Norwegian sports teams for international students

Illustration: Odd Magne Vatne

Soccer, basketball, ice hockey – it doesn’t matter which sport, but joining a sports team is always fun. A lot of sports teams in Kristiansand and at UiA offer a huge amount of different possibilities for everyone. Regardless of whether you’ve already played the sport before or just want to try a new sport for the first time, there is a team for everyone.

BUT WHAT IS JOINING A NORWEGIAN SPORTS TEAM LIKE FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS?

The motivation for joining a sports team can differ between every international student. Maybe it’s because they played the sport before and now want to keep playing or like to meet new people since they don’t know anybody in their new home city. At the same time, some use it as a chance to learn and improve their Norwegian.

It doesn’t matter what drives somebody to join a sports team, the onboarding is always more or less the same.

You pack your bag and go to the arena feeling excited. Depending on the team you join, there will be somebody there to pick you up. After you step into the locker room, the coach or team captain often gives you a chance to introduce yourself. This will probably be a weird moment, because you have a lot of faces looking at you with big eyes. But based on experience, they are either as excited as you are or don’t care at all, so there is no need to be nervous.

Since Norwegians are very good and confident in English, they will probably explain all the exercises in English, so every foreign player has a chance to understand the exercises during practice. Nevertheless, Norwegians are unfortunately not known to be the most open and extroverted people. They will explain the exercises, give advice to improve some techniques or talk over certain strategies, but when it comes to chatting during water break or have a small talk in the locker room, it is up to the new team members to start conversations. So, it is not rare to see international students sitting on their own before practice and waiting for it to start.

Luckily the ones who find Norwegians to talk with, will soon find out that once the ice is broken, it will get easier and easier. A lot of Norwegians are very interested in the new players and their nationalities. Very soon they will start talking about themselves, ask some questions and most probably try to say some words they know in the international student’s mother tongue.

Written by: Christoph Wiesner

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