Studying overseas: Norway, United States

Students travel near and far to attend Linfield. Some even travel more than 4,700 miles just to become a Wildcat.

Linfield has an exchange program with two schools in Norway, where current Linfield students can go to study, and the students of each university can come to study in McMinnville. The universities in Norway are Oslo & Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Oslo, Norway, and Telemark University College in Bø, Norway.

This year, three students from Norway are studying at Linfield. One student will be studying at Linfield in pursuit of a four-year degree, one student is from Bø on exchange for the year and one student is from Oslo for fall semester on exchange.

In return, Linfield sent two students to study in Oslo for the fall semester and one student will study in Bø during the spring.

The experience of going to any foreign country can be overwhelming but exciting.

Linda Nilsen, a student from Bø, describes the transition as challenging at first but rewarding.

“[One of the hardest adjustments was] the time difference, nine hours. I was so sleepy the first couple weeks. The U.S. is nine hours behind [Norway],” Nilsen said.

Nilsen also talked about the stress of homework when she started at Linfield.

“In Norway, you are responsible for your own learning when you are in college,” Nilsen said. “The teacher won’t check you. If you want to learn, you have to study.”

Nilsen also has experienced a lot of new things so far by participating in events put on by the Linfield Activities Board.

“The best part is getting to know new people and learning about their culture. And since there are so many cultures here, I am learning a lot,” Nilsen said. “There are a lot of things to attend here and experience, [I] love it. One weekend, for example, I attended the Art Harvest tour; fantastic, will never forget that a woman showed us her fantastic self-built house. And I will never forget and not least will I miss my roommate’s crepes.”

Also through the exchange, senior Amanda Maxwell had the opportunity to travel to Norway to study for a semester.

“The biggest adjustment or hardest challenge was to change my style of living,” Maxwell said. “I tried to eat where Norwegian students ate, participate in group activities and live one day at a time rather than rushing through the week.”

Maxwell also got thrown into new experiences when starting in the Norwegian school system.

“My experience with the Norwegian school system was eye-opining and conducive to my own personal learning style. Because of my study program, classes met occasionally each week, except for Norwegian language and eco-philosophy,” Maxwell said. “The majority of my classes took place outdoors in the field where we learned about waterways, coastlines and mountains of Norway. I found the different curriculums offered to be engaging, not only at a personal level but global as well.”

The cultural experience gained on both sides of the exchange is beneficial to the students participating in the exchange, as well as those who are meeting these students while they are abroad, spreading cultural knowledge.

Senior Amanda Maxwell and classmates take a trip to the coast in Norway. Maxwell was studying in Norway during the fall semester of 2011.


Kaylyn Petersen/Culture Editor

Kaylyn Petersen can be reached at

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