A Norse Welcoming

Northmont Welcomes a Norwegian Exchange Student


Haakon Kvamme poses for his senior soccer poster.

Emily Robertson, Staff Writer

Over the years, Northmont High School has seen a variety of diverse faces, some of those being foreign exchange students.

This year, Northmont welcomes senior Haakon Kvamme (pronounced HAWK-in Kuh-VOM-ay), a Norwegian exchange student.

Norway is an independent Scandinavian country that lies north of the European Union.

Norway is defined by cold and rainy weather, glaciated terrains, and features one of the longest coastlines in the world (cia.gov).

The decision to become an exchange student is not to be taken lightly. 

Kvamme was influenced by his sister who was an exchange student in 2014. 

Kvamme enjoys America, and believes the exchange program has been the best decision of his life.

He earned a spot on the varsity soccer teamand loves playing soccer for Northmont, despite the losses.

Norway is a very different country from America, and Kvamme provided a list of the biggest differences between Norway and America that he has noticed:

  • There are not as many restaurants in Norway.
  • There are no malls in Norway.
  • There are no stop signs, but there are plenty of roundabouts.
  • Sports teams are separate from school.
  • People in America are much more friendly.
  • Norway does not have Halloween or prom dances.
  • Alcohol is legal at 18, and driving is not legal until 18.
  • Norwegian restaurants do not have free refills.
  • There is no tipping waiters and waitresses in Norway.
  • There are 3 more letters in the alphabet.

Seeing people his age driving, the presence of armed law enforcement, and the differences between school in Norway and school in America, were all surprising to Kvamme. 

School in Norway is less strict, according to Kvamme, where there is more down time. There are also no police officers at school, and hall passes are not required. 

Kvamme also mentions that passing school in Norway is much easier.

In Norway, Kvamme’s free time was filled with hanging out with friends at school or the soccer field, swimming, and cliff jumping. Such pastimes are fairly similar in America.

When Kvamme returns to Norway, he will have one year of school remaining, and will return to his friends, family, and the cold.