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Update from MPP student Brandon Baumbach in Oslo Norway

For the past month I have been working in US Embassy. I have been working on a project
called NorsomBro which is a Somali outreach program to help bridge the gap that exists between Somali Norwegians and ethnic Norwegians. In addition to this work, I have been working at the local municipality of Gamle Oslo in their Immigration and Refugee Center. Here I have been gathering a great insight into the immigration and integration process practiced here in Norway. With this I have also had the opportunity to teach English to new immigrants (and they teach me Norwegian in the process).

I spent the last week in Lillehammer at the Nansen Dialogue with around 25 other students from Balkan states and Americans who are now attending the International Summer School with me. It was an experience I will not be able to describe in words. The dialogue
demonstrated how open conversation can lead us past stereotypes and misperceptions to understanding and long lasting friendships. Needless to say, I now have many friends from former Yugoslavian states.

We are now at the International Summer School in Oslo. Our classes have begun this week and we are just getting to know the 560 students from 95 different countries. To demonstrate the diversity; in my class of 20, there are no two students from the same

Brandon Baumbach
Grant Writer, African Development Center
Master of Public Policy Candidate, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

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