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