Study Abroad in the US for a Year

VG2 at an American School

Every year, up to 30 Danielsen students go to the United States to spend their VG2 year at one of our Christian sister schools there. These students continue their VG3 year when they return to Norway. This exchange program is approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. It is based on an agreement with the American schools whereby the students are offered customised subjects, so that they will have a sound basis for continuing their studies at level VG3 when they return. Teachers and staff from Danielsen VideregÄende Skole have visited the American schools on several occasions. VG1 students from Danielsen have preference of enrolment at the American schools.

For the academic year 2016/17, students receive a grant from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund to partially cover tuition fees (85%). They also receive a student living allowance and a travel grant. In total, these grants amount to about NOK 120,000. In addition to this, the students’ own expenses are not expected to exceed NOK 55,000. Exchange students will have to provide their own pocket money.

Hillcrest Lutheran Academy
Boarding school with 250 students from 7th – 12th grade.
Location: Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Owned by the Lutheran Brethren.


Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy
Day school with 800 students from 7th – 12th grade.
Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, near the city of Akron.

See pictures from CVCA.



STEP – Short-Term Exchange Program

The three students to the right in the picture are, from the left, Silje-Sofie, Sebastian and Kristine.

The three students to the right in the picture are, from the left, Silje-Sofie, Sebastian and Kristine.

Every autumn, a group of VG1 students attend a 10-day exchange program at our sister school Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, in Ohio, USA. The students stay with the families of American students, and attend the American school. They also go on a number of school trips, sometimes accompanied by the American host students. In this way, the students are given an opportunity to see whether they want to spend their VG2 year in the US, either at Cuyahoga or at Hillcrest. As part of the Short-Term Exchange Program (STEP), American students also travel to Norway a few months later, and this time the Norwegian students act as hosts.

Silje-Sofie Skomedal, Kristine FlÄten and Sebastian Vangsnes attended STEP in the autumn of 2014, and have many fond memories of their stay.

“Why did you want to attend the short-term exchange program?”

“I wanted to see what it was like to live with a host family, in case I wanted to spend my VG2 year at Cuyahoga in the US,” says Silje-Sofie. She continues: “And a friend of mine told me that I just had to come on the STEP trip, and it was great to spend a week in the US. And if you’re not going to the US the following year, you at least get a sample of what it’s like”, Silje-Sofie points out.

“How was the experience of staying with a host family?”

“I stayed with two different families, and they were very different, and I was received in very different ways”, Kristine says.

Sebastian thinks that it was “surprisingly fun. The host families were very kind.”

Silje-Sofie worried that it would be a bit intimidating, but she was very well received.

The three students have a lot of stories from their short-time exchange stay. From films and TV, they recognised some characteristic elements of American schools, like school canteens, school buses and all the different school sports teams. All students have to pick a sport for some of their school years, and they practice for two hours a day. The school takes great pride in its sports teams. Cheerleading is another option, and they also excel at cross-country running.

“Did you learn any English during you stay?”

Sebastian says that he started thinking in English, and that he spoke less Norwegian than ever before.

“In the beginning, it was tiring having to think a lot, since I am not that fluent in English,” Kristine says.

“I agree,” comes the ready reply from Silje-Sofie. “But you take to it quickly, and it’s great fun to use the language actively,” she says.

“What was the best part of your stay?”

“Cedar Point, which is an amusement park, and all of us were there, both the American and the Norwegian students”, says Silje-Sofie with a broad smile. “And it was so nice getting to know the four students who are over there now,” she continues.

Kristine says: “The American football game we got to watch was the best part. It was a home game for the school, and their first win. There was a lot of talking, and not that many people watching,” she continues.

“I turned 16 while I was there, and experienced a “sweet 16” celebration, and they really took it seriously,” says Sebastian.

The STEP stay has given the three students many new friends and a lot of fond memories. Kristine is also going back to Cuyahoga next year, and will spend her whole VG2 year there.