Saga Scheele of Sweden has spent the past year in Georgia as part of the Georgia Rotary Student program. She has been attending classes at Darton State College and will return home next month. Scheele said she will miss the warm weather and the “welcoming and outgoing” people of south Georgia. (Staff Photo: Terry Lewis)
ALBANY — Early next month, 20-year-old Sage Scheele will head back home to her native Sweden after spending nearly a year in Albany as part of the Georgia Rotary Student program. Scheele, a student at Darton State College, will carry back home memories which will last a lifetime.
Begun in 1946, Rotarians in Georgia, USA, have promoted world peace through understanding by offering scholarships to international students for one year of study in Georgia colleges and universities. Georgia Rotary Clubs sponsor students recommended by a Rotary Club in their home country.
The students become adopted members of a Georgia “host family,” but live on-campus at the school they attend. Each year, about 80 students from all over the world make friends in the United States and other nations and learn about differing cultures and life styles.
“Last year, when I first learned I would be coming to Georgia I was looking forward to the warm climate and really looking forward to meeting the people,” Scheele said Thursday before recounting her adventures before a luncheon with Albany Rotary Club. members. “I knew the United States was a big country and that people drive cars everywhere. I found this to be true.
“In Sweden, most people walk or ride bikes for transportation. Here it’s hard to get anywhere without a car.”
Scheele, who has been living in Darton’s on-campus student housing, said after she returns home she plans on majoring in industrial engineering and management in Stockholm.
“I have enjoyed my time here, and I will miss the people most of all,” Scheele said. “In Sweden, most of the people are kind of cold and standoffish. That is definitely not the case in Georgia. The people here are more laid back, welcoming and out-going. I will miss that.”
Scheele said she spent a lot of time in class and studying, but did manage to see her first football game.
“Yes, I did get to see some football, two games, in fact.” she said. “It did rain during one of the games, but we had fun anyway.”