In a blink of an eye half of the semester has flashed by! Before studying abroad I thought four months would be plenty of time to travel the country, meet some locals and learn about the culture. But now that half of my time is up I’m realizing how important it is to appreciate every day here and take in every detail about Norway.
Like at Linfield, we have mid-semester exams here as well. Luckily for my program we only had one exam in Norwegian class. The testing method was very similar to tests back at Linfield and I felt very comfortable with the process. After the exam, the friluftsliv (outdoor life) students started to prepare for our final trip of the semester. This was our study trip, so we were without an instructor for 10 days (5 days hiking in the mountains and 5 days canoeing). It was very important for us to plan the trip thoroughly since we wouldn’t have the guides with us, but also very exciting to form our very own trip plan.
We woke up early on a brisk fall day and began hiking out of Bø to the trailhead. The next 5 days we explored the mountains of Lifjell in the snow, wind and briefly the sun. There were some cold nights (-5° C or 23° F), but it gave us an opportunity to use our mountain skills like navigation, starting a campfire and simply staying warm. The following 5 days we paddled down two lakes and two rivers until we reached our final destination. After 10 days with no shower, clean clothes or dry shoes we were all ready to hop in the taxi back to Bø. It was hard to see the trip end because it was the last trip for our class, but we realized that there are a lot of adventures that were waiting for us back home as well.
Looking back on all the trips I am stunned by how much I’ve learned; nothing could beat those experiences! I have learned so much about outdoor life, but maybe more importantly I have really learned a lot about how I can be a member of a group and work well with all kinds of personalities. Now that we are back, we have plenty of papers to write and assignments to catch up on. Only 6 weeks left of classes…time flies when you’re in Norway!