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Journals from Oslo, Norway - Our Shared European Cultures

2012-08-28 Public Transportation, Tigers and Ikea! OH MY!

I have been in Oslo for 2 weeks, its hard to believe that this is my life now. I am having so much fun! I am making a lot of friends here. It is nice because most of them are study abroad students as well from other European countries and they all want to go explore the city with me! We went to an island the other day when there was nice weather. The island is situated in the Oslo harbor. It is called Nakholmen. It was very easy to get to. The public transportation in this city is fantastic. Students can get a card called the Ruter card. It has a nice student price and it is a monthly pass to use EVERY type of transportation the city has to offer. It covers the subway, buses, trains, trams, and ferries. We took a bus from where we live in St. Hanshaugen to the central station, which is in the heart of the city. From there we took a tram that took us to the harbor. From the harbor we took a ferry ride to the island. The island is small enough that you can walk everywhere. In fact, there are now paved streets on the island, but there are no motor vehicles whatsoever. The island has little cottages, which are used as summer homes for the people who live in the city. We found a hill that plunged into the sea and we stayed there and had a picnic. My friends jumped of the cliff into the water and swam around. I did not bring a swim suit, but I was also too afraid to jump in. But I still had a lovely time and I even managed a sun burn! It is funny that the tannest/most burnt I got this whole summer was when I went to Norway.

I am going to school here too--it is called study abroad, after all. My course is called Our Shared European Cultures, or OSEC and it is an education course. It is made up of 4 classes, English, Pedagogics, Social Studies, and Religion/Philosophy. The course is made up of other study abroad students, and we all share and discuss the differences in our education systems, depending on the class we are in. It is really interesting to learn about the other places people come from and what other students are learning about in their home countries. 

Today, some of my friends and I went to Ikea! Because we live in apartments here I do not have things like hangers, or a duvet cover. The building we live in does supply you with a duvet and a pillow. But I needed a cover still. I also needed tupperware, because my classes run during lunch time so I have to pack my lunch most days. We met up at the tiger in the center of Oslo, and from there we took a free bus to Ikea.
One might think, why is there a tiger in the center of the city? Well it comes from an old poem that compares Oslo-the dangerous city, dangerous like a tiger, to the rural Norwegian country side-calm like a horse. In the poem the horse and the tiger battle. Olso's nickname is "Tigerstaden" which means the tiger city. It is quite a statue to see! It is very big!

Until next time!

Laura Breshock

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