The first three months of my stay in Norway have been incredible, entailing many amazing adventures, with plans of many more to come! Always having a strong desire to travel, meet new people and make new experiences made me a perfect candidate for USC’s Study Overseas program. Finding myself in Norway out of all the places in the world came down to a process of elimination, whereby being a Social Work student I had heard lots about the Scandinavian countries unique and admirable welfare systems. After concluding Scandinavia would be a fascinating part of the world to discover, Norway became a hot pick due to its vast natural wonders and internationally high standards of happiness, trust and living conditions.
Diving in head first, not knowing what to expect was an enthralling feeling and one that paid off! On first impressions the magical Norwegian winter wonderland was awe inspiring, even beyond first impressions it would continue to amaze me. Every morning I would wake up feeling like my life was something you would see in a postcard. This postcard was of my new town Sogndal, a town surrounded by snow-capped mountains fronting directly onto Norway’s longest fjord snaking its way through the incredible mountains. With a population of around 10,000 Sogndal is a very cosy town having everything you would need but not having the hustle and bustle of a big city and even better still, nearly half of the population is students so the town is built to accommodate the student life.
Not only has the picturesque landscape captivated me but the people, culture and adventurous activities are equally inspiring. Skiing, snowboarding, hiking, white water rafting, wall climbing, fishing, glacier walking and a very busy nightlife with multiple concerts contribute to the many activities to partake in. This plethora of activities made it easy to adapt to leaving Australia and living in a new country, there are many social organisations to join that continually plan an array of trips, there are marked mountains to climb in your back yard and the ski slopes are a 10 minute trip up the road! Participating in a 6 month social work practical has enabled me the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture by getting a real hands on experience of the Norwegian work ethic and personal lifestyles. If you are like minded in wanting to explore and experience different parts of the world, I would highly recommend you take the leap and pursue your passion!