Rolly talks about the trip to Sweden

On this page you can read about:

  • Rolly’s experience of moving to Sweden.
  • The flight to Sweden.
  • Their reception at the airport.
  • Their new home.
  • The different seasons and weather.

Rolly and the other children in the letter are fictional.


My name is Rolly and I’m ten years old. I live in northern Sweden with my family. We moved here from Congo when I was seven years old. We travelled by plane. I thought it was going to be fun and exciting, because it was my first time flying. Everything went well. The food was good and I slept for a while on the airplane. It’s important to listen to your parents and the staff at the airport and on the airplane.

When we arrived in Sweden, we met people at the airport who took us to our new home. The drive there was really long. We drove through several cities but also through a lot of forest. I had never seen so many trees before!

A flight attendant standing near passengers seated on an airplane

Photo: Lucas Souza/

Sweden is very different from Congo, but I really like my new home. My family and I live in a third-floor flat. It has a kitchen, living room, bathroom and two bedrooms. My sister and I share a bedroom. That’s a bit hard sometimes.

I saw that my neighbours had a dog that was allowed to be indoors. In Congo, dogs usually have to stay outdoors, but here in Sweden lots of people have indoor pets.

At first it felt strange to hear people speaking Swedish everywhere, but I learned the language quickly in school.

A residential complex in which three blocks of flats are visible.

Photo: Swedish Migration Agency/Björn Bjarnesjö

Two children playing in a schoolyard. The girl is hanging onto the boy’s back.

Photo: Ann-Sofi Rosenkvist/

I’m in fourth grade. School was a bit tough at first, because I didn’t know Swedish, but now I have no problem keeping up with the lessons. My teachers are really helpful and I can ask them about anything that I have a problem with. There’s a nurse at the school, so if I get sick during the school day, I can go there for help.

I have a lot of friends at school. My best friend’s name is Maja. She loves football just like me, and we usually play football together during breaks.

Two children in overalls pull a sled up a snowy hill.

Photo: Carolina Romare/

Sometimes I get homesick, especially during the winter when it’s cold. It can get really cold here and it snows a lot. Maja and my other friends have shown me how to go sledding in the snow, and that’s so much fun. If you wear warm outerwear, like overalls, you won’t get cold when you’re playing in the snow. In fact, somtimes you get kinda hot!

A cinnamon bun on a platter with a hot beverage next to it.

Photo: Alexander Hall/ /

After we’ve been out in the snow, we usually go inside for “fika”. “Fika” means drinking milk, hot chocolate, or juice and eating cookies or buns with your friends. I like cinnamon buns, which are a very common kind of bun in Sweden.

A child jumps into the water from a pier at sunset.

Photo: Clive Tompsett/

In Sweden, there are four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. My favourite season is summer. It’s warm and sunny then, and best of all, I can wear a t-shirt and shorts and play football outdoors. In the summer we have a long holiday from school. I spend a lot of time outdoors with my friends, playing and swimming. When I first came to Sweden, I didn’t know how to swim and had to use a life jacket when I was near the water. Now I’ve both gone to swimming school and done some swimming as part of physical education class at school, so I’ve learned how to do it.

Here you and an adult can read about how to bathe safely (in swedish) External link.

We live near a lake. We usually go there to swim and eat ice cream. In summer, the sun stays up until late at night. At first I had trouble falling asleep, because it was so light outside.

At the end of June is Midsummer. People put up Swedish flags and Midsummer poles all over the place. A Midsummer pole is covered in leaves and flowers, and you usually dance around it. We grill sausages with friends and play.

Midsummer’s Eve is the longest day of the whole year, and we kids usually get to stay up late.

Welcome to Sweden! I hope you like it here!


A group of people celebrate Midsummer by dancing around a Midsummer pole.

Photo: Conny Fridh/

Questions to think about and discuss:

  • What did you like about Rolly’s letter?
  • Is there anything in the letter that was new to you?
  • Can you swim? Do you know how to bathe safely?

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