The Start Of A New Semester

As my first week of classes comes to a close. I already know this semester will be unlike any semester I have had before. For one, I only have a single class at OsloMet, called “Fairytales and Creativity”, and we meet for several hours every day. Second, every day we have different teachers and different classrooms, depending on what topics we are covering that day. Spending so much time focused on one subject— telling stories— allows us to explore an endless amount of mediums for storytelling (music, acting, radio, stop-motion animation, to name a few examples) as well as different subjects regarding storytelling (heroes, monsters, the dynamics between storyteller and audience).

If we are focused on storytelling and group activities, we might occupy a drama classroom. For lectures, a wide auditorium. For the day we spent six hours learning about telling stories utilizing music, we occupied one of the music rooms (rooms that are open to all students, even after hours). My favorite part of the school day, however, is the thirty-to-forty minute lunch break we get, in which my classmates and I swarm the dining hall for coffee and then dutifully turn our our faces to the sun while we sit outdoors, eating packed lunches like we’re children again, and comparing our different lives in different countries.

Two students holding drums in a music classroomA line of students holding drums in a music classroom

But, in addition to school, my classmates and I have found a variety of other things to do in Oslo for the hours we are not acting out fairy tales. Hiking, including urban hiking like city tours, are a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and international students who do not know anyone in the city are always looking for something social to do. This means exploring every bakery within walking distance (of which there are many), or taking a boat out to one of the many nearby islands for a relaxing day on the water.

One thing I’ve learned is that Norwegians spend as much time as possible outside— taking a quick walk or going to the grocery store means passing an endless series of parks, full of joggers, athletes and kids running around. It’s refreshing to see, mostly because I know these areas will quiet down once the weather turns cold. For now, though, I love taking in a city that is so beautiful and so alive.

The sunset view from a rocky beach on Hovedøya, an island right off Oslo
The sunset view from a rocky beach on Hovedøya, an island right off Oslo