At Exeter, I take English and Spanish. Outside of the classroom, I’m a student of Swedish. My dad was born and raised in Sweden and he has spoken to my sister and me in Swedish ever since we were born, so both of us have become semi-fluent in the language and so, earlier this month, my dad, sister, and I went on vacation to Sweden to visit family and catch up with old friends.
All in all, it was a great trip. We spent most of the time in my Dad’s hometown, Fagersta, Sweden. It’s about the size of Exeter and it’s become hugely popular ever since a local installed one of Sweden’s first wake board parks. Normally you have to own a high powered speed boat to go wake boarding but this park has a series of cables that tow people around the lake without any boat needed. My dad’s a kid at heart so we spent a lot of time there during our vacation. We also got to spend a day in the capital, Stockholm, which was a ton of fun as well.
But maybe the most impressive thing about the trip was how quickly my Swedish language skills improved while I was there. While I’m in the U.S. I don’t get to practice my Swedish with anyone besides my dad so I was fairly rusty when we arrived. But by the end of the trip my Swedish had improved dramatically and I felt far more comfortable using my Swedish in more complicated ways. .
It was a great trip and a testament to what a term or a year abroad can do for one’s foreign language skills.