It’s been eight months and 4,501 miles since Jorgen Beck came to Rogers High.
And already the Rogers senior forward has left an indelible mark on the Rams boys soccer team. The exchange student has helped Rogers (3-1-3 4A SPSL South league) to a 4-2-4 overall record with a month to go.
“Jorgen has one of the best on-ball skills I’ve seen,” Rogers coach JR Farias said. “It’s hard to knock him off his dribble.”
It started as my sister works in an exchange program, and people were saying this is a great experience — ‘Best year of my life’.
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To get to this point, Rogers and Beck had to make an exchange.
“I came here August 20,” Beck said. “It’s a lot of fun, now that soccer’s on. I have a lot to do.”
After coming to the city of Puyallup and Rogers High from Notteroy, Norway — a small southeastern island municipality in Vestfold County, just off the Skagerrak Sea, and roughly the size and population of Puyallup — Beck is feeling at home.
“My sister works in an exchange program, and people were saying this is a great experience — ‘Best year of my life,’” Beck said about his decision to come to Rogers. “I like to travel, and I’ve been to many countries. I’ve been to America, but for only two weeks.”
That was before he came to live in Puyallup.
“I wanted to do something different than what my friends are doing (back home), so I decided to study abroad,” Beck said. “Why not just take a year abroad?’”
But the decision didn’t come without some reservation. Beck knew he would feel isolated, like many exchange students feel being so far from home and the familiar faces of friends and love ones.
I would definitely recommend it to people who want to experience another person’s country, and to get out and see the world. It takes a little courage, but it’s an experience people won’t soon forget.
It’s always difficult to stop one’s life in one place, to only try to pick it up in another, unknown part of the world. But the opportunity to go far outweighed the nerves Beck felt about leaving.
“I miss my friends and stuff, but I have grown a lot as a person,” Beck said. “I came here without knowing anyone in the whole country. Now I have a bunch of friends. It’s just good.”
And that’s what matters to Beck in life, he added, creating bonds that reach across an ocean and nations.
We love having him here. We welcome anyone who wants to come play for Rogers because it just makes the experience even better.
“We love having him here,” defender Scott Maxa said. “We welcome anyone who wants to come play for Rogers because it just makes the experience even better.”
It’s an experience Beck has been thrilled to go through, as the forward believes this is one of his best decisions he could make.
And if others in the future — from Puyallup or those coming to town — taking the chance to be an exchange student is one people should not pass up.
It’s a life-changing experience.
“I would definitely recommend it to people who want to experience another person’s country, and to get out and see the world,” Beck said. “It takes a little courage, but it’s an experience people won’t soon forget.”