You would think Scandinavians would be used to the cold, but several of Boscobel's four foreign exchange students are having a hard time dealing with winter in Wisconsin.
"I've been so cold all the time," says Elena Hirst, a 17-year-old from Kolbu, Norway who is staying with Andy and Robin Jones.
"They think we're from Brazil or something," adds Helen Andersson of Tungelsta, Sweden. "It's the wind; we don't have it like this in Sweden. I see some kids wearing shorts; that's just crazy." Helen, 18, is staying with Marsha Parker and her daughter Ashlee.
All four say they are en-joying their stay in Boscobel, except for the cold, and that their host families have been wonderful.
Helen and Elena have enjoyed being Boscobel cheerleaders, as has Oda Hamnes, a 17-year-old from Surnadal, Norway who is staying with Andy and Michelle Burbach in Mt. Zion.
Lea Rechner, 16, of Halle Saale, Germany isn't a cheerleader, but is active in choir. She is staying with Dennis and Sue Connely.
While most of the girls are from relatively small towns, Lea lives in a city of 250,000. "Size-wise, it's something new," she says.
"I go to school in a town about the size of Boscobel," says Elena, her sentiments echoed by Oda and Helen.
When asked what they like most about Boscobel the response is almost in unison: "The coffee shop! We love the coffee shop," referring to Timber Lane Coffee.
When asked what the biggest difference is between going to high school in Boscobel and their hometowns another similar response was shared between the girls: clothes.
"We wear tight skinny jeans in Sweden," says Helen. "Here it's more boot cut. We also wear a lot of black. You don't see the pink, glitter and neon that you see here."
"It's just different," adds Oda.
As far as schoolwork, all agreed there is a big difference between Boscobel and northern Europe, a sentiment that has been echoed by previous foreign exchange students.
"Back home there's school and then you go home," says Elena. "There's no cheerleading or after school sports. In a way, I learn more here. I work less but I learn more. It's different."
"In Germany, school is more like a job," says Lea.
Helen agreed, saying, "School is not as serious here as it is at home; here it's more fun."
"I prefer school here," says Oda, who has a deer mount in her bedroom at the Burbach home, something you would never see in Norway, or Sweden for that matter.
"I've never seen a gun before I came here," says Helen. "No one back home has guns. It's something we only see in the movies."
All the girls speak fluent English. Oda says they start teaching young Norwegians English in Kindergarten. Helen says English is man-datory in Sweden beginning at age eight.
Besides studying and participating in extra-curricular activities, the girls are active teacher's aides at the elementary school. And they are all looking forward to donning caps and gowns with their classmates in May. After that, well, the response is uniform: travel.
"We're going to travel a lot! Everywhere!" says Helen.
But they will be taking their year-long memories of Boscobel with them.