Australian exchange student Dani Sjogren tells all

Claudia Chute

Hailey Bork and Claudia Chute, Contributing Writers

What are some big differences between Minnesota and where you’re from in Australia, or between American and Australian culture generally?

Where I’m from in Australia, it doesn’t go below 20°C. I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit.

Also, Australia’s a little more laid back than you guys are. Especially Blake, everyone’s really dedicated.

Another thing is we got two lunches a day, and Blake, like, starves me. They’re like “here, eat once” and if you eat something before swimming, you throw it up while swimming! So I’m starving through swimming, and I’m starving through the three periods before lunch. They need to fix that.

You guys are really nice, like that whole ‘Minnesota Nice’ thing is so true. You guys are way nicer than the people in Australia. You’re also way more open than people in Australia. Like here, if you don’t know someone, you still talk to them. We don’t have that in Australia. I’m not going to lie, it’s really rough to be new at my school.

People say it’s tough to be new at Blake, do you agree?

People only say that because everyone’s known each other for ever.

What do you do on the weekends?

Well I surf, I think other people just tan

Do you get along with your host family?

Uh huh, I’ve got little Donavan, he’s seven. He goes to Highcroft. He got a skateboard yesterday so I’ve been teaching him how to skateboard. It’s cute. He’s super cute.

Do you plan on going to college in the United States or in Australia?

That’s a really good question… I would prefer America. It’d probably be a better education in America.

What do you want to major in and learn about if you were to go to college in the US?

I want to be a freelance writer. Like, I don’t get committed to anything, I just contribute every now and then… but it doesn’t pay great, as you can imagine. So I think I’m going to go to business school and major in advertising and management and then work for a big company in NYC and wear heels to work every day and have a regular coffee shop that knows my order and flash my card at the desk and then sit in my big desk and do business stuff.

Do you have any pets?

Here, I think Donavan has a goldfish. But it hides. I have a dog at home. Her name’s Candy, and she was mine, and I named her. It’s super sad.

Do you plan on doing a lot of traveling within your time here?

I’d like to. Like, we went to Florida, it was pretty good. We were in South Beach Miami last night. I think we’re going somewhere over spring break, but I don’t know where. And then, when I leave here, I think I’m going to the Bahamas and the Caribbean and then I’m going to Thailand and then I’m going home.

What’s something nobody else here knows about you?

I am a lifeguard.