I really enjoyed and miss the quiet, slowed pace of Oslo. A lot of my learning and personal growth happened outside of the classroom, often during conversations over a cup of coffee or the occasional beer.
Since returning to the United States I’ve been asked and encouraged to summarize my experience at the international summer school into a neat 20 word or less elevator pitch.I’ve found words are not enough to convey the significance and the impact which this experience has had on me. In attempting to answer the question “How was Norway?” I’ve resorted to stating: “Anastasia, Bruno, Maggie, Djani, Cate, Nikolaj, Alex, Marie, Marit, Rachel, Vanja, Yemi, Mallory, Anna, Esme, Mirwais, Srdjan, Bla, Jeff, Edinburgh, Steiner, Balkans, and the world.”
Through interaction, conversation, or just simply being together, every single person I came into contact with during my time in Norway has contributed to shaping my world view. These conversations often forced me to look inward and evaluate my actions in addressing questions such as, “are my actions in accordance with the man I am and the man I want to become?”
After 2 months of reflection and contemplation on this life-changing journey, I’ve come away with the following lessons.
1.Do not be afraid to try new things. Have a cup of coffee with a stranger, and just slow down.
2. Never turn down the chance to put on your adventure pants, and explore.
3.The world is very small, and interconnected.
Transitioning back to the hectic, fast-paced college lifestyle was a lot easier after such a peaceful summer.