Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 1: Beklager, jeg snakker ikke norsk (Sorry, I don't speak Norwegian)

by Chloe Kilpatrick, Nordland

I was afraid my first few days here in Bodø, Norway were going to be lonely and scary. I am so glad I was wrong! Most international students would not be moving in until 4-5 days later and I was sure I would be the only student in the dorm. Luckily, this was not the case. A Norwegian student was already living here and he was very open to showing me around to things that I was worried about finding. I think he could sense in some way that I was homesick and helped me stay busy to get through the first days which are always the most difficult. We went to the store, the mall, on a few hikes, played card games and watched movies.

 Before I knew it, I wasn’t homesick anymore and the other international students were moving in. There are people here from all over, even another student from the US! There are students from Pakistan, Bangladesh, France, Zimbabwe, Italy, Germany, Russia, Canada, Austria, Netherlands and the list goes on. It is so interesting to be in a room with all of these nationalities and everyone speaks English. I have always known that English is considered a “universal language” but you don’t really understand what that means until you are having conversations with people from 15 different native tongues but they are all speaking English. It always shocks me that every time I say “Oh, I’m sorry, I only speak English” the speaker immediately switches to English. I have yet to run into someone here that can’t speak English in some degree.  

I am most excited to be starting my classes this week. I have been preparing and taking large class loads for two years so that I could use mostly electives while abroad. I am so thrilled that I decided to do this and now I am getting to take some of the most amazing elective courses. The course module is called Adventure Knowledge and it revolves around learning about the culture and nature of Norway. Most of my classes are outside and we have a trip to a glacier that I am extremely excited about. I can’t wait to start documenting everything we get to do!