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My semester overseas in Norway | Vancouver Island College

My identify is Sarah Osborne and I’m a fourth-year pupil within the Baby and Youth Care program at VIU. This fall, I had the chance to go on alternate to the Norwegian Faculty of Sport Sciences (Norges Idrettshogskole, or NIH) in Oslo, Norway.

making my selection

Why did I select NIH? For me, the key draw was its out of doors research (friluftsliv) program. I’ve at all times liked nature and exploring the outside. Moreover, one among my profession objectives is to do therapeutic journey applications. By way of the friluftsliv program I’ve been capable of carry these two pursuits of mine collectively. This system has helped me achieve sensible out of doors expertise that can enable me to be a powerful practitioner in facilitating youth and households inside varied out of doors settings.

Within the classroom

You is likely to be questioning what my lessons appear to be. Effectively, the autumn semester consists of lessons that concentrate on a hands-on method to studying sensible out of doors expertise. In our lessons, we realized tips on how to plan for quite a lot of journeys, tips on how to harvest from the land and water, out of doors talent improvement and the philosophy behind why friluftsliv is vital.

Studying on the land

A big portion of the educational is facilitated open air together with three multi-night tenting journeys. The truth is, over the past month and a half, I’ve spent 18 nights in a tent! Our first journey was an eight-day mountain climbing journey in Hardangervidda Nationwide Park. For a part of the journey, we navigated by means of the mountains in small teams utilizing maps. Midway by means of the journey, we met up with our academics at a lake the place we realized tips on how to fish utilizing totally different strategies. We additionally realized tips on how to correctly clear and put together the fish in quite a lot of methods resembling smoking, curing, fermenting and drying. This journey was such a particular expertise. It supplied the chance to strive issues I had by no means finished earlier than resembling fishing (I caught my first fish on this journey!) in addition to take a look at the boundaries of my earlier expertise.

Seafood harvesting and kayaking

Our subsequent journey was 5 days at Østre Bolæren, which was break up into two segments. The primary half of the journey was centered on harvesting from the ocean after which studying to organize meals with what we had harvested. It was a lot enjoyable studying the other ways to reap from the ocean and tasting the totally different meals. I obtained to go crabbing and spear fishing (sadly no catches this time, I used to be shut although) and gathering sea snails. The second a part of the journey was a newbie sea-kayaking course. We realized totally different paddling expertise, map studying and rescue strategies. As soon as we had constructed these expertise, we loaded up our kayaks with our in a single day gear and had a sundown kayak to camp on a distinct island. Kayaking within the Oslo fjord felt like a surreal expertise.

Navigating and connecting with nature

Our final journey was 5 days within the mountain vary of Blefjell. This journey centered on slower types of friluftsliv. For a part of the journey, we created and facilitated nature connectedness by means of aware practices utilizing the setting round us. Throughout the different a part of the journey, we did what I’d name a gradual friluftsliv wonderful race. We needed to navigate to totally different containers set out within the woods that had totally different gradual friluftsliv duties. These duties included climbing a mountain with out following trails and going gradual sufficient that you do not break a sweat and constructing a shelter utilizing a tarp and twine and tenting alone for the night time. Blefjell was probably the most stunning locations I’ve ever camped and was such a cool distinction to our first journeys. Total, the non-public development that occurs on these journeys is well worth the journey right here. They supplied the area for sensible studying in addition to emotional and bodily improvement.

Choices and challenges

What was the most important problem of my alternate? It was the time it took for me to really get right here. Initially, I used to be alleged to go on alternate within the fall of 2020. Nevertheless, when COVID hit, all of that modified and I wasn’t even positive if I’d have the ability to undergo with this dream. In the long run, I needed to lengthen my commencement by a 12 months to make it occur. Sitting right here in Norway now, I’ve completely no regrets about that call. Overcoming obstacles to make it to Norway, I imagine that I’ve gained a larger appreciation for my experiences right here, in addition to being happy with the willpower that it took for me to observe by means of with my aspirations.

Recommendation for others

My recommendation for any future pupil who want to take this program is to start getting snug with being on journeys in several climate situations and to begin to study the fundamentals earlier than you go. With this program, you might be with third-year college students who’ve been educated on tips on how to be protected, snug and expert within the open air. Earlier than you go, watch YouTube movies and skim articles on tips on how to correctly pack a rucksack, maintain your self dry and heat, and fundamental out of doors security. Moreover, observe the gear suggestions the varsity supplies for you. Those that didn’t put together this fashion earlier than the journeys had a more durable time specializing in the varsity duties since a lot of their efforts had been on staying heat and dry. Lastly, in case you love being open air, go for this alternate! It’s a distinctive studying expertise and greater than price it.


Sara Osbourne outside the campus in Norway at dusk

photo of norway landscape

Kayaking in Fæder National Park

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