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Journals from Norway - Fall 2008

2008-09-05 First Few Weeks in Oslo

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Ive been in Oslo, Norway for a little over two weeks now. I love it. I came here with very few expectations, as I knew very little about Norway and what this alternative study abroad experience would entail. Being here now, there is no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision to study in Norway. Ive never traveled on my own so the most difficult part so far was definitely arriving alone and getting settled. Due to flight delays, I arrived at night. I got off a bus supposedly near my student house and lugged my baggage around the dark city asking random people where to go Once I was settled, making friends was very easy because the school places most international students on the same floors in the student houses. My friends are from all over the world and I am the only American. Its so amazing to meet and befriend people from so many different nations. My friends come from the Netherlands, France, Columbia, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Sweden. Ive also made some great Norwegian friends. The first week I got to know the transportation system of Oslo. The city is fairly easy to navigate once you figure out the tram and bus systems and buy a student monthly pass. It is a thirty-minute walk from my building to school and about an hour to the harbor, but its really nice to walk around because the city is so nice and clean. The weather in Oslo is completely bipolar. I was sunburned and caught in a thunderstorm in the same day. The cost of living in Oslo is ridiculous, but manageable. Im saving most of my money for traveling and sightseeing, so Im learning how to be smart about where I spend my money in the city. There are free concerts and festivals downtown, and ferry rides are included in the monthly transportation pass. The harbor and the islands on the Oslo fjord are beautiful. I feel like Ive been here for months because Ive seen and done so much in these first few weeks. Im trying to take advantage of the sunny weather while I can. This weekend a group of us are borrowing a tent and going camping on one of the islands! Janelle Levesque

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