Norwegian Experience May 07, 2014

By (Biology, General., Millsaps College) - abroad from 08/13/2013 to 12/03/2013 with

ISEP Exchange: Bodo - Exchange Program at University of Nordland

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
How to love on my own and adapt to a culture I knew nothing about before arriving there. Yes it was worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Challenging classes but there was still enough time to hangout with and met new friends.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Mostly helpful. Not always easy to get in touch with. The food stipend did not always come in on time but everything worked out fine in the end.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in an apartment about 10 minutes away from the school. I did not mind sharing the bathroom and shower with three roommates. Most of the time everything was quite and relaxing there.

* Food:

Norway is not exactly known for there amazing food. But there is always frozen pizza as a back up! The best food I had during my time there was the food my new friends from various countries cooked.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The culture can feel very abrasive at first and takes a little getting used to. It is very different than American culture. People are not as friendly to strangers as what I am used to. But the Norwegian friends I made ended up being great people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was kind of an annoyance. I had to return to there ER three times in order to finally get the antibiotics right. It was expensive and a long bus ride to get there.

* Safety:

I could not have felt safer in the town I lived in. There was little to no crime. I never felt worried about walking alone at night or going for runs on local trails. I would recommend that people use there common sense about making good decisions, just like that would at home and everything will be fine.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Norway is a very expensive country. Food prices are very high but I still managed to eat fresh food. Going out to eat is extremely expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $240
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan on not eating out much and take any invitation for dinner that friends give you!

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Norwegian for foreigners course
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Use Norwegian at the grocery stores!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Experience of nature course
  • Meeting other international students
* What could be improved?
  • Timing of food stipend
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To bring two medium size suitcases instead of one huge one. Also to pack less clothes.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.