Norway? No way!

This is the first country I have visited since coming over here! People were surprised by my choice, but I honestly couldn’t be happier with my experience there and it made my fall break the refreshing and fun break from Uni that I needed.

Oslo, Norway is the biggest city in the country and full of diverse people and foods. It’s also packed with great activities.

On my first day in Oslo we arrived at the home of the family hosting us, who turned out to be some of the most genuinely sweet and welcoming people I have met. My friend Jamie and I were tired from our travels, and they made us a lovely taco dinner – which was frankly the last thing I expected to be eating in Norway.

The next day we were classic tourists! The picture above is from a sculpture park created by the amazingly talented Gustav Vigeland. The park is huge and the statues – all naked – represent the different stages of life. I was amazed that so much emotion and liveliness can be captured in solid stone. This was definitely my favourite tourist attraction from the trip.

Next we went out to coffee with our host momma Mona and our host sister Pirnella. If you ever go to Norway please get a mocha from the coffee chain W.B. Samson; it will blow your mind! In the four days I was there I must have had eight.

While I was with the host family I asked them a lot about the government and the way things are run there, since I find socialist countries absolutely fascinating! In Norway they have hardly any homelessness and poverty, and they take in thousands of refugees from countries where there is violence. They will let virtually anyone come to one of their refugee camps – more like a nice dormitory than anything – where food and shelter is provided.

Their McDonald’s employees make the equivalent of between $16-24 per hour. All of this is done out of the goodness of their hearts and there is a true desire among the people there to help the less fortunate. I couldn’t help but compare it to the US and it makes me sad! There are definitely some lessons to be learned from Norway.

One of the sweetest moments from my trip was when we went out to dinner on our last night with our host sister and her friend. I got some fantastic Asian cuisine and we had fantastic conversation. I asked them what their favorite part about being Norwegian was; one said the level of caring and compassion in the society, and the other said the summer which can get up to 80 degrees and is sunny virtually 24 hours a day.

I never thought I would say this but I can actually picture myself living in Norway – who knows?

Studying abroad makes all of Europe so accessible and affordable – my round trip flight was only $100. I will never forget Norway and I can’t wait for my next adventure!

Nathaniel GeogheganNathaniel Geoghegan is earning a bachelor’s degree in English at San Diego State University. He is blogging from Stirling, Scotland for the 2015-2016 academic year.

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