So, Norway is pretty cold.
This is coming from a Houston girl, who considers anything below 50 freezing and below 40 tundra-weather. It averages in the 30’s here, but the thick waterproof, windproof, basically weather-proof coat I bought has been keeping me nice and warm.
It snowed today (which doesn’t happen often), so I did a little adventuring into the city center of Stavanger.
The Norwegian semester begins a little earlier than the American one, so right after New Year’s I flew from Houston to Washington DC, Copenhagen, then Stavanger. SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) provides tickets at discounted prices if you’re 26 and under (hooray for youth prices!)
The scenery here is incredible. I live in a dorm on the edge of a lake right in between the city center and the university, and am frequently out walking around it when the sun is up. The sky is a little darker than I’m used to since the sun starts to go down around 3PM, but the days are already slowly getting longer.
My classmates and dorm-mates are very welcoming, from tours of the city to snowball fights in the yard outside. There are more international students here than I would have expected — in my classes, which are almost half-international, half-Norwegian, there are students from South Africa, Indonesia, Venezuela, Russia, all over the world. The classes are all taught in English, and because Stavanger is an oil town, most people speak English.
I’m using an app (Duolingo) to learn some Norwegian too — not too sure when I’m going to use the phrase “Bjørnene liker fisken” (bears like fish), but I’m sure I’ll find an opportunity soon!