Peace Scholar Post: Yemissrach Melka

The Sunday before the first week of class, the International Summer School (ISS) organized an “Oslo Sightseeing” tour to make students more informed about Norway. The tour brought us to some of Oslo’s main sights including The Vigeland Park, The Viking Ship Museum, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, and the Opera House. I was excited to experience the tour with the friends I had made in Lillehammer and the first few days at ISS. The tour guide who operated our bus was extremely enthusiastic about giving vivid descriptions of many interesting areas in Oslo.

Our first stop, Vigeland Park, was the world’s largest sculpture park built by a single artist. The park portrayed the history of life and its various stages in uniquely carved sculptures. Our second stop, The Viking museum, included real Viking ships situated in beautifully designed settings. I truly felt part of history as l stood next to ships that had crossed the seas thousands of years ago. The Opera house was situated in central Oslo and the front of the building was covered with white Italian marble that had brilliant architecture and design. The Holmenkollen Ski Jump situated on a hilltop gave us an extraordinary view that overlooked Oslo. As part of our tour, we also got to visit the Grand Hotel which is the place where Nobel Laureates stay during their trip to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway.

As we prepare to be part of intensive six weeks of study at the University of Oslo, I am looking forward to experiencing the dynamics that comes with having students of different backgrounds in the same classroom. I am eager and motivated to be part of the peace seminar class and hope to learn more about peace making and conflict resolution.

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