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Journals from Telemark University College, Norway

2009-09-30 Mixed Emotions

As I arrive to the city of Bo, I am very tired and emotionally drained. I have finally reached this place I have studied about and been talking about for the past months. Its pouring down rain and evening is approaching. I get off the train and find students waiting for me with my housing information and a ride to my dorm. The students, or, as they call themselves, Norwegian Buddies, are very nice and excited for us to be there. They are very curious and have many questions regarding where we are from, how old we are, etc. We arrive at the housing soon enough and are told to just drop off our bags and hurry so we can go get groceries. As we go to the grocery store I find out that my housing is a 40-minute walk from campus, and that every store or business closes at 8 p.m. and will not be open the following day. We are too late to make the grocery store and are driven back to our dorms and dropped off with no food, internet, family or friends. I walk into my room, and sit down on the bed and start to cry my eyes out. I feel so lonely and homesick that I pick up my phone and call my mom. I am crying hysterically saying how awful it is, and how I can not live here, and I want to come home. My mom calmly explains that I havent even been away from home for more than 24 hours, and that its only my first night there, and every other international student is going through what I am going through, and that I havent even had time to think rationally and look at the big picture. She says that I am not alone because there were about 15 other international students at the train station with me and that the feelings I was experiencing were probably from exhaustion and culture shock. I realized that calling family when extremely emotional and confused is the greatest idea. My mom is a person who knows me well and made me look at the situation from a whole other view. I slept really well that night and woke up and went to orientation and met so many amazing people. Never let the emotions of jet lag and homesickness ruin a great experience. Janys Olsen

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