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Rena, Norway 

Solveig Bugge - 1961-62

18-year-old Norwegian Girl, Solveig Bugge, to be OHS exchange Student, live at Dixons'

Solveig Bugge, 18-year-old daughter of a Norwegian forestry officer, will be Oberlin’s high school foreign exchange student for the coming year under the American Field Service International Scholarships program.

R. W. McEwen, chairman of the local AFS committee, has just received notice of the scholarship appointment.
But Solveig will not wait for the new school term to begin her year “abroad.” She arrives in New York July 27.

Will live with Dixons
She will live with Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Dixon, 336 Reamer.

The Dixons have three children – Linda, who graduated from Oberlin High School in June; Beth, who will be a high school sophomore; and Paul, in seventh grade.

Solveig’s home is in Rena, a little town 90 miles northwest of Oslo. It’s too small to have the population noted on his atlas, says McEwen.

She went through the 10th grade at Rena and then was admitted to Oslo Katedralskole to continue her education.

Seven years of English
She has been studying English for the past seven years. Her other languages are German, in which she rates herself as “good,” and French, in which her mastery is “fair.”

Her chief interests in academic subjects are history, literature, politics and languages.

She takes an active interest in sports and fishing, skis, water skis and swims.

There are four other daughters in the Bugge family, one of them married, and one son, Hans Jorgen, 15.

Account of her life

Solveig’s application includes the following account of her family and life:

“I was in the lucky position of growing up in a family as the fifth of six children. In 1928, as a newly wed couple, my parents settled down in that forestry district of Osterdalen, where my father who had just finished his education as a forestry officer, had bought a farm.

“They sold the farm in 1937 and built a new house near Rena, a little village in the same district.

“The house is roomy and well shaped for a family with many children. It has got a beautiful, view southwards [over] the valley over the river Glomma, which runs broad and quiet enframed by fields and meadows, but first and foremost the evergreen pine forests, covering the hill sides.

“I have grown up with the best opportunities for play, free permission to woods and fields without the hampers which the traffic offers a child who grows up in a city.

“My parents have given us children all opportunities to develop in a free and independent way.

“Our home has always been open to our friends. We have had the chance to express our thoughts and opinions, and my parents have given time to listen to us and to help us solve our problems.

“One of my best playmates was a dog, an English setter, which we had from 1945-1957 and I think this one of the reasons why I am especially fond of dogs.

“When I was six years old, I attended school, and I became a girl guide as soon as I was old enough for it.

On to high school
“After having passed my elementary school exam, I went to Rena High School which could lead me as far as 10th grade. During those years I got my political interest and joined a political youth organization.

“In 1959 I had to leave Rena to get further education, and I was lucky enough to be admitted a student of Oslo Katedralskole where my sisters Maja and Else earlier had passed their examen atrium (matriculation degree).

Father travels
“My father’s occupation as head of the timber department of a great pulp factory makes him travel a lot, most frequently between Oslo and Rena. But he has never been away from us for any long period except for the winter 1952-53 when he went to the Philippines, in a commission for FAO to investigate the possibilities of founding sulphate factories out there.

“We have got a little mountain cottage which enables us to go skiing every day even during the Easter holidays when the snow usually is rotten and melting away in the valleys. Therefore we always spend these holidays up there.

$650 collected here
The $650 needed to bring the exchange student to Oberlin is already on hand, according to McEwen.

Contributions ranging from$25 to $100 have been made by the following organizations: Senior Forum, Exchange Club, Oberlin Forum, City Club, Nineteenth Century Club, Rotary Club, Oberlin High School students, Oberlin High School PTA and Kiwanis.


Portrait photograph: Solveig Bugge
Oberlin News-Tribune, Oberlin, Ohio, Thursday, June 29, 1961, pp. 1A.
Posted 16 May 2006
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