I just wanted to take some time to tell everyone about my host town Gällivare, Lapland.
Gällivare is a small town in the very north of Sweden, about 100 km north of the Arctic Circle. They have about 16,000 inhabitants which is only a little smaller than the town I live in here in Illinois.
Here is a picture of a map of Sweden with my host town circled in red
Gällivare is the big mining district of Sweden, mostly of iron ore.
It is about 120 km away from Kiruna, home of the Ice Hotel which is a big tourist attraction during the winter. About 250 km south is Luleå, the major city in the region.
Right outside of Gällivare is a mountain called Dundret, which provides skiing from November to April.
An interesting thing about the region I am going to is that during the winter they have 24 hours of darkness, which can be a bummer in some cases. An advantage of that is that they have the Northern Lights which look so beautiful, making up for all of that darkness. Likewise they also have a period of 24 hours of sunlight during summer months.
As for the family I will be living with, they seem very nice. My host mother (Gunilla) and host father (Mats) are divorced but they both want to be part of my exchange year. I will be living with my host mother most of the time, visiting my host father on some weekends.
I am ecstatic to say I have host siblings. My oldest sister Erika won’t be at home living with us as she is studying in the capital, Stockholm but I will hopefully get to see her a few times during holidays. Next is Emma (18) who just got back from her exchange year in Perth, Australia. Her credits didn’t transfer so she has to retake that year in school, she will be in my grade! Last is Filip (14) who will be starting his first year of high school.
I should be leaving the USA sometime in the next few weeks and I am super excited to live in Gällivare for the next year. That’s all I have for now!