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Trip Start Jan 05, 2011
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Trip End May 18, 2011


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Flag of Norway  , Østfold,
Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Nordic life of a North Dakotan

By Robert Reinpold

Recently I've come to realize that
whoever said that time passes quickly when your having fun was a wise
person. As the days grow longer, the time seems to pass faster and
faster. It's hard to believe that more than six weeks have passed
since my study abroad experience began here in Moss, Norway. The
semester is now a third done, but it feels like only yesterday that I
arrived.

The last three weeks have been pretty
exciting. On the 29th of January, I, along with fellow UND students
Griffin and Ashley, went to the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Also
accompanying us were Kev of Philadelpia, PA, and Bjorn from
Brumunddal, Norway. Compared to the humble industrial city of Moss,
the bustling life of Oslo offers quite a change of pace. We started
in Oslo walking passed the National Theater and the University of
Oslo as we made our way to the Nobel Peace Center. It was pretty
cool, but not as cool as our next stop, Akershus. Translating to
"Aker's House," Akershus is a medieval fortress that
overlooks the Oslo harbor. It is really beautiful within the fortress
walls; I can't wait to go back in the spring when the grass is green
and the trees have leaves. Also while in Oslo, we visited an art
gallery and walked passed the royal palace. All in all, our day trip
to Oslo was a lot of fun, and hopefully we will make a few more trips
there before the semester is up.

The next weekend we all, minus Kev,
went to Bjorn's place in Brumunddal. On Friday we drove to nearby
Lillehammer, home of the 1994 winter Olympic games. While there, we
went to Mauhaugen, a museum on Norwegian history and heritage. Coming
from the relatively young United States, it was really interesting to
learn about the 1000+ years of historical events that have happened
here, from the Black Plague to the vikings. Also near the museum was
a stave church (not unlike the one at the Hjemkomst Center in
Moorhead) and village typical of 13th century Norway. Saturday we
spent sledding on the slopes near the city of Hamar. It was really a
lot of fun; the views from the top of the hill were simply
spectacular. Hopefully we can do some skiing in the upcoming weeks.
Between the sightseeing and just hanging out at Bjorn's house, I felt
that after this weekend, I began to understand Norwegian culture and
lifestyle. I've really begun to learn the ins and outs of daily life
in Europe and don't feel so much like a tourist anymore.

Having now settled in, we UND students
have begun planning trips outside of Norway to see what the rest of
Europe has to offer. This coming week, I will be in Uppsala, Sweden
visiting former HHS exchange student Jenni Jalonen. The weekend after
that, the first weekend of March, a group of us from the college are
going to Dublin, Ireland. Also in March, I plan to visit family in
Germany and Austria, in Hannover and near Innsbruck, respectively.
With such limited time here, it would seem a shame not to travel as
much as possible. Also, with an abundance of cheap airline tickets
(the trip to Dublin cost less than $50 round trip), it seems like a
no-brainer to get out and see the world.

With all that's happened these last
six weeks, and with all we have planned in the upcoming weeks, my
study abroad experience has already been so much more than I could
have ever expected it to be. It's far more than I ever bargained for,
and I'd like to take this time to thank my parents for allowing me to
do this - you're the best! To any students who may be interested in
studying abroad, I highly recommend looking into it. I'm sure glad I
did! It really is a life changing experience that you will not
regret.
To read more in depth of my adventures
and view photos of my trip, I encourage you to visit my blog at
http://travelpod.com/members/robert.reinpold.
Also, as always, feel free to email me at blackbird_91@yahoo.com. I'd
love to answer any questions you might have.
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jon.reinpold
jon.reinpold on

What!? No pictures today?

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