+varsity+gymnastics+team+huddles+up+before+a+meet+against+White+Bear+Lake+on+Jan.+2.+They+are+hoping+for+another+state+title+this+season.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

Girls varsity gymnastics team huddles up before a meet against White Bear Lake on Jan. 2. They are hoping for another state title this season.

Girls varsity gymnastics team huddles up before a meet against White Bear Lake on Jan. 2. They are hoping for another state title this season.

Photo by Julia Bennett

Girls varsity gymnastics team huddles up before a meet against White Bear Lake on Jan. 2. They are hoping for another state title this season.

Photo by Julia Bennett

Photo by Julia Bennett

Girls varsity gymnastics team huddles up before a meet against White Bear Lake on Jan. 2. They are hoping for another state title this season.

Julia Bennett, Business Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Ida Holde Bjorkelund is a foreign exchange student from Norway joining the district for her senior year. She has been welcomed in by many, including girls on the varsity gymnastics team. She is meeting new people and enjoying new experiences in the United States. She is so excited to continue her journey here for the rest of the school year.

Bjorkelund filled out a lengthy application process to become a foreign exchange student and was thrilled when she discovered she would have the opportunity to be here for the year. While there have been ways Bjorkelund has had to adapt to America, she is doing so with the help of new friends and teammates she has met along the way.

Ida has been doing gymnastics since she was younger back in Norway. When she arrived at school, she was encouraged to try out for the varsity gymnastics team. However, the sport is slightly different than she is familiar with back home.

“The practices and the meets are less intense and are way more fun,” Bjorkelund said.

Joining a new team anywhere, especially in a new country, is extremely challenging. So far, Ida is doing great on the team and has made so many new friends that can not imagine this year without her.

“Ida has been the perfect addition to our team. She is always working hard and smiling and wants the best for everyone. We are all so lucky to have her here this year and I also think it helps her to enhance her experience here in America,” junior Emily Gray added.

Being on the team has opened up the possibility for so many new friendships for Ida. All 21 of the girls on the gymnastics team are super close and think of each other like family.

“As cheesy as it sounds, our team is super close and we treat each other like family, she’s a wonderful addition,” senior captain Sami Chang said.

Ida has been the perfect addition to our team. She is always working hard and smiling and wants the best for everyone. We are all so lucky to have her here this year and I also think it helps her to enhance her experience here in America.”

— Emily Gray

The girls on her team have enjoyed adapting her to the American culture. However, one big difference that does pose as a challenge for Ida is school. Many aspects are different than her education was in Norway.

“It’s hard to succeed not knowing what to expect and learning a different way your whole life. The school system is the biggest change to her daily life,” Bjorkelund said.

Teammates have exposed Ida to music and movies she had never heard of. There are also many fast food places and restaurants that were foreign to her just a few months ago.

“A lot of us girls have shown her High School Musical and Hannah Montana, the classics. I’ve taken her to a few football games which were super fun,” Chang explained.

Most of the girls on the gymnastics team have been training together for a long time. It is fairly uncommon for a senior to join in and have to get to know girls that have been good friends for years. The girls on the varsity gymnastics team this year however, were beyond excited.

“The only hard part is that she will be leaving to go back to Norway this summer,” Gray added. “That’s going to be very sad because now that she has been here, it will be weird without her here.”

Outside of gymnastics, Ida is able to learn what it is like to be a teenage girl in America. Students from the United States are also embracing the chance to learn about a new culture.

“It’s so cool to learn about Ida and Norway. She always has something new to share or some interesting fact about Norway. I love learning about other places besides the US. I love getting to know her,” Chang said.

Foreign exchange students such as Ida can have such a positive impact on students in our schools. Being able to get to know other people from around the world and understand their culture is such a special and unique experience our students have the opportunity to do.

“As a team we have really introduced her to a lot of new people and I think she’s really enjoying high school at Stillwater,” Gray explained.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Julia Bennett, Photographer

Hey! My name is Julia Bennett and I am a junior. I am a photography editor for newspaper. I figure skate individually and also on our school team. I am...

Leave a Comment

The Pony Express intends for this area to be used to foster healthy thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to the standards of the Pony Express and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked, or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet the standards of this publication. The Pony Express does not allow anonymous comments. We require a name and valid email address submitted. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    People

    Patterson shows musical talent

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    People

    Alexis Pratt shoots toward basketball success

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    People

    Living deaf, not different

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    People

    Coach Jordan’s three hobbies give skills for life

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    People

    Laura Kern’s experience across the country

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    People

    First Student Council presidents of color help increase their peers’ voices

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    People

    Pete Hamilton and Mike Parker teach together

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    Focus

    Bartkey reflects on the lessons of crime journalism

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    Feature

    Jon Bream, Star Tribune Rock Critic

  • Ida Holde Bjorkelund adapts to life in America

    Feature

    Passion and integrity responsible for Falzone’s dream job

Navigate Right