My letter to my host familly.

I thougth that I should provide some guidence for future exchange students. This is part one. My letter to the host family.

In the next part I will reflect on my letter and what this letter led me into, and come with advice on what to do, and what to do different. Among other advices.

Without further ado, the letter is called Dear Host Family, and here it is:

Dear Host family: My name is Mikkel Adrian Almenningen, and I will be 17 in November 2011. In this letter you will find information about me, my family, Norway and the Norwegian school.

About me:

I am 16 years old. My birthday is the 08th of November.

My favorite channels on TV are Discovery and National Geographic. I have learned a lot of stuff from them.

I like horse riding. I've been riding for about 10 years. Dancing is another of my hobbies. I've tried most of the forms most except hip-hop and break. I also like driving cars and riding bikes.

I've worked in a pet shop, a food store and a toy store. I love small children and I worked in a kindergarten for 2 days as part of a school assignment.

My best friend is 12 years old. His name is Sebastian. His grandparents live next-door, and I visit them a lot. They are like my spare grandparents. We like to discuss everything between heaven and earth. We find solutions to everything from bullying to environmental problems.

I am member in a political group named AUF (social democrats for teens). I've also been on the student council.

My favorite subjects at school are English, Social Science and Math. The subject I like the least is Norwegian.

I love traveling, and I dislike sitting still. If I could decide, we would be on the move all the time from sunrise to sunset. I am restless and almost nothing can happen soon enough. I love to be outdoor with friends and/or family especially when it's warm outside.

I like playing cards. I love animals. That?s why I sold 200 boxes of cookies in order to help an animal shelter.

I try to stay healthy, so I am careful with what I eat and I try to exercise. Did I mention that I'm a vegetarian?

I love going to musicals. I also like going to the opera, ballet and other dance performances.

I used to take piano classes, and I have been in a drama club.

I'm environmentally conscious. I like environmentally friendly technology and things that slow down or can stop global warming. Taking care of the ecosystem that our earth is matters a great deal to me ? even if I do things that aren?t always environmentally friendly.

I like to cuddle with my dog and to take it for walks. I love riding out in the nature and I love farms with animals. The woods are only about 300 yards from our home, and I like spending time there with my dog.

Something that is very important to me is equality. Sexual orientation, gender or age shouldn?t matter. Animals and humans should have nice lives now and in the future.

My blog is at

About my family:

My dad works as a Senior Software Engineer and has a Master of Science. He's worked for Thales for over 20 years and he's 53 years old.

I have a supermom who is 46.

My brother is attending his last year at high school.

I have a dog named Angelina Jolie (or Angie as we call her). She is 4.

Last year we had 6 guinea pigs, but one after one died until only one was left. We gave her to a home with another guinea pig. That way she wouldn?t be lonely.

About my country and city:

Norway has a population of about 5 million and it is a little bit bigger than Montana and a little smaller than California. Texas is one and a half times the size of Norway and has about five times the population of Norway.

About half an hour drive from the national airport (OSL, Gardermoen) and the same distance from Norway's capital Oslo we live in a little area called Skjetten. Skjetten has a population of about 10 000 people.

Norway is mostly made up of mountains. Up north you can see the midnight sun and Aurora Borealis (the northern light).

The Norwegian school:

You start at the age of 6. We have 7 years of elementary school. (Obligatory) After that there are 3 years of junior high. (Obligatory) Finally, 3 years of high school are recommended but not obligatory.

Our High School is a lot different from yours. Here you can choose if you want to go 3 years at school taking regular subjects. Or you can take 2 years of vocational studies and two years as a trainee in your chosen field. Your choices are fields such as Mechanics or Food and Health.

My studies are called Service and Transportation the first year. After that I?ve chosen Transportation and Logistics. After school I can start to work as a trainee at a bus-, truck- or logistics company. During my studies I will get my car license and truck driver license from school.

Why I want to come to the US:

Some of my answers are the usual answers like: I want to improve my English skills, learn about another culture and another country. I also want to learn to see things from another perspective and I want to grow as a person. I don't think it's fair to leave it with that because it is not the whole reason. I'm going to call it my American dream.

Love from Mikkel Adrian Almenningen (16 years) from Norway.

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