Wednesday, October 4, 2017

two months in Norway

Chloe Kilpatrick
Bodø, Norway

Today marks two months of being in Bodø, Norway. The last two months hold some of the most amazing times of my life. I have been hiking on a glacier, hiking around fjords, swimming in the arctic circle, canoeing on an amazing lake, and meeting some of the best people. I can’t believe that this time has gone by so fast. The best part is that its only half way. I still have so much time to embrace this wonderful, enchanting culture.  I’ve even started knitting a Norwegian pullover. Knitting is kind of a big thing here (students even knit in class!). I can’t even imagine the things I will get to do in the months to come.

Before coming to Norway, I was terrified that I would be so homesick that I couldn’t bare it and that I wouldn’t make any friends. Looking back on it, that worry was the biggest waste of my time. This has been hands down some of the best times of my life. I couldn’t have asked for better classes or better people to meet. The classes I am taking involve hiking, looking at art and learning about the Norwegian school system. They couldn’t be more different from my normal class schedule at MC. For a split second after getting into the university I contemplated switching to science classes since they are offered here, but decided it might be good to have a change for once. Thank the Lord I didn’t change them! I think by taking these classes I have taken my experience to a new level. I have had the chance to do so many things that wouldn’t have been possible had I been stuck in a book the whole semester. The break that I have gotten by taking such different classes has offered more insight than I could ask for. Insight into the other faculties and life outside natural science. Over my time at Maryville, I chose to take huge course loads so that I had the opportunity to choose any university I wanted, without having to worry about rather they offered the right science course that would transfer perfectly. I had the chance to look into the country that I would be going to instead of just the classes that would be offered. I am so happy that I decided to torture myself for a few years to get this experience.

It’s still possible to study abroad without planning this far ahead. There is a misconception within the natural science world that it’s too difficult to study abroad for a full semester but that is completely false. Studying abroad is possible to anyone, in any faculty, even if you don’t believe it. There are always ways to manipulate the curriculum to give you that semester with some flexibility. I believe that studying abroad can benefit you greatly if you just let it. My only regret is not studying abroad sooner so that I could extend this to a full year abroad! I strongly URGE you to look into studying abroad if you have the slightest feeling that you might want to do it. It just might change your life, because it definitely has changed mine.