Monday, January 14, 2013

Oslo Living

Monday means post day!

I've been in Norway for another week and quite a lot has happened.  Classes began on Wednesday, I became part of an international buddy group, and have done more adapting to Norwegian life.

My classes have only just started rolling with readings and discussions when my program meets.  The official titles of my two classes are "The Scandinavian Welfare State in an Era of Globalization" and "Scandinavian Art, Literature, and Film".  I'll be starting an internship soon enough and embarking on an independent study project as well.  My thesis topic will have something to do with violent crime in Norway (or lack thereof).  I was inspired by the country's peaceful reputation, the mere three police vehicles I've seen here, and interning at the SF DA's office most of last year.  As for interning here, it looks like I'll be working with a queer youth organization in downtown Oslo once a week.

The main change that has happened since my first post was meeting my buddy group!  There are 330 international students currently enrolled at UiO (Universitetet i Oslo) and we were all divided by our majors so I've with a great bunch of fellow Political Science undergrad and master students.  I have four buddy leaders (three Norwegians and one Dane) and buddy students from all over Europe with me including Austria, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Lithuania, and Poland. We've done plenty of activities like Quiz Night at the student center (which we almost won with an overtime question), hanging out, and getting a tour of the city yesterday that kicked off with getting our non-guest way into the Radisson Blu's beautiful view from its pool and gym and ending with delicious hot chocolate and buns at my "part time hipster" buddy leader's place.  Everyone in the group is great, I have a wonderful time each time I see them!

Other eventful happenings for me were getting a phone, an excellent dinner with two of my flat mates and two lovely girls from my program, and braving the malls in Oslo to buy a new coat!  January is sale month in the city and shopping was quite an adventure. 

One more special highlight to end strong on: I also went to a student involvement fair and signed up for an opportunity that could be the cherry on top of my time in Oslo: bar tending!  You read that right, there are student pubs all over campus, one for each faculty!  I signed up to volunteer in the one in the Humanities building and just have to pick my first shift.  I'm really excited; ready to meet more people and get discounted drinks, woot woot!

Anyways, I've got a packed week ahead of me with the start of our field seminars, a trip to a bowling alley on HECUA's tab, and more socializing to do in this fun expensive place!  I'll report back next Monday!

Oslo City, a huge shopping center downtown

Sales, sales everywhere! (Salg in Norwegian)

The view from the hotel pool, all the train tracks

Lara and me at the top floor gym 

Gamle Akle Kirke, the oldest building in Oslo:  this church has been standing since the 1100!


Just chilling on campus, literally

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