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Alumni News

Connie Nesbary Featured In YFU Sweden Magazine

Jennifer McKendree

In last Septembers issue of OPUS, an online magazine run by YFU Sweden, featured Connie Nesbary and her return to Sweden! She studied abroad there through YFU in 1972 and recently got the chance to go back and visit. 

Here is a translation of the article:

Connie is back in Sweden!

Exchange student in Sweden 1972

By Johan Berselius from OPUS – September 2015

It was 1972 and ten students all the money needed through fundraisers to be USA exchange students with YFU.

YFU had presentations at the school and normally four students traveled each year.  In 1972 Connie managed to convince her friends to go also and there were ten who would travel that year.  Connie comes from the State of Michigan and she was Class President and loved to meet new people and learn about new cultures.  Sweden was enticing and she went to Stockholm in the summer of 1972.  Before departure, Connie took a university course in Swedish to be able to fit into the Swedish society more quickly.

Connie has kept in touch with her Swedish sister through exchanging letters, some through mail and some through Facebook and Skype, and her host family has also been to visit her home in the USA.  Connie visited Stockholm again in 1976 and stayed one week and among other things rode in the family’s boat which was named after Connie – a great honor!  In the summer of this year, she returned to Sweden and stayed 5 days with her Swedish family, which was wonderful after 39 years since she left the USA as a teenager.

Connie considers that her two and a half months in Sweden changed her life.  It opened her eyes to see that the world was so big; that there were so many different views and opinions.  She is incredibly grateful about having met her Swedish family, and her experience in Sweden gave her hope and support in life.

Connie’s husband went abroad with an International Jazz Band and her daughter with an International Choir (through Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp).  Connie’s family believes that exchange programs are incredibly important when it comes to increasing the understanding between different cultures.