My First Days in Oslo!

7 08 2011
So I’ve finally made it to Oslo! The country is beautiful; just as I had imagined! I arrived on Monday morning and was met at the Central Station by my friend, a fellow UND student that was studying in Oslo for the summer, and thank goodness for him! Even though I was worn out from all the traveling and jet lag we were on a mission to get stuff together! First up was getting me some Norwegian cash and my monthly transportation card.  The card is quite handy; for about $70 I can use any of the public transportation-bus, T-bane (subway), or trikk (cable cars)-as much as I want in a month!

After we got my transportation card, we dropped my luggage off at his place so we wouldn’t have to haul it around all day. He then showed me one of the many convenience/grocery stores that are around town and near every student village. Next we went to get my student ID card and keys to my apartment. We waited in line for a couple hours waiting for my housing, but it was definitely worth the wait. Rather than giving me any random room, they let me pick my price range and about how many people I would share a bathroom and kitchen with. Either way I would get my own room and they were able to find something perfect for me! My room is awesome and the roommates that I have met so far have been great! We will have three other roommates moving in sometime between now and when school starts, and so far we are all from different countries.
I was able to get a “furnished room”, which means it includes the bed, shelving, chair, table, and small set of drawers, but I still needed bedding, a pillow, towels, etc. So after we received the keys to my apartment, we went straight to one of the malls. I was able to find everything I needed for less than about $150, which in Norway didn’t seem too bad! 
At about 11:30 that night we finally made it to my apartment with all of my luggage and my new purchases – it was quite the trek up the steep hill to my building! I met my two roommates that were already here and was able to put my room together. 
The next couple of days I survived grocery shopping, which is quite expensive compared to that in the states. Most things are about twice the price here, but I am budgeted for that.  I also got somewhat adjusted to the T-bane, or subway system. It’s pretty simple and is great for easily getting around the city .  Now if I could only figure out the trikk and bus routes! I walked the University of Oslo Blindern campus and found a couple of my buildings as well.
I took a trip outside of Oslo to a smaller town called Fredrikstad; the train ride was only about an hour long.  I went with my friend who will be studying there next spring. So while he was touring the school, another UND student (who was here for the summer school program) and I wandered around the town.  We took a ferry across the river to the older part of town and explored. It was lined with cobblestone streets and old buildings with some small shops. We had a nice afternoon and made it back to Oslo in time to grab a quick meal outside one of the T-bane stations.
Overall, my first few days in Oslo have been quite a whirlwind! I didn’t realize how much the jet lag and stress of getting settled in and adjusted to a new country would affect me. I just keep telling myself to take it easy – for crying out loud, I’ve only been here 4 days! I think after I take some time to relax and just enjoy my time, it will fly by until International Student Orientation week starts on the 15th. I am excited to meet a lot of international people that week who will most likely be in the same boat as I am.  But for now I am just going to take baby steps when it comes to exploring the city on my own. Hopefully I will soon feel more adjusted and more comfortable when it comes to being completely on my own at least  until I meet other people that also want to check out the sites. One of my roommates has only been here a couple weeks and her and I are going to plan a few things to do in the next week or so, so I am looking forward to already having someone to hang out with in Oslo! 

After a long day of walking out in the hot sun, I was happy to see the sign of my student village!

The building on the left is my building.

Below is my room in the apartment. I also have a large bookshelf and a closet that cannot be seen in this picture. I have my own room, but share the bathroom and kitchen with four other students.

Ha en fin dag!




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