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Nilsen comes from Norway to a familiar BE home

By Staff | Nov 3, 2014

It was more of a family reunion for Petter Nilsen when he arrived in Blue Earth earlier this year.

Nilsen is an exchange student at Blue Earth Area High School and is staying with Bill and Susie Rosenau and their three children; Kylie, Carter and Brooklyn.

But, unlike the other exchange students at BEA this year, Nilsen was not meeting his host family for the first time.

“My sister Marrianne stayed here two years ago,”?Nilsen said.

The Rosenaus were not sure if they would host an exchange student again.

“We said if Petter wanted to come we would definitely host him,” Susie says.

So, that is just what they did and Nilsen felt at home right away.

“I?had been here once before,”?he adds.

Nilsen is from Bodo, Norway, and lived in the middle of the city with a population of about 50,000 people.

He lives there with his parents; father, Trond, and mother, Ellen.

His sister, Marianne, is in college now and attends the University of Minnesota.

His hometown is a little different from Blue Earth.

“There we are sort of between the ocean and mountains,”?he explains.

But, he enjoys the difference in scenery he has here in Blue Earth.

“Here there’s a lot of corn fields and no mountains,”?he jokes. “But it is more fun and interesting here; I?like it.”

And, if he had the choice between city life and small town living, he enjoys the quieter towns.

“I like experiencing a more peaceful town,” Nilsen says. “People know each other more here.”

Nilsen has taken advantage of the opportunities in a small town, as well, by making friends and staying active.

“I played football and I love that,” he says.

He also plans to watch a lot of the BEA?basketball games and might join track in the spring.

“I’m still not too sure if I will do that or not,”?Nilsen says. “But I?enjoy taking part in the school sports.”

He says even if he does not play, it is just fun to go and watch the games with his friends.

In Norway, sports aren’t connected to the school, they are clubs. So, not as many people would come out to watch the games.

Nilsen played soccer in Norway for 11 years and it is one of his favorite sports.

“But, usually it is just our parents who would come to watch,”?he explains.

He also enjoys watching and following professional soccer. Liverpool is his favorite team.

“My dad and I have gone to see Liverpool play,”?he said.

Nilsen likes the team so much he even decided to get a little artistic with his host family.

“I carved Liverpool on my pumpkin,”?he says.

This was Nilsen’s first time carving a pumpkin for Halloween, which is something they do not do in Norway.

That is not the only fun thing he has gotten to do with his host family.

In fact, he and Carter play catch together almost every single day after school.

“It’s a lot of fun having the young ones around,”?Nilsen adds.

And, it is even more fun when he gets to travel with the kids and his host parents.

So far they have attended a Vikings game and a Twins game and they plan to go on a trip this winter.

“I will be going to Florida with my host family,” he says.

He also has booked a trip to California through the exchange student program.

When he isn’t busy hanging out with new friends, playing football, spending time with his host family or traveling; he is busy doing homework.

“We didn’t have much homework at my other school,”?Nilsen says. “I?seem to have more to do here.”?

He admits the homework is not too difficult, just a little more time consuming.

It probably helps that he enjoys the classes he gets to take while he is going to school at BEA.

He is currently taking Spanish, physical education and biology.

“I like gym class, I get to do things I have never done before, like archery,”?he says.

So, even though he was no stranger to his host family when he arrived in Blue Earth, he has still had his fair share of brand new experiences.

“I like pretty much everything here,” Nilsen adds. “I love the family here, the experience. It’s different and I like it a lot.”