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Academia, Near and Far

August 20th, 2013
     The first couple of weeks in Norway have been kind of tough (especially with the recent bedbug outbreak in my apartment), but being in a culture not unlike but so far removed from my own has given me a much different perspective on the way that nations relate to each other. The vast majority of international students, surprise surprise, do not come from the United States. Most do not even come from countries where English is the predominate language. While English has been a comfortable safety net much of the time, I am thankfully becoming more reliant on speaking Norwegian, the common language that many of us aspire to learn.
     The class structure at UiO is peculiar but not entirely foreign. Of my three courses, one started yesterday and ends early October, one does not start until September, and the other has a day-long lab on Wednesdays (though the actual labtime we are expected to use ranges from one to three hours). This university also expects a lot of independent learning from students which, while similar to the goals of the University of Minnesota Morris, makes me feel that there is a distance between student and professor and student not present at Morris. The huge student body probably also factors heavily into this, though. Either way, I don't think I'm going to be invited to a barbeque at the local ethicist's house in my time here (and not for lack of trying).
     I took another long walk through Bjerke today and snagged some really good pictures. I'm pretty sure I'm the number one bird harasser in Oslo at this point, and the courts have plenty of photographic evidence to convict me.

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     Fugler er så pen her. Jeg tror at deres skjønnhet er på grunn av den unike urbane område samt deres fremmenhet til meg. Også, graffiti her er like pen som i USA. Jeg liker ikke vandalisme, men jeg liker kunst av by.

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