Finding out in Norway: “Between fjords, mountains and snow-covered forests, it is breathtaking”

Thomas, 20, is about to spend an extraordinary Christmas in Norway. The student from Ile-de-France in his third year of a bachelor’s degree in logistics will enjoy the sumptuous Scandinavian landscapes during his Erasmus+ exchange. A stay that made you dream for a long time and that finally comes true.

It is in Molde, in the middle of the fjords, the Norwegian Sea and the Northern Lights that Thomas has settled since this summer. As soon as borders reopened last August, the student didn’t hesitate to jump on the plane. It must be said that after more than a year of the health crisis, the young man trained at the DUT in marketing techniques in Sceaux (IUT of the University of Paris-Saclay) had cravings elsewhere… or rather, cravings for freshness! Here he is in a country that, for now, never ceases to amaze him.

A year-long “break”

His adopted country, Thomas could talk about it for hours. However, a year ago, nothing really intended for this student to leave Île-de-France to fly 2,000 kilometers away. “Last year, we were awarded the DUETI (university diploma in international technological education). This diploma allows us to spend a year abroad in an IUT partner country through the Erasmus Program. I thought it could be a great opportunity”, says the young man.

Already conquered by Iceland, which he had the opportunity to visit, the student had only one wish: go to Norway to “find these landscapes [qu’il avait] adored”. “I had never traveled abroad solo before, he says. A year seemed like a long time and so finally I thought it would be good to take a break…” His good level of English allows him to get his first choice. Starting in June, the young graduate prepares his trip in the uncertainty of the health crisis.

Thomas leaves to study for a year in Norway, in the city of Molde. // © Photo provided by the witness

Read too

Familiarize yourself with Scandinavian customs

In the end, everything goes as planned, if not better. No mandatory quarantine, Thomas takes advantage of his last weeks of vacation to walk around, go on superb hikes and visit the city of Molde, in the middle of the Norwegian fjords. “At the beginning of the school year, all the Erasmus students got together for a week of integration, there were many different nationalities. This is where we were able to start meeting people, explains Thomas. The One University Student association also offers many activities such as skiing, bowling, sports… It allows you to integrate.” Because Norwegians remain true to their rather introverted character. “You just have to make the first move, go up to them because afterwards they are really nice!”

And for dialogue, English remains the universal language in Norway. 🇧🇷Everyone speaks English very well“, surprises the student who also follows all his courses in the language of Shakespeare. At the University of Molde, Thomas prepares a bac+3 in logistics: “I don’t find big differences with the French system. We have two hour classes. What changes is that we finish earlier, around 2-3 pm. This allows you some time to do side activities.🇧🇷

Breathtaking landscapes are Thomas' everyday life.
Breathtaking landscapes are Thomas’ everyday life. // © Photos provided by the witness

Read too

A Christmas in the Nordic Mountains

Furthermore, even if the epidemic has restarted for a few weeks in Norway and the health instructions are stricter, it will take longer to bring Thomas back to France. “Perhaps at the beginning of the school year we are distanced, but I’m used to it and afterwards, I still prefer to stay here, it’s much more pleasant!” The young man also adapted very quickly to his new environment where the sea and the mountains are king.🇧🇷 “We have nature everywhere… In the morning, I have the sea in front of me, it’s still nice! And then, these fjords between all these mountains and forests, it’s breathtaking! it’s never the same as a function of time! 🇧🇷

Thomas is really under the spell. And that, whatever the weather. 🇧🇷Earlier this week it snowed. It was -10°, it felt -20°. Alright, that’s cool. But unlike France, when it snows here, life goes on, even when it falls by 50 cm! If you’re well covered and there’s no wind, that’s fine.” The lack of light doesn’t seem to affect him either. Around 3pm, night falls, “a bit like France finally”, he says, laughing. on the other hand, surprised him, it is rather that feeling of confidence and security that prevails among Norwegians. “People don’t hitch rides on bicycles in the street… We would never do that in France!”

For the Christmas holidays, Thomas plans to enjoy the country and Bergen, where he will spend a few days with other Erasmus students. “Here, Norwegians are very attached to Christmas, there are decorations everywhere, garlands, lights, stars…” But during the holiday season, firs, snow and Norwegian mountains will not replace raclettes and other dishes based on very French cheese. “Let’s not lie to each other, the cheeses here don’t taste the same, it’s the food I’m going to miss at Christmas!”

Despite that small moment of homesickness, Thomas wouldn’t change countries for the world. 🇧🇷I like that cool side, it’s a very beautiful country, but you shouldn’t come here to sunbathe“, he exclaims. One thing is certain: between now and the summer, the student still has time to see beautiful seasons pass under his window.

Read too

Leave a Comment