Things you will know if you have studied in Norway

By Poppy Joy Watson

You’ll learn how to slip over gracefully on ice

Doing an Erasmus year in Norway sounded like the dream. The scenery is beautiful, the people are beautiful, and really, how cold could it be?

Answer: seriously cold. So here are the things you will have experienced during your time studying in Norway, or the things to expect if you’re heading over there to study.

Norway is so expensive. A weekly food shop in Oslo is almost double what you pay at home. It’s actually acceptable to rummage through supermarket bins for food in the dead of night.

Your career as a dumpster diver could even land you as part of the ‘freegan’ community.

Skiing is dangerous and no amount of Savlon can save you

You will literally have to dodge Norwegians who are skiing to university on a daily basis. But don’t feel too bad about yourself as you admire their elegance and grace – they were skiing before they could walk.

More importantly, avoid being distracted by their skills while you yourself attempt to ski.

How to walk on ice

I quickly realised that ice is PURE EVIL and that it is almost harder than skiing.

You soon accept the fact that your walk to university will be a treacherous journey of pain and torture until somewhere around mid-April.

You should stock up on the ibuprofen now, because limping home with yet another injury will become a regular occurrence.

A pint costs roughly half your Erasmus grant

It’s no less than 70 Norwegian Krone ( £7) for a pint on a night out in Oslo.

It is even possible to spend £15 on a cider.

It may be deliciously mint and basil infused, but you will feel way too guilty to enjoy it. Become best friends with a hip flask of vodka.

Things are not always as they seem

Did I mention I’m vegan?

Norwegians like to disguise food in strange packaging.

There’s no English translation on most products (rude), so unless you speak fluent Norwegian, mistakes will happen.

I once brushed my teeth with caviar instead of toothpaste.

Norway is cold – surprise surprise

Even when it’s sunny there is 10 feet of snow

If you yourself have survived a semester or year abroad in Norway, you know this is a lie.

Fresh off the plane, you fought your way through a blizzard to your overpriced student accommodation, several suitcases in tow. (You would need to sell your organs on the black market to be able to afford a taxi in Oslo.)

There’s also a considerable chance you almost died of hypothermia when you got lost on your way home after a night out during ‘buddy week’ – their term for Freshers’. But to be fair, that’s kind of your own fault isn’t it? Use google maps next time.

Remember, you may have chosen the Nordic life, but the Nordic life may not choose you.

Oslo in winter
Beautiful Oslo in Winter

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