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One Year Later

January 4, 2012

My New SkisDear readers,

It is exactly one year ago today that I arrived in Bø, Norway. I cannot believe it. 2011 has been the most eventful, enriching, exciting year of my life, and it flew by so quickly. I still think about my study abroad experience all the time, and I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect upon how Norway impacted my life throughout the year as well as update you on my future plans for after graduation.

Upon returning to the United States, I began to feel extremely depressed. I had a job in my hometown which was neither rewarding nor pleasant, and I lived at home with my family. While I was grateful to have home cooked meals and see my family and cat, I felt a deep homesickness for Norway.

I did not miss the cobblestone streets, stately architecture, abundant coffee shops, fine restaurants, and swanky night clubs that are usually sought after by students who study abroad in Europe (none of these places existed in Bø). This is where my semester abroad deviated from the norm. I missed the little adventures and misadventures I had with my new friends: skiing in the wild Norwegian mountains (complete with trolls), trips to the grocery store after school to buy Melkesjokolade (chocolate) and frozen pizza, hikes through Breisås forest to the secluded, picturesque lakes, life lessons from our friluftsliv (outdoor life) instructor, Tone, card games and parties in Breisås (our cozy housing community), swinging on the tire swings, baking and watching TV with Heidi, planning adventures to other European destinations, sitting in the in the school canteen eating waffles and drinking tea, and “parking” my skis at the school while I went to class with all of my friends. Of course, there are so many things I miss, and there are too many to list. However, it is the little things and the people I met along the way that made my study abroad experience so special and memorable.

A picture of a Norwegian mountain, a fjord, a bar of Melkesjokolade, a snapshot of friends in Breisås, and a moose doll I bought after my hike to Pulpit Rock (wearing a Norwegian sweater) are all constant reminders of the special time I spent in a beautiful little corner of Norway, Bø. Thank you to everyone who had a part in making my study abroad experience so unforgettable.

Now, I am entering my final semester of college. Again, can you believe how time flies? My fall semester was busily spent applying for jobs and keeping up with my school work. I applied to three jobs including Teach For America, Epic (healthcare software), and Microsoft. As one of the luckiest liberal arts students in the country, I was fortunate enough to receive offers from all three. I decided to accept my offer from Microsoft, and I will be starting work this July as a Technical Account Manager in North Dakota. My job will involve managing enterprise customer accounts by acting as an intermediary between the customer and the Microsoft consulting and software engineering services. I have worked hard throughout college to develop skills outside of my “academic comfort zone,” and it has paid off. I am very excited for my new adventures to come, and I look forward to more world traveling in the future.

I plan on starting a new blog that details the events of my relocation to North Dakota (I’m picturing some type of modern “Wild West” theme…North Dakota is, after all, the new boom state). Since many of you are subscribed to Up Norge, I will post here when I have created a blog for my post-college life. Thank you all for your support!

Warm regards,

Lisa

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    January 5, 2012 3:56 am

    Cannot believe how the time flies! Very excited for you. I think it’s going to be great!

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