Abbey kommer fra Adelaide i Australia og er på utveksling i Norge med Explorius. Les hvordan hun opplevde de første månedene som utvekslingselev.
Wow, what an amazing experience my exchange has been so far! I arrived in Copenhagen for the Soft Landing Camp and through these few days, I met so many new people from all around the world whom are also going on exchanges to Scandinavia. We explored the wonderful city together and learnt all about different cultures, building life-long friendships along the way. We all then went our separate ways and headed for our exchange countries where our host families were awaiting our arrival.
Arriving in Norway was filled with so many mixed emotions! I was so excited for this adventure to begin and looked forward to meeting my host family, starting school and immersing myself into the Norwegian culture. However, I was a bit apprehensive about what it would all be like, I didn’t know what to expect and if I would make any friends at school. I missed my family and friends already but I came into this experience with an open mind and was ready for any challenges that would come my way.
The first few weeks at school were fairly difficult just trying to wrap my head around everything and it started to become a bit overwhelming. I started to question myself and whether this was the right thing for me to be doing. However, I have the most amazing host family who have invited me into their home with open arms, making a massive effort to make me feel so comfortable and welcome. If things at school were hard, I knew that coming home would be easy and that awaiting keenly for me was their support and love. I found that once I felt as though I had control over the situation at school, I become a whole lot more comfortable and I felt I could open up more to my classmates. I believe that the key to making friends in a new environment is to be willing to go out of your comfort zone and just be yourself. You have to make an effort and be positive about the situation, don’t be shy, go out of your shell and show people that you want to be there and that you are genuinely interested in getting to know them and the new country in which you now live in. By doing this, I have now made some amazing friends who I build stronger connections with every day.
Learning the Norwegian language is proving a little more difficult than first expected, however living in a Norwegian family and going to a Norwegian school is really helping me better understand and learn. I am improving and trying to learn new words everyday. My goal is to be somewhat fluent in the language by the time I leave so that I can have a conversation with my Norwegian friends and family and so that I can understand what they are saying when they have a conversation in Norwegian.
On weekends, my host family and I try to do as much as possible because we know that time is going to go by so quickly. Some of these adventures we have already done include, going to the cabin, going on walks in the woods, exploring Oslo and other surroundings and just purely living in the moment. During the autumn break we are taking a road trip to the West coast and Trondheim to see some of what Norway really has to offer.