An Expensively Enjoyable Experience! Past Review

By (The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 08/15/2016 to 12/19/2017 with

University of Oslo: Oslo - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to adapt to a different culture and that there is so much more to life than most Americans know. For example, the US is huge on consumerism, and oftentimes we feel as though we always have to be doing something. Unlike the US, Norway takes a step back to appreciate what they have and make their lives cozy and spend time with loved ones (i.e. nearly all stores are closed on Sundays to encourage family time).

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.

The professors at UiO cared solely about their personal research projects much more than their students. While my professors were passionate about their subjects, they seemed like they didn't care about the students' success themselves. This makes sense based on the country's culture, but coming from UT Austin -- where I have had absolutely incredible teachers who go out of their way to chat with/help me out -- this type of teaching was a struggle for me to adapt to. Otherwise, UiO has a lot of organization's you can join. It can be challenging to make friends here, so I suggest getting involved in whatever you can the second you are able to!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The few UiO staff I spoke with were incredibly helpful. However, it takes forever to obtain your apartment keys, welcome packet, etc.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a studio in Grunerlokka, and it was great! However, I did have a broken stove for a long time (it took 2 months for them to finally fix it after I put in the request, and I constantly had to check-up on it).

* Food:

Norwegian food is AMAZING -- especially the fish soup! However, it is very expensive, so be prepared.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Luckily, I am in a certificate program that teaches you about cultural differences and how to adapt in such situations, so I think I was better off than a lot of people in that department. Plus, everyone there spoke English, which made it easy to communicate with everyone.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program did assist me when I tore my knee during a hike. I was getting emails from 3 different people/sections, and those people all did a great job of making sure I was taken care of. They seemed to really care about my well-being. Also, the doctor I had in Norway was absolutely incredible! He even called me on a weekend to make sure I was doing alright. And he told me I could stop in whenever if I needed anything.

* Safety:

Norway is one of the safest countries in the world, so I felt pretty safe there. While trains and buses and trams stop running kind of early, I always was fine walking home with a friend or a few friends after a night out. The police are also very present throughout Oslo.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Every experience is a learning experience, whether it be good or bad. While I had an amazing time in Norway and met so many good people and learned a lot, it was way too expensive for a college student to live there for six months.


* 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. Expensive. It's only expensive for tourists (because Norwegians' wages are higher), but you REALLY need to budget if you plan on going there.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about $300
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? BUDGET! I was given my college fund and unnecessarily blew it on the whole trip because I wasn't used to having money that I perceived as disposable. I have been struggling with money ever since I got back from Norway.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?
  • Healthcare
  • Kindness of the people
* What could be improved?
  • Residency permit process (i.e. apply at home!)
  • Costs
  • More UT students (there was only one other UT student studying there that semester with me, but I didn't know until a month after I got back home because no one at UT ever told me)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? BUDGET! I knew Norway was expensive, but I didn't know just how expensive. Also, APPLY FOR RESIDENCY BEFORE ARRIVING IN NORWAY! Doing so will make things much easier and less stressful.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'