Yesterday was the 17th of May, which sounds just like a regular day, but for Norwegians it is the best day of the year. Having national days are always fun, but it seems as though Norwegians celebrate it a lot more and is more passionate about the particular day.
For my course I had to make a two minute podcast for my blog, which turned out to be more difficult than I wanted it to be due to the said time-limit. I chose to ask a friend to help me out, as she is one of my closest friends here. In the podcast we are talking a little bit about how we met and how our journey to England was, but as the original chat was for about half an hour there are some missing pieces. I hope it might be helpful or interesting for some nevertheless.
Facetime is great for long-distance friendships.
When the weather in Cornwall is as nice has it has been today, and a few days lately, all the students come out of their hiding-spots and gather on the grass on campus. Most of the time I usually hang out with my flatmates or my “usual” group of friends, but sometimes it is nice to find some of my other Norwegian friends and have a nice catch-up.
When I started my application for universities in England, I found student reviews very useful. It is always nice to know how other students find their university, how they like it or dislike it. I quickly found out it was hard to choose, especially since people seemed to have mixed feelings, which is only natural as we’re all different.
Me and my guide at University of Roehampton.
At first I only looked at universities that had literature degrees, of which is quite a few. Then I looked at where they were and how easy it would be for me to get there, as I can be a very anxious traveler. In the end I chose four that I found interesting:
There is no right or wrong in being a tourist in Norway, but sometimes a little guide can help you understand how the habits or social behaviour of a Norwegian is.
I think the most important thing to highlight here is that if you ever encounter a Norwegian who does not talk to you, greet you or even look at you, they are not trying to be rude. Believe me. As I pointed out in the last post, our politeness is quite different from British people’s for instance. We focus more on not bothering anyone with our presence, unless we have to. Thus, if we’re met by someone who actually do break this personal space that is created by silence, it is as if we have forgotten how to speak at all.
“Hey! You alright?”
“Hey! Yes I… aaaand you’re gone…”
Since coming to England I have had several awkward encounters with British people. The one above seems to be how Cornish people greet you, and you are not really supposed to answer them. I fall for it every time. And the few times I am able to answer, and then politely ask them back, they look bewildered as if they were not really ready to engage in a conversation. Haha, oops.
Other differences that have made some things awkward for me are:
- Ordering food
- Paying for the bus and leaving the bus
- Walking through doors
- Walking through crowds
Basically, they all involve the same thing: being polite.
Why would you want do study in England, when it’s less expensive in Norway?
Let me tell you this: I am richer now than I have ever been.
Of course I do not mean this money-wise, but I am richer in experiences, memories, friends, knowledge and so on. That is what is important to me. Therefore, choosing between a cheaper education and a more expensive one was easy for me. The latter, studying in England, was an exciting decision I made in hopes of gaining new experiences in a different culture with a different language. I took this chance, this risk, because I needed to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone.
On my way to England!
It all started in 2012 when I happened to stumble upon a website that turned out to be the personal page of an organisation that helped students apply to University in England, I was immediately intrigued and ordered their magazine right away. I also told my parents about it, but knowing me… they did not really believe it would happen. I had 2 years left in upper-secondary and anything could change, and it did.