There’s a reason why World Explorer is the most popular PenPal Schools topic. When students are introduced to global PenPals, they naturally want to learn more about the world! In World Explorer, PenPals explore daily life, food, history, and pop culture together as they design original projects to share what they’ve learned.
Today’s PenPal Star is Erik from Sweden! Erik recently participated in World Explorer and had a chance to learn more about the world while teaching his PenPals about Sweden.
Erik is an 8th grader at Sveaskolan, and global connections are an important part of his school.
Global connections are very important in our school and the school's philosophy since they have an enormous impact on how our students see the world and the people who operate in it. The beauty with PenPals, we believe, are the differences one can see and learn about in people's everyday lives but even more so the similarities that the students can see and learn from.
Erik had a chance to share a lot about his life and culture in Sweden.
In Sweden, Malmö we have been influenced by the whole world. We have a lot of different cultures and with that comes a lot of different foods. Street food is very popular and my favorites are sushi and falafel/kebab. Sushi is pretty exclusive but still it's seen as fast food. Sushi comes from Japan and I guess it comes from the globalisation since we don't have a lot of Asian people living here. We also have a lot of good Italian pizza restaurants with authentic Italian pizza. Italian pizza obviously comes from Italy which is fairly close to Sweden but still I reckon it has to do with the globalisation. So these first two dishes I have mentioned where non Swedish foods so I thought I would also share the most Swedish food you can get which is meatballs served with mashed potato, green peas, lingonberry jam and gravy.
Erik also had a chance to form new opinions as he learned about important historical figures from around the world, different types of communities, and pop culture.
I would choose to travel back to the beginning of the 20th century when Albert Einstein was alive. Albert Einstein had an unusual way of thinking, and because of that he discovered and determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers. Also he determined that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers. This was the theory of special relativity. Simplified it means that he describes a room and the characteristics of the time when you take away the gravitation's impact. It introduced a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time. So you probably would ask me why I would choose Einstein, and I would answer -because I'm kind of into modern physics. This was a very big step for the modern physics and is a very indispensable tool for modern physics. This has made many everyday inventions possible like google maps, the clock on your phone and the lasers making the doors at the supermarket open automatically.
I would rather live in an urban community since if I would live in a rural community I would feel like I'm outside the society. but I think that mostly depends on where my friends and family life right now. But if I could choose where my friends and family would live I would still choose the city because it is close to everything like my activities, nice cafes, good grocery stores and good education. And with that better grades, better jobs, more alternatives for the perfect life. But it also depends on where in the world, here in Sweden there is not that much discrimination and war so its fine to live in the city but in other cities its a whole other thing.
If I could become a famous artist I would become Pavel Petkuns who is a freerunner/parkour athlete, also called Pasha the boss. It's not clear for everybody how a athlete is a artist, but I see everyone who does parkour as a artist. If you see dancing as art then you may understand how I think. In parkour competitions you get points for how advanced the moves you perform is, but also you get points for the style. Like dancing where you also get style points. Unlike dancing parkour doesn't have different specific styles. But if this does not persuade you enough there even is a Redbull competition called Redbull art of motion, which is pretty much the biggest parkour competition in the world. I would create new moves with my own body, and explore the limits of motion.
Based on his writing, it’s no surprise that Erik likes to spend his free time training or hanging out with his friends. When he’s not learning with PenPals, his favorite subject is math because he likes to solve problems. We caught up with Erik to learn more about his experience in World Explorer.
PENPAL SCHOOLS: What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
ERIK: That you write your own answer and it doesn't have to be just facts.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
I am more interested in different cultures.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
Because you get to see thing from different perspectives.
How did you feel when you found out you were going to be featured as a PenPal Star?
I felt honored.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would travel to Brazil because their culture is far from our culture here in Sweden.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
Be yourself in the text don't just write facts, write about things that are special for you or your culture. Otherwise the texts will be the same all over the world.
Erik did such a great job of writing detailed responses and expressing his original ideas. Thanks, Erik for being such a great PenPal!
Your students can explore the world with PenPals like Erik in World Explorer. Sign up today to get started!