(pictures at the end :D)
“Buddy group” is the translation of fadderullan which is where my time, this past 5 days, has been consumed by. The first day of the group was just international students and the buddy leaders. They gave us a little tour of the school and showed us around a little bit. The next day we were told to meet at the school at 11:00am because we would be going to a park. I met Sara, my now friend, in our buddy group that day. We found out that we both live at Sogn so we took the train back together. We planned to meet the next day to meet with our group.
Wednesday morning Sara and I took the train to BI to meet our group. We got there a little early and didn’t see any of our buddy leaders so we went back in to see if they were in side. On our way in we met Simon, who’s from Germany. He completes the “3 amigos” of the international students in our buddy group because no one else showed up, which in the end I’m kind of glad because I really like getting to know actual Norwegian students. We found our group and today the first year Norwegian students joined us. I met so many people that day, I had a hard time remember all their names!
After introducing ourselves to each other we got on a bus to go to a park in Oslo. On the bus we sat with the Norwegians and talked. Somehow we got on to the top of driver’s licenses and they couldn’t believe you can be 15 and have your driver’s license. I learned that it’s really expensive to get your license in Norway. One of the guys I was talking to on the bus, who I can’t remember his name, spent a year in the United States and studied in California.
Out of all the international students I’ve met or people in Oslo in general, the Norwegians speak THE BEST English our of everyone (besides native English speakers). It’s really easy to carry on a conversation with the Norwegians because they don’t need to pause and search for the right words like some others do. The French, for example, a lot of them that I’ve met are not good at English and have a hard time. The Norwegian’s are really good at English. One of the main reasons they said it’s because all their TV they watch is American or English with just Norwegian subtitles, so they don’t dub over voices like other countries do and they take English really early on.
On our way to the park, after getting of the bus, we had to stop at this little grocery store to buy some ‘beverages’ to drink at the park. In Norway it’s not really legal to drink in the park or public, but in Oslo the police don’t really follow that law too well. We also got hot dogs and these really cool disposable grills that they have at like every grocery store. The Norwegian’s eat hot dogs with lefse and potato salad. It’s actually really good! At the park we cooked hot dogs, drank, and played games. We spent all afternoon at the park getting to know the Norwegians. At about 6:00pm or so we left the park and took the tram and the train to get to Morten’s apartment. He’s one of the buddy leaders, which just means he’s an upperclassman at BI who’s been in the same position as us all and volunteered to help us get to know one another. For the exchange students it’s a really good opportunity to get to know Norwegian people, which can be tough. I’m really glad we’ve been sticking with our buddy group for the past 5 days, because it’s not everyday you get the opportunity to get to know Norwegians.
We were at the pre-party until probably about 10:00pm and then we went to the concert. The artist was Erik & Kriss, they’re a well known Norwegian rap group. When we got to the club, I had to go wait into a different line because I was not 20. There were sooooo many people around and everyone was pushing and shoving to get in. I didn’t recognize anyone in line, so I just hoped I would see people I knew when I got in side. Once inside, found Helene, one of the buddy leaders, and she told me to follow her to find the rest of the group. I ended up losing Helene after we both ran to the bathroom. I didn’t see anyone I knew, so I went to the floor where the concert was to try to find someone I recognized at least. I didn’t want to have to spend the whole night a lone. lol I then found 2 people that had been in my buddy group that I remembered, but hadn’t really talked to. We then spent the next 20 minutes trying to find the rest of our group. Somehow, I got split up from those 2, and ended up with a few international students I had met my first night here in Oslo. The night ended up okay, but I never ended up finding my buddy group of Norwegians, which I later found out, was because they stayed in the basement area which was 20+ only. I really love my buddy group and all the Norwegians in it. Everyone is so nice and really genuinely interested in you. It actually really sucks being 19 in Oslo, because there is really only one club you can go in, if you are under 20.
The next day, Thursday, was basically the same preparty in the park listening to music, playing games, etc. The only that was different was Sara and I didn’t have tickets to the concert for that night. We were okay with that because we both hadn’t ever heard of the artists, so why waste money in Oslo when everything else is already sooooo expensive.
Friday ended up being really crappy weather and we had a “Study Smarter” workshop at the school in the afternoon. Friday night we met up with our buddies once again and tonight’s activity was a “pub crawl”. My friend Sara said it was not like a normal pub crawl she had ever been on before, so this was not a typical one. We were split up into teams, thankfully Sara and I were put on the same team, but the rest of our team wasn’t good. We were stuck with like the 3 Norwegians who we hadn’t really talked to before and the one was super quiet and never talked or just talked in Norwegian. Basically the first task was to find the buddy leader somewhere in the park. This would have actually been a pretty fun night if it hadn’t been raining. After about 20 minutes of no luck, we went back to the starting place and told them we couldn’t find them. It turned out that they had thought everyone had came through so they just went onto the next place and didn’t wait for us. So we ended up on the wrong foot. At each stop there were different challenges to do in order to get more points. The first stop was to take a picture with at least 2 random strangers. Also along the way, we started out with really small items and our goal was to trade for items worth more value. My team definitely lacked in that department, I think due to the rain, we were just focused on getting to the next spot. Friday night was an okay night, but would have been a lot better if it hadn’t rained or we had had a better team. 😉
Saturday, was nice weather and I had my appointment with the foreign police at 2:00pm and there was also a scavenger hunt with our buddy group at the same time as well. I left for my appointment at around 1:00pm thinking I would have plenty of time to find the police station…turned out it was not and I ended up being about 45 minutes late to it and Norwegians are NEVER late. It all worked out and the lady was super nice to me and didn’t give me a hard time about being late at all. I was told to take the train to the city center and get off and just ask someone where it was. I did that, and they then told me to go to Grønland, an area of Oslo that I’ve been told don’t go alone or at night. It’s a lot of immigrants and to just be careful there. So I get off the train and ask people where the police station is. They told me to go just down the street and it’s on the left. I walked and found the building, but it looked closed. I went up to the door and it was locked, so I buzzed the button and some guy answered in Norwegian. I told him what I was doing and he said this isn’t the correct police station and attempted to give me directions. I could go on and on about how I was lost and then eventually found the correct police building, but it could get quit boring and I really just need to summarize this and say that I made it there eventually and I will be receiving my residence card in the mail within the next 10-14 days. 🙂
After my appointment, I met back up at the school with Sara and Simon and I went with them back to the scavenger hunt even though it was basically over. I honestly love spending time with my buddy group and they are so much fun to be with. We went to Marcus’s apartment first. He’s another buddy leader and we’ve come to the conclusion that there really are more buddy leaders than “students” and they really enjoy being buddy leaders. Marcus’s apartment was really nice as well. All of the apartments we’ve been to have been extremely nice! I will leave that at that and say I had a ton of fun on Saturday night with all of them. 😀
Sunday was extremely crappy weather and I was really tired from the night before. Sara and I ended up going out for late lunch,/early dinner, my first time at a sit down restaurant in Oslo, at a Thai food place called Rice Bowl. It was delicious and I had a pad thai of course. 😉 After eating I came back to my room and just relaxed. I also did laundry for the first time here. I surprisingly had no problems, thanks to Sara for showing me how!
Monday, today, we had a Fadderullan activity as well, but I am going to end this post here since I took quite a few pictures today so that will be it’s own post. 🙂
^^ Most of our buddy group on the first night!
^^^Erik & Kriss concert, the first day of Fadderullan
Our group chanting to the other school groups of Fadderullan in Norwegian. This was one of the days at the park.
Sara with Jim and Jespar. Funny story, Jim was planning on going to UND this fall, but something happened with his visa so he has to wait until next year.
One of the buddies randomly found these tables that had a note that said “Free take them” so he just brought them over to where we were sitting in the grass.
William and I ! 😀 I couldn’t have a post without a picture of myself in it. Hahahaha so I stole this one from my German friend Simon. 😉 & I had no idea that we both had the same facial expression when he was taking the picture, Kind of funny.