Photos: Private, Angels Aguilera, Jakub Swierkocki


Every semester, new exchange students arrive to campus and Norway for the first time. After they have settled in, we wonder what their first impressions were. We have asked ten people from different countries to look at Norway through their unique lens. 


Carl Feese, USA 




Everything in the grocery store, it feels like I don’t recognize any brands! It’s a small thing, but I don’t recognize what mayonnaise is! Why is it in a box? I don’t know! Everything is just slightly different in the grocery store and I can’t ever recognize things. 




Davide Vultaggio, Italy 




I guess for me one of the most shocking things in Norway is the fact that they have dinner very early, like at 5 p.m.  






Joaquin Iannuzzi, Argentina 




I like that there’s a lot of mountains, forests and lakes and that you can go mountain biking on the trails. Everywhere you go more trails keep appearing!  






Junjie Sun, Spain 



I think the most shocking thing compared to my country is the safety. At my work, I can just put my phone on a table and nobody will take it and in Spain you can’t do that. 






Elisabeth Dohna, Germany 



The most shocking thing for me here in Norway is that Norwegians are very closed off and it’s really hard to get to know them. That was very shocking to me because when you look at Norway from the outside you think it’s such an open country but when you get to know the people it’s really hard to get to know Norwegians.  





Adrian Neff, Liechtenstein 




Probably the most shocking thing for me was that we actually had some beach days here in Norway! I wasn’t expecting to go swimming in the sea several times and also in the mountain lakes. And they are actually not that cold because there’s no snow water in them! 




Chiara Bertucci, France 


The most shocking thing that has happened to me since I have been in Norway is that a Norwegian guy knew my friends and I for only 5 minutes (we met at a karaoke bar)  he invited us all to his house. I can’t say that this is a general characteristic of Norway as it happened only once, but I think it is linked to the «trusty» side of Norwegians, which I really appreciate.  




Julia Kolanek, Poland 


I think the most shocking thing is that there’s nature everywhere and even in the middle of the city. In Poland I talked about it with my friends and I said “My city is so green, we have parks and trees and grass everywhere” but that’s nothing compared to Kristiansand, where I go to the class I see huge rocks out the window and find pretty views everywhere I go. 





Francesca Harrison, UK  



I think the most shocking thing about Norway has been how closed everything is on a Sunday, it’s completely a hiking/relaxing day for the Norwegians which is really lovely. We don’t have that in the UK anymore and although it’s been hard to get used to I think it’s a really nice thing. 





Honza Hartman, Czech Republic 




The most shocking thing to me is that there are things that are free when you go into nature. For example, you can go hiking and get free accommodation in the mountains, for example, a cabin where everything looks very nice. In my country, someone would probably steal, so I think this is a big difference from my country. 




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