Swedish exchange student Luba Wiander, 17, who is attending Brainerd High School for this academic year, will present a free public program on her Scandinavian homeland on Thursday, Dec. 1 at noon on the campus of Central Lakes College in Brainerd. The Cultural Thursday presentation concludes at 12:50 p.m. after a question-answer period. Self-described as a happy girl who likes to try new things, Luba has completed one year of high school in Stockholm. Among her interests are piano and all music, travel, American history and government, photography and art communication, Nordic skiing, and several foreign languages. She is living with the Brock and Jaimi Peterson family of Baxter. Geographically, Sweden is the largest country in northern Europe and fifth in the whole of Europe. The country is home to world-famous brands like Volvo, Ikea, Saab, and Ericsson. It is the home of Bluetooth and the ATM. Swedes enjoy one of the highest standards of living in Europe. Sweden has a long and proud history of academic excellence, with outstanding universities dating back to the 15th century. Sweden is the home of the Nobel Prize, the world’s most prestigious academic distinction. Swedish university students are required to pay a membership fee in the student union, but no tuition. All employees (including graduate students) get 5 weeks of paid vacation a year. Parents get a total of 13 months of paid maternity leave and the father is required to take at least 1 month of it.