Oslo, Norway: First Impressions, First Weeks

Hello Everyone!

It’s taken me a few weeks to get to this blog posting, sorry! Initially I had to get over the jet lag, it’s real. For those of you like me, who have never flown internationally, just know that the “allow one day for every time zone” rule is pretty accurate. Oslo is 7 hours ahead of Houston (Austin) time and it was about a week before my sleep schedule was back on track. Then I had to begin navigating this new life, meet new people, and settle into school so brief disclaimer: I’m only now to the point where I can adequately catalog the events of my journey thus far, and I hope you enjoy a brief summary of my trip’s beginning…

 

January 1, 2012: The flight over went smoothly, I had a connection in Boston and a layover in Newark before finally arriving in Oslo 8 am local time on January 2, 2012, after something like 14 hours of flight time.

visa stamp from Gardermoen airport in Oslo!!

Being my second flight of ever I was simultaneously optimistic and pessimistic about things like flight seating, airport security, and the probability of my luggage arriving with me on time.Luckily my seat on the first (two) flights was in an Emergency Row and I was next to a window so not only could I see but there was ample leg room for the first 5 hours of air travel. For the flight from Newark to Oslo my seat was similarly blessed because I was in an aisle seat that had an extra wide aisle and the seat next to me was the only empty seat on the plane so I didn’t have any difficulties with sharing space, etc. And thankfully my luggage showed up with no problem and I was able to exchange my USD for NOK, get a taxi, and move into my housing all very quickly. In fact, I had set up my laptop and responded to my parents’ “how are you email” by 10am Oslo time (3am Houston time) so the Boeing gods had blessed me.

US $ versus the Norwegian kroner

P.S. If you ever have the chance to fly Scandinavian Air I highly recommend it, they were amazingly friendly. And another thing for those first time flyers like myself: ask questions. After each flight, change of terminal, and security checkpoint I just asked whatever attendant was nearest where I should be next and they gave advice on how to get there quickest with the greatest ease. I’m sure many feel they can navigate airports with little to no help BUT if you feel you need it, ask. It’s their job and no one I asked seemed the least bit bothered by it

As for Oslo, the weather has been “mild” according to the locals.  And I must agree it’s been rather nice, it has been consistently somewhere between 30-34F during the day with no wind, we have had some snow flurries but nothing so heavy that I haven’t been able to make it to the many shopping districts or historic sites for some sightseeing! By now, there should’ve been something like a meter of snow on the ground but this year has been unseasonably warm, which I won’t be complaining about anytime soon. And a brief note on the sun, Oslo is obviously very close to the Arctic circle and winters here are rather darker and summers are brighter. When I first arrived the sun was setting sometime after 3 in the afternoon but after only three weeks it is already setting around 4pm and by the time I leave in mid-June I should see something close to the midnight sun!

Hook ‘Em!
Entrance to BSN housing

My room is pretty nice, it’s actually larger than I expected and has very good and useful furniture in it, including the bed, 2 wardrobes, a massive L-shaped desk with a lamp, a dirty clothes hamper, a mirror, a rolling bedside table, a desk chair, and a chair for visitors.  All in all I’m actually quite pleased with it. The bathroom is not worth mentioning, and the kitchen is sufficient for the cooking I plan to do, although I do wish it had a microwave.  My roommate is from Germany, her name is Marie, she is going to school here permanently for her degree, and this is her first year.

 

street view of BI

The university we go to is right down the road from us, really its right down like a path but the point is that it is very close. BI Norwegian School of Management or Handelshøyskolen BI is the university we are studying at, and the building is extremely impressive. It’s really like four buildings that are connected with glass walls and walkways and staircases and elevators, it has a very modern look and I like it.  I’ll post a video tour of it soon, promise.

This blog is getting rather lengthy, my apologies. I’ll stop now and maybe write some more tomorrow to catch you up on my actual outings in Oslo rather than just a rundown of the setting 🙂

But maybe some more pictures to keep it interesting:

BI entrance at night
Oslo City mall
Butter in Oslo! The American press had this in the news right before I left, that Norway had a major shortage of butter BUT that was just hype, its here lol
Downtown Oslo
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4 thoughts on “Oslo, Norway: First Impressions, First Weeks

  1. Just found this from google! I’m an OU student here for the semester @ University of Oslo. FB me if you ever need some american friends or ski buddies or anything – I live at Kringsja. 🙂

  2. The “butter” you are referring to is not actually butter. I think you in America call it “spread”. It’s made of vegetable oils and is a cheaper and healthier alternative to butter (which is made of milk).

  3. I’m a Texas Tech International Business student and am required to interview a Norwegian study abroad student for a class assignment, could I ask you a few questions?

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