Can We Get an Encore?!?

On this last installment of our blog, we travel back home to Ohio! Thank you for following us on our journey!

We started Saturday morning at 8:00 am in Norway. Packing our things, sitting on our suitcases to zip them up stuffed with souvenirs and memories to bring back with us, and soaking up our neighborhood in Oslo one last time. We took a tram to the central station and then a train to the airport (SDG #11). After a lengthy check in process to reclaim our tax-free shopping and go through security, we made it to our gate to find that our first flight from Oslo to Amsterdam had been delayed which may cause us to miss our connection from Amsterdam to Atlanta. And so the long travel day begins…

Before we get into the details, our readers should know that one of the biggest blessings of this trip was that we were travelling together in our group! I don’t think that we would have survived as gracefully as we did had we been on our own. Each of us brought our unique personalities and strengths to the group which helped us make it through what ended up being about 42 hours of travel to make it back to Ohio with smiles on our faces despite our delusional exhaustion!

We make it to Amsterdam to find that we have missed our connection to Atlanta which means that we need to figure out how to rebook our flight. Little do we know that the line to rebook is about ¼ mile long and will take 5 hours to get through. YIKES! We divide and conquer, some of us holding place in the line, others calling OSU, and others working on the self-serve kiosks. With all of this in place, we are able to reschedule the 8 of us to fly out the next morning.

And so the European adventure continues!! We find our way out of the airport, onto a train, and to a hotel that we think we reserved rooms in. Little did we know that will all of the other flight cancellations/delays, there were too many people trying to book a reservation at the hotels in town that we didn’t even have a room here! While the Moms worked so hard to make sure that we would have a roof over our heads, the kids went out and got dinner (thanks Moms!!). Amsterdam had beautiful canals, a lot of bikes, and we saw a very pretty sunset (SDG #17). Making lemonade out of lemons!!

When in Amsterdam… Found this GIANT clog!

We were so excited to be in Amsterdam!!

Some gorgeous flowers on a canal overpass!

A very pretty Amsterdam sunset

The kids made it back to the original hotel and got in a taxi to go to another hotel that had rooms available for us all. We got checked in around 11:30 that night and had to leave the next morning at 3:30 to go back to the airport. After showering, we had a blissful 3 hours of being horizontal… YAY!

Tired but happy to be together, we made it to the airport by 4:00 am to start our check in process. We are waiting among hundreds of other travelers (who were also rescheduled due to delayed flights) to get our new tickets and go through security. While standing in line and watching everyone file through line, I couldn’t help but appreciate that we were all sharing quite the wild and unexpected bump in our travel journeys.

We make it through security and were excited to continue our journey to make it back to the States! We have ample time on our hands before our flight takes off… what else do we do except get some perfume samples and chocolate at 6 in the morning?!

Dr. Taylor featuring our new boarding passes to get back to America at 4 in the morning!

Feeling refreshed and smelling good, we board our flight to Atlanta (YAY!) and then proceed to sit on the tarmac for an hour while the plane is waiting on some technical difficulties to leave (Boo). We finally take off and are all itching to be back home!

We land in Atlanta nearly 9 hours later and make our way through immigration with big smiles now that we are back Stateside! Even though we were delayed in Amsterdam, we had plenty of time during our layover in Atlanta (phew!). Naturally, being in the deep south, we had to get some good southern food. Very tasty.

Some good southern cooking + a side of peach cobbler!

We finally boarded the plane to Columbus, so sleepy that we can’t stop laughing, and found our seats in the very back row.

Here we are in the back row on our final flight home!!

We finally touched down in Columbus and had big smiles on our faces despite how tired we all were. We collected our bags, took one last group picture, and made our way back to our respective homes.

This trip was an absolute blast and we are so glad that you were able to follow along via this blog! It surpassed any expectations that we had, kept us on our toes, and was full of memories that are going to stay with us for a very long time!

Signing off for one last time…

Norway 2022

Thanks for following along with us!!




Day 14 (? we’ve lost count!): Final Day in Oslo

Today was the big culmination of our two weeks here working on Sustainable Development Goal #17: Partnerships for the Goals!

Since our arrival, we have been collaborating in international groups (three Norwegian students and two American students in each group) working on community health projects.

For these projects, we have identified international populations with health issues, researched global literature to find evidence-based solutions to these health issues, identified S.M.A.R.T. goals backed by research, and planned how to actually implement these interventions through identifying potential barriers, stakeholders, and evaluation methods.

Today, our three groups of mixed Norwegian and American students presented our community health projects, and the results were creative and inspiring:

  1. Ashley, Mathea, Naomi, Sharon, and Sophie presented an interactive project identifying interventions for people living with HIV. They compared and contrasted the responses to the UN’s 90-90-90 goal (90% of people with HIV know they are infected, 90% of people with HIV are on antivirals, and 90% of people with HIV have an undetectable viral load) between the two countries. We learned how Norway has already surpassed this goal and their next goal, while the U.S. has yet to reach the 90-90-90 goal. The best intervention identified to implement in the U.S.A. that has proven successful in Norway is for nurses to advocate for policy change around HIV treatment management, including access to healthcare and medicine for people living with HIV.

  1. Ingrid, Janessa, Karin, Maria, and Priya presented a video they produced, which focused on interventions for people who use substances. They found research showing that healthcare providers’ attitudes drastically affect the healthcare that people who use substances receive. The students also interviewed two Norwegian men who use substances, and the men shared stories of their experience visiting healthcare. Hearing the stories first-hand was impactful, as we empathized with these men who were disbelieved, kicked out of healthcare facilities because of bias when they were in need of help, and not given enough pain medicine because they were seen as drug-seeking. The evidence-based intervention to address this health issue is for providers to use compassionate, empathic care. Simple but powerful.

  1. Anne, Ingar, Malene, Windy, and I presented a song (our own lyrics, to the tune of TikTok by Kesha) outlining our interventions for people who are homeless and suffer from mental illness. We discovered Housing First is an intervention widely used in Scandinavia, where people who are homeless are given housing first, and then treatment. This is different from the traditional models where people who are homeless first need to “get sober,” “take care of their mental issues,” or any other qualifications in order to “earn” housing. Meeting the most basic need for shelter first, then addressing treatment for mental illness, has proven effective in Norway, among other countries. We came up with a model of a government-funded version of Housing First to implement in Columbus, Ohio.

After our final presentations of our study abroad trip, and heartfelt goodbyes with our new friends, we branched out to explore, shop, and write postcards. We finished our final day in Norway with a (surprisingly educational—hello, Sustainable Development Goal #3: Life Below Water!) group dinner at swanky The Salmon restaurant at Aker Brygge pier right on Oslo Fjord. We said some more heartfelt goodbyes to our Mama Unni and are currently attempting to pack way too many things into way too little bags.

Being in Norway has been eye-opening, inspirational, and soul-fulfilling in too many ways to describe. I am beyond grateful for this experience and to everyone who shared it with me and shaped it for me. TUSEN TAKK from the bottom of my heart.

xoxo Jeanie, signing off from Norway 22

Dag Tretten: Work, rest, and rainbows

Work, rest, and rainbows

Dag Tretten!

Oh, what a time! Since the last time we spoke we have done so much. We took an amazing trip to Aurland Fjords, completed our clinical rotation at the elder care center, and enjoyed rest and relaxation at the Oslo Spa. My favorite part was spending time in the mountains, recharging and resting. I also loved speaking with the residents of the elder care facility, many of them were so excited to practice English and tell their stories. I spent my time listening the life stories of a diplomat, old professor, distinguished nurse of 40 years, poet and author, as well as the grandson of a famous Norwegian classical composer. Their stories were so rich with purpose, community, and family. There were several differences between how we perform elder care in the US versus the Norwegian system. There were differences in universal precautions compared to the US.  In the US we often wear gloves for vital sign and touching patients even just to touch their hands. This differed in Norway as one would not wear gloves for human touch.  Nursing Students also have a  great deal of autonomy and check in with experienced nurses periodically throughout the day. Norwegian nursing schools are continually improving education on nursing assessment and skills (SDG #4).

Today most of our time was spent finalizing our community project, souvenir shopping, and exploring more of the city. While exploring the city I noticed a muted preparation for P.R.I.D.E. which I was told for this society is progression. Speaking with students from Norway I was told in the past people were very private about their lives and often shied away from conversations about sexual orientation. In recent years this has moved more to the forefront of society (SDG #10). 🌈

Until next time!


XOXO Norway

Day 10: Shivers & Sweats!!

Hallo and welcome back to our blog! We are so glad that you are here to get a small glimpse into some of the amazing things that we have been able to experience during our trip!

In Norway, nursing school is 3 years long and in their 3rd year, students are primarily working on their practicum (clinical) hours. This week, I was paired up with a 3rd-year student, Charlotte, and I had the opportunity to go with her to her practicum hours at a local Nursing Home. The floor that we were on was for patients with aggressive tendencies and memory loss. As one can imagine, the main goal of the floor was to promote a calming environment to ensure that the patients remained safe and at ease to avoid any aggression or agitation. One of my favorite things about this experience was getting to view healthcare and nursing through the lens of the Norwegian culture. The care and intention that they employ with every single patient was eye-opening and reinforced the idea that everyone is a human being before they are a patient. Empathy, compassion, and therapeutic communication were incredibly prominent in everything that we did!!

Because it was the 1st of the month, we went around and collected the NEWS on each patient. Gathering the NEWS is essentially taking weight and vitals (SDG #3). After Charlotte explained to me that the NEWS stands for the National Early Warning Scale, she pulled out a chart that assigns a score to each patient based on their data. My jaw dropped when I realized that it is almost the same as our Modified Early Warning Scale (MEWS) which looks for potential risk factors in patients!! Serendipitously, I had the MEWS chart on my badge real and we were eager to compare and contrast the different parameters for our countries. We felt nerdy deciphering why some of the parameters may have been different based on the culture of each of our populations, but it really went to show that healthcare is patient-specific and that the lifestyle an individual pursues based on where they live truly plays a role in their health outcomes!

Here is the NEWS table (the big one) and the MEWS table (the small one on my badge reel!) next to each other!


This week has reinforced that idea even though we are learning how to be nurses in very different countries, the root of our practices, the knowledge and skills that we learn, and our passions for patient-centered healthcare are all vividly apparent (SDG #4). I can’t help but smile when I think about this.

After I said goodbye and thanked Charlotte for her guidance this week (big sad!), we all met up with our professors (Moms!) and went on quite the adventure. The first surprise that they had on the docket for the evening was a trip to a gelato shop! YUM! It was our job to navigate us there and we had to stay flexible and willing to change every time we started to walk in the wrong direction.

Here is my cup of gelato with half Mango and half Hazelnut. As I was eating, I kept going back and forth because I couldn’t decide which one I liked better… they were both SO yummy!

Following our first tasty treat, we went to a spa at the head of the Oslofjord. At this spa, we had reserved a private sauna hut at the edge of a dock on the water. This spa experience involved jumping into the freezing cold water (SDG #6) and then going into the sauna to warm up. Talk about a shock to your system!! Goosebumps in the water, shivering out of the water, and then sweating in the warm sauna… a very unique experience! We all had a wonderful time full of laughs, smiles, good conversations, and memories that I am sure will last a lifetime!

Here are our Moms (professors) at the sauna hut!

And here is our whole group in front of the Oslofjord!

To end the day, we were surprised with a trip to one of Oslo’s best burger places. The burgers were delicious, warm, and hit the spot after our chilly experience in the Oslofjord water!

“Mmmmm burger!!”

Overall, this day was one to remember! From practicum to plunging into cold water, we have learned so much not only about nursing, but also about the Norwegian traditions and culture. While our trip is coming to an end soon, I could not be more thankful for the time that we have gotten to spend here, the professors who are making this trip possible, and the generosity of everyone here in Oslo! Takk for at du leser // thanks for reading!

Just a big smile from a small hut! Thanks for reading and following along with our adventure 🙂


Norway 2022

Day 9 – Care on bikes

I can not explain to you in words how much I have been loving my clinical experience this week. I am fortunate to have been placed in home care for my clinical. Home-care in Norway is a government funded program, just like their healthcare, in which a person may “apply” for home-care for a variety of reasons. This type of care is more than just a bridge from the being discharged from the hospital back into the community. Home-care is more health and wellness management to keep people from going into the hospital. The home-care nurse and student nurses are responsible for a variety of skills and assessments that take place in the person’s home. These skills maybe ones performed in the hospital as well, but some are very specific to home-care that may be surprising. 

Some things I experienced this week working with the student home-care nurse are as follows: calling patient to remind to take medications; sitting with a patient to talk about life and recent diagnosis of cancer and to discuss how treatment is going; prepare and serve meals (breakfast and lunch); apply compression sock; perform peritoneal dialysis; dressing changes; administer meds; check glucose and inject insulin; give bath, change bed linens, do laundry; provide communication with the the home-care office in real time; pick up Rx from pharmacy and deliver; wellness check after fall; nutritional intake checks; breathing treatments; catheter care and tubing change; washed dentures; shaving face; removing trash and recycling from the home. The italicized items were tasks I felt going above and beyond to holistically serve the person.

We started our day arriving to the home-care office. We change into provided scrubs and sit down to collect our thoughts for the day. We eat breakfast, drink kaffe or tea, have a small chat with the other team members. It is not hurried or loud or fast. The nurse, who is like the charge nurse, she gives report to everyone about the persons we will be seeing that day. After report, we collect the supplies we need for the day. This can include keys to apartments of the persons we are visiting (if they provided them, I’ll touch on this more later), the iPhone which has our tasks we need to complete with each person for the day, if we need bikes or scooters or helmets we check those out too, any additional supplies we may need like shoe covers, gloves, masks and saline flushes. Most people we visit have their our supplies available that were given to them by the government that are specific for the type of care they need. 

 Some things I noticed there were pretty consistent from each home we went to were the windows were open to allow the sunshine to come their, and some with the windows open for some fresh air; there were live plants in almost all the homes and even throughout the apartment complex walking in from the street; the person was in a buttoned down collared shirt (even if they were not always wearing pants, haha); and the homes varied from government assisted living to very big and lush.

One barrier to home-care that I think this program has overcome is access to the person in the program. When I mentioned before that we grab the key to their apartment if it’s been provided is an example of overcoming the barrier to access that person. Some of the community members we visited were not able to come to the door to let us in, or couldn’t come downstairs to let us into the apartment building. Not all people we visited provided a key, but they were able to buzz us in and open their apartment door when we arrived. 

We ended the day with a very interesting lecture about breastfeeding culture here in Norway. Breastfeeding is widely accepted in Norway. As a country they take great strides to support the breastfeeding parent by having resources such as lactation consultants who can refer to other resources such as physical therapists, chiropractors, DOs, massage therapy. The reason for these referrals is because the baby may have tense muscles from birth requiring massage and PTs to help strengthen and relax tongue to better latch, suck and swallow. There are massages the parents can perform on baby to help with breastfeeding as well. A few big takeaways from this were 1. The more we see breastfeeding happen, the more likely others will breastfeed. 2. We should not be offended by the “wrapping” of the breastmilk, ie the breast. 3. Educating breastfeeding parents that breastfeeding is complex that has many working parts. I walked away from this lecture feeling like this information should be part of annual education provided to all companies, not just those in the healthcare sector.

The following SDGs were observed this week including today: #3 Good health and well being; #11 sustainable cities and communities; #13 climate action; #16 peace, justice, and strong institutions. 

Day 8 – Evidence-Based Earrings

Today was our first day at Cathinka Guldberg-Senteret nursing facility. We had a wonderful time learning from the Norwegian student nurses/preceptors that we were partnered with. One thing that we found interesting was how they changed their rule about wearing earrings. Originally, they were told that they could not wear earrings. However, my Norwegian partner told me that a study showed that people who were used to wearing earrings but were not wearing them (because they were not allowed) actually touched their ears more often – so they started allowing people to wear earrings again to reduce how often they touched their ears and improve hygiene and cleanliness. This is a great example of evidence-based policies in action!

Our first day at Cathinka Guldberg-Senteret nursing facility

Janessa with her Norwegian partner Jenny

Sharon with her Norwegian partner Stine (pronounced Stina)

Overall, Norway does an excellent job of Sustainable Development Goal 6: ensure access to water and sanitation for all, and Sustainable Development Goal 16: promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022). However, today at the nursing facility, there was an issue with the hot water, so we weren’t able to give our patients “real” showers. Luckily everyone worked together and improvised by using cloths wrapped around their hands to bathe the patients, so the patients were still able to get clean without hot water. We’ve noticed that in general, everyone in Norway works very well together, making society feel more peaceful and inclusive.

Halfway through the day, we were able to enjoy a group lunch with the Norwegian student nurses/preceptors that we were partnered with, and we had some great conversations and shared how our days were going. The sense of comradery was very strong, and it really seemed to help the morale. Everyone bonded over the challenges of the day and supported each other – the atmosphere was so understanding and encouraging, and everyone felt included and heard, which is another example of how well Norway achieves Sustainable Development Goal 16: promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022).

Janessa and her Norwegian partner coincidentally brought identical yogurts for lunch

Enjoying a group lunch with the Norwegian student nurses/preceptors that we were partnered with


Sigma Global Nursing Excellence. (2022). United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Free Weekend – Fun at the Fjords!

We had such a wonderful weekend in Norway! On Friday afternoon, we headed to the Oslo airport, picked up our rental cars for the weekend, and drove 4.5 hours to Aurland, Norway. We drove through a very, very (very!) long tunnel – and later found out that it (Laerdal Tunnel) is actually the longest road tunnel in the world! How fun that we got to drive through it! We reserved some cabin chalets for the night, and we collapsed in bed at the end of our long week and long drive.

Very excited that we got free upgrades for our rental cars

Ready for our roadtrip

Driving through Laerdal Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in the world

On Saturday morning, we woke up ready to explore! We took some O-H-I-O pictures (because who could resist that beautiful backyard view) and went to the local Bakeri & Kafe. We had a delicious lunch with scenic views of the fjord, and we made the short drive to Stegastein Viewpoint for even more scenic views. It was breathtaking! A few of us hiked nearby, and a few of us went to explore the towns of Aurland and Flam. We ended the day playing shuffleboard in the hotel lobby. What a lovely, lowkey afternoon and evening to recharge from a busy week. On Sunday, we’ll drive back to Oslo, with a detour to see Voringsfossen waterfall. Stay tuned to hear more about our adventures!

Buckeye Pride in Aurlandsfjord, Norway

Some stunning views at Stegastein Viewpoint

Big smiles at Stegastein Viewpoint

Always thinking about our wellness – time for yoga!

Exploring the towns of Aurland and Flam

Day 7: Norsk Elder Wellness

Today we had our first experience at Lovinsenberg Omsorg+, an elder home for independent seniors. On this trip, we have been able to learn firsthand about Norway’s great institutional systems/structures and how they promote wellness in the community, and today was another example of Sustainable Development Goal #16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and #3: Good Health and Well-Being.

We began the day with some aerobic exercises with the staff and a (very spry) 88 year-old resident who put us to shame. We loved starting the day right off with some physical wellness (Dean Bern would be proud) and saw how the activities at the home help keep the seniors well across many areas of the wellness spectrum. We visited the roof with incredible views overlooking all of Oslo, and the plots where residents care for their own gardens.

Many of the residents were in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, all living independently in their own apartments. Inger Marie, a 99 year-old woman living independently at the home, showed us her room and emphasized the importance of staying sharp as we age. She showed us pictures of her children, grandchildren, and then brought out a bag of hats she hand-knits for premature babies. She told us she’s made over 300 in the past year.

In the elder center, there are designated day rooms for residents with dementia, a big communal room for socializing, and organized activities that change daily. We happened to be there on waffle day, so shared authentic Norwegian waffles and coffee with the residents, along with many stories. There was also a pop-up clothing shop, so we had lots of fun playing fashion stylist with the residents. Many families with babies came in, because the pool at the complex was hosting baby swimming lessons, and it was sweet to see the joy both the elders and the young families shared. I went for a walk around the neighborhood with some of the residents, who told me stories of their skiing days on the mountains.

I feel incredibly honored to have shared time and space with the people we met today. I heard so many stories of the incredible life experiences of the residents, and am touched with how their lives continue to be full and rich at this institution.

Tonight we leave for western Norway and some epic fjords! We’ll be back with more updates soon.

xoxo Jeanie, Norway 22

Day 6: Norway through the looking glass!

  • Hallo from Norway!

Day seks (six)!

This has been my first opportunity to travel this far and so far, this trip has been amazing. I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful, thoughtful Norwegian students. They have been so willing to share their experiences, culture, and lifestyle with me, no question has gone unanswered. I have had the opportunity to learn about social programs that fuse nursing and social work on a national level in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. These countries have been able to significantly reduce homelessness through housing programs and improve the safety of substance use by creating supply programs and places people can use substances under nurse supervision.

So far this week I had the opportunity to speak about marginalized communities in the US as well as participate on a panel of international professors and students. I bought new shoes as mine were too big, which is not what you want to do when you are out of the country, it was also our wellness goal for the day. I saw the best view from the roof top terrace at Lovisenberg Diakonale Sykehus (the Norway nursing school). We also had the opportunity to visit the sculpture park with depicted the entire continuum from life to death and living life together as a community in Norway.

Today the focus was on community and wellness. We walked from West to East Oslo and observed the differences in each community as we walked. In many ways the differences in these communities were night and day. The west consisted of a more affluent area composed of mostly Norwegian individuals while the East was a poorer heavily mixed community of Norwegians and immigrants from around the world. However, both these communities both showed the importance of family and gender equality as the central idea in Norwegian society. Both parents, female and male spent equal time, energy, and effort caring for children and no difference in the treatment of genders was noted (SDG # 5). During the last part of the day our instructor or as affectionally called “the moms” and “momma” took us to the Munch Museum and to dinner where we ate reindeer pizza. This was one of the first chances we have had for group downtime, and it made such a difference in our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing (SDG #3).

Until next time.


XOXO Norway

Day 5: Empathy = Universal Language

Hello and welcome back to our blog!!

The Norway mornings are calm and the cool air is incredibly refreshing. I have been enjoying starting my days off with a stroll with one of my classmates. We go in a new direction each day and love exploring the roads around our hotel. Within just a block, we often see locals sipping on their morning “kaffe” at a coffee shop, biking to work, on the tram, or even out on a morning run. It is unique to observe and take part in practicing intentional leisure in the mornings as opposed to hurriedly getting ready and running out the door with breakfast in hand.

Here is a funny picture I took while waiting for my morning walking buddy, Ashleigh, in the lobby of our hotel!

Here’s a picture of my typical breakfast in Norway!

After our morning walk and breakfast, we made our way to LDUC (the university that we are working with) and attended some lectures. Today’s topic was about individuals who experience homelessness & who use drugs. The lecture that stood out to me the most was presented by a woman named Josefina who is a project coordinator from Sweden. She works with women who are victims of domestic violence as well as those who are or have experienced homelessness. Her presentation focused on sharing the stories of those with whom she works and her objective was to give these women a voice in order to reduce inequalities (SDG Goal #5 and 10). In her practical setting, these women are often “in hiding” or don’t speak up because they are not believed, they are viewed as “outsiders,” and are ostracized from society. With a plethora of personal examples, stories, and quotes from these women, Josefina was able to convey a very special message that left the room a bit teary-eyed. As health care providers, it is our duty to believe our patients when they tell us stories, to sit and listen to them, to treat them with respect, and most importantly to treat them with empathy. Many of these stories emphasized the idea that empathy is a universal language that we can all take part in on a daily basis. The impact that this idea held while being in an auditorium with students and faculty from all over the world is something that I will carry with me for many years to come in both my personal and professional life.

Here’s a picture of Josefina during her impactful lecture!

We had the chance to share some of our own Buckeye Wellness with the group during our professor’s lectures and we got comments from many students afterward with big smiles on their faces telling us how much they admired our school spirit! (Go Bucks!!)

Here’s a picture of some OH-IO smiles!

Following all of the presentations and lunch, we had time to work with our mixed Norway-America groups for our community health project. This time is so much fun because while we do our group work for our project, we get to chat about everything from healthcare systems to mashed potatoes with our Norwegian students. This time is truly where the international exchange comes to life – we laugh, share stories about our experiences, and simply enjoy the company of our new Norwegian friends!

After a long day full of lectures and projects, we attended an international dinner put on by LDUC. This was another chance to connect with international students while sharing a meal.

While the days are long, the smiles are big, the laughs are abundant, and the new experiences and learning opportunities are never-ending! We can’t wait to continue sharing about our time here in Norway with you all!!


Thanks for reading!


Day 4 – Tears, Cheers, and Discussions, OH MY!

Look Today was a great learning day! The students and faculty from each country represented; Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the United States gave small presentations about homelessness and the marginalized populations in our respective countries and capitol cities. 

Our school!

The six of us divided into two small groups to give presentations on marginalized folks in Columbus and global human trafficking. Our first group knocked it out of the park. There was not a dry eye in the audience. They were really moved by the personal stories our students shared about the LGBTQ population, Black women, maternal mortality rates and Asian-American hate crimes. Our second group presented on Global Human Trafficking. We played a True/False game with the audience to present the information. I was really surprised to learn that the information we shared was new to many of the students. Some came up to us after to lecture and commented on how much they didn’t know about human trafficking.

Speaking about marginalized populations in the US.

True or False?

What I really loved was how everyone was able to talk about their own countries’ circumstances and many times was often relatable to our own country. Our international peers are passionate about the goals they have to end homelessness just as much as we are passionate about helping our communities. It was interesting to see that even though some countries were working toward a solution for homelessness, they were still experiencing similar bumps along the way. 

At the end of the day, we had a panel discussion to give the students the opportunity to ask the presenters follow up questions on topics presented. She had a discussion about what the correct term should be when talking about someone who uses drugs and substances: “drug user” versus “drug abuser” versus “someone who uses drugs”. The Finnish use the term “drug dependent” because they understand drug use in the context that the person is using drugs to survive rather than actively choosing to use drugs. The students feel like using a positive context is better rather giving the term a negative connotation. Someone mentioned the word rootlessness which I really liked because when someone doesn’t have a play to call their own, it is easy to see how one may feel disconnected to anyone or anything. 

The SDGs I experienced today were goals 4 and 17 (quality education and partnerships for the goals, respectively). Our education was beyond the classroom which took us to other countries, whilst being in another country. The lecturers and students were well prepared with data and questions. It was a day of lectures unlike no other. For our partnership for the goals, the Finnish students actually mentioned SDGs 10 and 17 (reduce inequalities and partnerships for the goals) in their presentation. I thought it was neat that not only were they using the SDGs to reach their community at home, but the larger global community during the presentation today. 

I really enjoyed experiencing a day of lectures today and I am looking forward to more days like today. How many students can truthfully say that? 


xoxo Norway 22

Day 3 – Nurses on Wheels & Rooftop Views

Today was another great day in Oslo, Norway! We started our day in the conference room at our hotel, Cochs Pensjonat. Last night, each of us found an article about human trafficking, so this morning, we had an interesting discussion about our articles and the populations that were affected in them. Since I am half Chinese, I found an article about trafficking of women in China, and I learned that one of the main reasons for trafficking of women in China is the imbalanced gender ratio, due to China’s preference for boys. This preference for boys has resulted in some families resorting to certain methods to have boys, including gender-selective abortions, infantilizing baby girls, and even outright abandonment or selling baby girls (Xia, Zhou, Du, & Cai, 2020). Coincidentally, another man was sitting in the conference room with us, and at the end of our discussion, he told us that he is an American (born and raised in North Carolina) currently living and studying social work in Finland. He shared that he has extensive experience in human trafficking organizations and campaigns, so we chatted with him for a while and got to hear his unique perspective.

After our discussion in the hotel conference room, we went to see Nurses on Wheels. Nurses on Wheels is an incredible example of Sustainable Development Goal 3: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022). Many of their patients are not able to use the regular healthcare system, so the goal of Nurses on Wheels is to make healthcare as easily accessible as possible for everyone. They accomplish this by doing health assessments, distributing clean user equipment, doing wound care, and performing tests for hepatitis C (Nurses on Wheels, 2022). All of us were so impressed learning about this organization and how successful they have been in their goal, as well as how successful they have been in Sustainable Development Goal 3.

Learning about Nurses on Wheels

Learning about Nurses on Wheels and seeing some of the clean user equipment that they distribute

Today was our first day at LDUC campus! We had lunch in their cafe, and then we took a Wellness Walk to explore their beautiful campus more before settling into an afternoon of lectures. Our keynote lecture was given by Associate Professor Åsa Kneck from Sweden. She shared the definition, causes, and effects of homelessness. It was interesting to hear about homelessness in Sweden and the other Nordic countries, and it tied into Sustainable Development Goal 10: reduce inequality within and among countries (Sigma Global Nursing Excellence, 2022). During our other lectures today, we discussed how the Nordic countries really try to focus on reducing inequality within and among their countries, including homelessness, and from our perspective as American students, it seems like they have done an incredible job! They have so many programs with the goal of reducing inequality and homelessness, and I think that there is a lot that we could learn from these countries to hopefully implement in the United States.

Having a wonderful time on our Wellness Walk after lunch

Keynote lecture by Associate Professor Åsa Kneck from Sweden

After our lectures, we met with our project groups. There are 6 students, including me, from OSU, so we were divided into different groups with the Norwegian students. Priya and I are in the same group, and we love the 3 Norwegian students in our group! They were so warm and friendly, and we had a great discussion and chose the topic of Drug Use for our group project. We came up with some ideas for our project, and then, all of the international students had a pizza social in the LDUC cafe. We had a wonderful time talking with the other students from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Belgium. Then, it was time for bed, so we would be well-rested and ready for our next day in Norway.

Meeting with our project groups on the roof at LDUC

The view from the roof at LDUC


Nurses on Wheels. (2022). Spleis.

Sigma Global Nursing Excellence. (2022). United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Xia, Y., Zhou, Y., Du, L., & Cai, T. (2020). Mapping trafficking of women in China: Evidence from court sentences. Journal of Contemporary China, 29(122), 238-252.

Day 2 in Oslo, Norway – Beauty, Charm, & Happiness

In Norway the Sustainable Developmental Goals #3, “Good Health and Well-Being” and #6, “Availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation for All” are evident and will be further explained in my post.

Today’s Norway experience was a wonderful trip to Oslo’s largest parks called Frognerparken and Vigelandsparken. The trip took me about 20 minutes to get there from my hotel and when I arrived to the park, I was so amazed by the multitude of people enjoying leisure and bonding time with families and friends. The park was pretty large in size with beautiful gardens and over 200 ancient statues. Many people were out jogging and walking and others, like myself, were strolling relishing in an art walk which confirms why Norway’s promotion of good health and well-being is truly embedded into its rich culture and society. In Norway, the local government is the chief promoters of health and disease prevention. The local government regulate and manage healthcare policies and activities designed to prevent diseases and promoting healthy behaviors. Nevertheless, I understand the people of Norway truly identify and realize their aspiration to reach a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Good health and well-being are seen as a resource for everyday life and firmly rooted in its culture which I observed today throughout my stroll in Frognerparken and Vigelandsparken Park.

Accordingly, Norway has universal access to safe water system which provides all citizens with clean drinking water. The country has stringent legislation relating to water pollution and emissions of hazardous substances. Since I arrived to Oslo, Norway, I have consumed so much water from their “tap” which has been nothing but a delicious and tasteful experience. The water in Oslo is so cool and refreshing, clean-tasting without a mineral or chemical after taste. To be honest, drinking water in Oslo taste so much better than bottled water. In Norway, the government eliminated the dumping of wastes, with legislation and national waste management systems protecting water from contamination. Therefore, their availability of adequate and safe water proves Norway’s efforts to include water and sanitation components in their overall health and wellness.


Day 1: Velkommen i Norge!

By Nursing in Norway Clinical group

Step 1: We started in the Columbus airport, bags packed, tickets organized, and passports in hand. We took an OHIO photo, because… obviously.

Step 2: Boston. Long layover= pizza, cannoli, and Paul Revere.

Step 3: Red eye over the Atlantic. (As we boarded, we met some Dutch nurse practitioner students who had just finished their week abroad studying in Boston- how neat!) Once on the plane, our group thought, “OK, time for bed, 9pm!” Little did we know, the flight attendants had other plans. We ate two full meals, practiced our Norwegian, tried to sleep, watched Dutch movies, experimented with new plugs, and talked about how excited we were to get to Norway. We didn’t sleep.

Step 4: Made it to Amsterdam. Got stamps at passport control. So close, yet so far. Still five hours between us and Unni (our Norwegian University host).

Step 5: Norway! Trains, planes, busses, and trams connected us to Unni in Oslo City Center! We had a full afternoon exploring our new home for the next two weeks. We noticed right away how the city was more diverse than we expected: we heard lots of different languages and saw lots of different kinds of people.

We used public transportation to get everywhere, and it was easy to navigate and full of people. Our Norwegian friends confirmed that walking and public transportation are more common than driving. The city is crowded but not congested; full of people yet quiet, calm, and clean.

While eating dinner in a popular food hall (fun fact: it used to be a bathhouse), we noticed how communal, diverse, and family friendly the atmosphere is in Norway. We were also impressed with the environmentally-friendly practices here: Wooden utensils, glassware, separate bins for wood, glass, food waste, recyclables, etc. The vendors were also kind and patient, on top of being (at least) bilingual and speaking to us in English.

After dinner, we took a trip to a local grocery store, which reminded us more of a healthy version of a New York convenience store rather than a big Kroger supermarket. We had fun sorting through the Norwegian labels for local food and snacks. Unni told us that most Norwegians eat in season, and the food changes based on what’s currently growing. We also noticed that there is a lot of whole food, as opposed to processed food, available.

Finally, we arrived at our hotel, showered, and slept off our jet lag. We’re looking forward to being here and so excited for what’s to come. We’ll keep you updated. Let us know if you want to hear about anything in particular, we’ll check it out for ya.

xoxo Norway 22