As a student and teacher of geography in secondary school back in Uganda, Norway with its unique geography, especially its relief and the fishing industry, always interested me; I was hoping to visit Norway and the Scandinavian countries as a whole. My dream came true when I won a scholarship to study at the University of Agder in the department of global planning and development.
The expectations and anxiety
After being told I had won the scholarship, the process of getting the necessary paper work began. All was going well until a few weeks to travel date when I was asked to submit my passport and I couldn’t find it. It was the most difficult day of my life. Questions lingered, anxiety rose, but I was determined to face any obstacle in my way to realize my dream.
The journey, arrival and settling in
My colleague and I were booked for a flight that literally kept people from seeing you off at the airport; it was at 3 am. We had a good flight despite the “strange” food served on the plane. We arrived to the welcome of cheerful Erasmus buddy team members. Other ESN students had arrived and others were still coming. We were taken to our respective hostels and Norwegian life started.
The first three weeks were activity packed. Orientation done in the first week was great! Everything I needed to know was clearly described and the buddy groups did a great job showing us around the university and town. The face-to-face sessions were hectic but enjoyable. I made friends and met very hospitable Norwegians. We have hiked in some beautiful regions but I am sad that I missed the trip to Trolltunga because I was tired after other trips to Paris, Belgium, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. I am getting ready for the trip to Preikestolen.
I must say, I have had nothing but the best, so far. The necessary paper work here (in Norway) has moved fast for me. And I want to thank the Kristiansand municipality government for my semester free bus card. It was the best welcome gift I could have imagined from city hall… many thanks! As for the weather, I expected it and I am accepting it enthusiastically. I am also living well, considering the high cost of living in this country. I look forward to winter for yet another new life experience. I would say, so far so good!
Written by: Saul Tumwine