My journey to get to Norway all begun in June when I started to research exchange
programs. I was still unsure about it all, but after attending an orientation, both my parents
and I felt completely sure about this decision to send me across the world. Leading up to
leaving, my exchange was all I could talk about! I’m sure my friends and family had all heard
enough about how excited I was to go to Norway.
The days that came right before leaving were exciting and terrifying. I was in a bit of a
different situation from other exchange students, because at the same time I was getting
ready to leave for Norway, my family were packing up all our things to move to a new
country. I was leaving knowing I wouldn’t be coming back to Australia, but instead going to
USA. I was surprisingly calm though, I think that the excitement was so immense that it
completely overpowered any sort of worry. It also hadn’t hit me yet! I couldn’t believe that I
was about to board a plane to live in a foreign country without my parents for 6 months!
My parents drove me to the airport, and I said goodbye to them and to my best friend. She
cried which was incredibly sweet, I think I would have too if I wasn’t so overwhelmed with
everything that was happening to me. The minute I got through security at the airport I felt
this crazy sense of freedom and independence. It was all so thrilling! I flew to Adelaide to
meet with a girl who I would be flying with all the way to Oslo. It was really nice to have
someone to navigate the airport and share this crazy experience with. After waiting for a
few hours, we finally boarded the plane for our 13-hour flight to Dubai. I had lost my voice
and was sick with some sort of flu which definitely made my flight feel a lot longer, but it
was okay. Once we arrived in Dubai we had about 20 minutes to run to our next flight! We
made it and were okay, but then it was another 7 hours to Oslo.
Finally, we were in Norway, going from 30°C Australian weather to -8°C. The girl I travelled
with left for her destination and I left for Tromsø. Upon arrival, I was greeted with hugs and
warm smiles, and we drove home through a snow storm. I had a delicious meal and got into
my warm bed. I think I had the greatest sleep of my entire life, I was so tired after two days
I am now almost halfway through my exchange and it is going so quickly! There’s definitely been challenges along the way, but with the support of my host family, the organisation and my friends I’ve pulled through and have become a much stronger person because of it!