Featured on the SIU Website

June 8th, 2009

Just in case anyone wanted to practice their Norwegian, you can check out this link and read the article posted on the The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) site.

Hope everyone has enjoyed going through pictures and sharing about your experiences in Norway!  Maybe someone hopes to study abroad there soon…


PS — Dr. Wolcott provided a translation for us:

Celebrated 17th of May in Kristiansand

A group of American students and staff from the University of Nebraska at Omaha got a chance to experience Norway and the national holiday in conjunction with a 10-days visit.

The program for the group of around 30 people was tightly packed, with lectures at the University in Agder, visits to Kristiansand, Stavanger and Oslo, sightseeing and celebration of 17th of May.  A partnership between UiA and UNO is part of an Educational and Cultural Immersion project.

For Nick Monge (23), the trip was his first encounter with Scandinavia.  A lecture on Norwegian culture and core values was for him among the interesting.

“In a week in Norway I’ve seen how different the concept of ‘equality’ is understood and practiced here in comparison to the USA.  It’s almost a joke when we Americans talk about equality; we don’t really practice it,” he says.  Monge is pursuing international studies and Spanish at UNO.

Jessica Clem (25), a student of urban studies, thinks it was interesting to see how the local community came together to celebrate the 17th of May.  “It was fantastic to march in the parade and be a part of the community’s celebration,” she says.  The students, who are pursuing undergraduate degrees in variety of disciplines, had time to get to know students at UiA who are planning a trip to Nebraska at a later time.

“For me this was some of the best part of the visit,” says the 22 year old Felician Synowicki, who is studing teacher education and social studies.

The students have blogged regularly, and you can read more on how the visit seemed to the 20 students at http://norwaytrip09.ist.unomaha.edu/

By: Kjersti Brown


Students departed Oslo on time…

May 19th, 2009

Students departed Oslo on time. Will arrive OMA fl. NWA 274 from MPLS at 6pm


Departed from Oslo

May 19th, 2009

Hello everyone! Zac again. Krista and some of the students just left gate 43 from the Oslo airport on time.  They will be going through Amsterdam on fl. KLM 1142.  Once in Amsterdam they have a short layover before departing for Minneapolis.  If everything holds up with the flights the group will be back in Omaha at 6pm fl. NWA 274.  It will be a long journey home, so smiling faces at the airport will be much appreciated!

Some students and myself have stayed for different flights and will continue some personal travel over the next few weeks. 

It has been a great trip!  I have been excited to share Norway with the students for a long while. Both Krista, Deepak, Ilze and I appreciate the enthusiasm, the patience, and the excitment that everyone had during this trip.  You all did a great job!

Jenny et al may post more pictures once they return, so come back to the blog at least once or twice!




Simply ending…

May 18th, 2009

Ja, vi eslker dette landet
som det stiger frem!

[Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth!]

Sunday was the 17th of May, which is National Day here in Norway. The day was full of fun events and traditions. The morning kicked off with the children’s parade, when students from all of the local schools march in their classes, singing and chanting. The school we visited last week, Vardenosen, invited us to march behind them in the parade. So a group of us, got up, put on our Norway ribbons, and headed down to the city square. Everyone was very well dressed, and many people wore traditional Norwegian dress. Norwegian flags were waving everywhere, and everyone was cheering and celebrating. The Russ students were running up and down alone the parade route, throwing out their Russ cards and spraying everyone with water guns. (What’s Russ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russetid )

The rest of the day was filled with singing, dancing, a tour of the ship Sorlandet, and a public parade. For our final meal in Kristiansand, we had Chinese! We all received certificates proving our participation in Experience Norway (and the girls got hugs, too!).

Around 10:30 p.m. several of us participated in Tapto, a local tradition. People meet up at one of the starting points in town, grab hands with their friends (and others, too), and run down to the harbor to see the fireworks. Tapto was crazy! People were weaving in and out of each other; we had to dodge the march band that was in front of us, other runners, lamposts, and trash cans. It was raining, so we were pretty soaked by the time we reached the harbor, out of breath and totally exhilerated. The fireworks were a little late, but awesome. There were a few that I don’t think are legal anywhere in the states.

We were still hyped when we, at long last, reached the hotel lobby dripping from head to toe. We stripped off our shoes and socks and got some towels (and hot coffee). Then came a bunch of hugs and well wishes, as we said our goodbyes to the UNO students and Norwegians who helped show us around Norway.

We had to leave at 5 a.m. this morning to catch our train to Oslo, and, when we got down to the lobby, there were our Norway friends with a bag full of chocolate for us! (Thanks Lasse & Kristian — it was all delicious!) It was the first train ride for a lot of us. Most of us slept along the way, but we also got to enjoy the beautiful Norwegian scenery. We made it to Oslo around 10 a.m., dropped our luggage at the hostel, and hopped back on the bus for a short city tour. We stopped by Vigeland Park, a garden of sculptures created by Vigeland themed around the circle of life. Some of the sculptures aligned with sunrise and sunset, those in the east centered mostly around life, working towards the west where they were focused on death. We were able to see the lovely downtown of Oslo, where we ate and caught a tram back up to our hostel. Our hostel is, in a word, freaking amazing. I know that’s two words, but I think it deserves it 😉 We have free internet (yay!), our own bunk beds, and good coffee. Most of us chilled here, and utilized the kitchen accommodations. We spent dinner reminiscing about our wonderful trip and shared our favorite experiences (and a lot of junk food). Zac made us a lavish Italian dinner aka pasta, and we had some “pizza au freezer.”

Now, we’re spending the evening digesting our Norway experience and turning in early after a wonderful and full day.

P.S. Nick ate whale. (live whale)


Other fun pictures

May 17th, 2009
In the parade We walked in the National Day Parade with the students from the school we visited during the Service Learning day.
In the parade Students walking in the parade with Deepak: Catie, Shazale, and Michelle.
One of our school hosts One of the teachers from the school we visited.
Some of the girls on Pulpit Rock Krista, Jackie, Catie, Shazale on Pulpit Rock
We saw a 3D video in the Oil Museum Checking out the 3D show in the Oil Museum (Stavanger)
Zac with a large spider Zac holding a large spider.
Nick and the Snake Nick making friends at the Kristiansand Zoo
Andrew in Baneheia looking over Norway Andrew loves Kristiansand.


Back in Kristiansand; heading …

May 17th, 2009

Back in Kristiansand; heading to Oslo tomorrow for our last days


Some Group Photos

May 17th, 2009
Students in front of UiA First the student posed in our trip t-shirts in front of the University of Agder campus.
With the school children

Here we have some of our students with the school children during our service learning visit.

Eating a Safe Lunch Before Factory Tour at Elkem Solar Before the tour of the silicon plant, we had to put on red safety gear: fireproof coats, a hardhat, and steel toe shoes.


In Stavanger and beyond

May 16th, 2009
The beautiful viw

Pulpit Rock: The beautiful view

Hei Hei! We made our way to Stavanger on Thursday, taking a scenic route. We stopped in the North Sea, which was gorgeous! But quite cold. After our arrival at the hotel, we took a tour of the city and learned many fun stories about its history. We also got to take a private tour of the world’s only canning museum and learned about how sardines are made! It was a great tour. We went back to the hotel and had a very relaxed night, just hanging out in the lobby and bonding with the group. The next morning, we woke up and took a trip to the Petroleum Museum. There, we took a tour and learned about Norway’s oil history- we also got to watch a 3-D film about how petroleum is made, and we all looked really cool with our glasses on. After the film, we took a trip to Statoil Hydro to learn about the business. We took a tour of the plant and learned about alternative energies and problem solving. The building had some beautiful artwork and our presentations were very interesting. The rest of that afternoon was ours! We were free to walk around Stavanger and go shopping. During the evening, we all went out as a large group to a piano bar and had a great time, dancing, chatting, and listening to some great music. Saturday morning, we woke up and took the bus on a ferry to Pulpit Rock. We grabbed our packed lunches and headed up the trail for our app. 2 hour hike up to the rock. It was a steep climb, and many of us realized how out of shape we are! Or how little experience we have with climbing because of Nebraska’s flat terrain- hopefully the second one :) We all made it up to the top, where an incredible view awaited us. From the rock, we could see the fjord, mountains, trees, and just an absolutely beautiful landscape. It was incredibly windy, but many of us braved it and layed over the edge to get some great photographs.


We ate our lunch and headed down the trail. It was a very tiring, but incredible experience for all of us. After the climb, we loaded onto the bus and headed back to Kristiansand. We stopped for an incredible salmon dinner at the Maritime Hotel, and arrived back at Kristiansand around 8:00pm. We all relaxed, unpacked, and got ready for the night, where we went right next door to “The Spot” for another night of dancing and hanging out. We called it an early night to get ready for some National Day celebrations tomorrow! [written by Felicia]


Have you seen more photos?

May 15th, 2009

Make sure you check out this page or http://flickr.com/norwaytrip09 to see the photos Jenny is sharing!


Where are we now?

May 14th, 2009

Hello blog-readers!  This is Zac, one of the staff chaperones on the trip along with Krista C.   Today we left Kristiansand for a few days to see another part of Norway: Stavanger.  Stavanger is a city on the west coast of Norway, south of Bergen.  We arrived in the early afternoon and had a walking tour of the city, which included a walk through the old wooden parts of town as well as the sardine canning museum.  (That’s right.  And, it’s the only one of its kind in the world!)  Did you know that a can of sardines can survive a nuclear event undamaged?  That’s what the guide shared with us while talking about how long those little fishies can last if they are canned properly.

On the 4 hour bus ride from Kristiansand to Stavanger, we took the scenic route.  The bus meandered through the coastline rocks and hills — such a beautiful countryside.  We even stopped at a small beach for a rest.  It was Shazale’s first time to a beach!

We will be here for two more days before heading back to Kristiansand for National Day.

Jenny might pop back on later for a little more descriptions, but for now, this is where we are!