I still remember the day I arrived in Oslo like it was yesterday and quite frankly I wish it still was only yesterday.
I arrived in Oslo on NYE 2016 and after being given directions to my accommodation by a friendly Norwegian that I had met on the plane, I set about trying to enjoy the new year with some locals. Luckily enough I had met some Norwegians from UTS Intents who were more than happy to send me in the direction of their friends living in Oslo. What resulted was watching fireworks go off literally 5 metres away from you in an inner city park, before rushing to a house party where people were more than happy to share their champagne and cigars as everyone danced the night away. That was day one…
Oslo itself is relatively small compared to Sydney with roughly 600 000 people, however, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is essentially 20 minutes to anywhere in the city on the metro and is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Be it the harbour itself that Oslo is built around, Sognsvann lake to the North of the city, or the mountains and fjords further beyond, it doesn’t take long before you start to see what this beautiful city and country has to offer.
Norway itself is can expensive place to live but you will be surrounded by other exchange students looking to be savvy with their money and will often here about deals before the locals! Getting a job here can be difficult if you do not speak the language so be sure to do the hard yards and save back home. Norwegians themselves generally have a very active and healthy lifestyle. It’s not uncommon to see people suited up for work and others geared up for a midday skiing session on the same bus.
Going on exchange itself is also an experience. At some point whilst on your exchange you will most likely be nervous, unsure, scared, frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, homesick and quite simply upset. However, even with this in mind, the memories, unforgettable experiences and new friends from all over the world are not something you will ever find staying at home.
I am 4 months into my semester exchange in Norway and were it possible, I would do it again in a heartbeat…
Tony Mahnkopf, 99129417, UTS Bachelor of Property Economics, currently on exchange at BI Handelshøyskolen, Norway