When hearing stories and advice from students who had studied abroad in the past, you hear all about the cool people they met, how fun it was to learn a new subject in a different country, and how much you will gain from your experience. What I was never warned about was that feeling of panic that sets in the week before you leave and realize that you are about to be living all by yourself in a country you’ve never been to, where English is the second language, where you’re going to have to cook all your own meals with ingredients that you cannot read the labels on because they’re not in English, where you’re going to have to figure out a whole new public transit system, and where you will be immersing yourself in a completely new culture. All of these thoughts were rushing through my head as I stepped on the plane to start my semester in Oslo, Norway.
As the plane touched down in Oslo all the worries I mentioned above turned into pure excitement. There was no turning back and it was time to start the adventure of a lifetime. After taking the express train from the airport to the hectic Oslo Central Station we were supposed to meet an arrival service who would direct us to where we needed to pick up the keys to our individual apartments. We quickly learned that because of our delayed flight in Iceland the arrival service had left thinking we weren’t going to show up. We eventually figured out where we needed to go and after a total of 36 hours of traveling (from the time we left PDX), I set foot in my apartment at 22:00 and soon after, got some much needed sleep.
The next couple days we had no commitments, so I took the time to explore my neighborhood, get some living essentials, and begin to set up my apartment. I quickly fell in love with my neighborhood; my campus is a 10-minute walk away, the grocery store 5 minutes, neighborhood coffee shops on every corner, and bus stops all around.
I cannot wait for all of the upcoming adventures Oslo has in store for me and the rest of the Linfield students studying here. I have a feeling it will be an incredible semester.