My journey to studying abroad in college began in my college decision process during high school. There were two things I knew for certain about the University I chose: I wanted to be able to play football at the collegiate level, and I wanted to have ample opportunities to study away. This thought process brought me to Pacific Lutheran University, where I have now done both.
After years of waiting for my chance to study away because of the obstacles of COVID, I made it to my first country of choice, Norway. Having family stem from Norway, I knew I wanted to see the place where a piece of my family is rooted. While playing football in the fall semester of 2021 at PLU, I chose to study abroad in the spring semester of 2022 - bringing along two of my best friends to accompany me in my studies across the world. Studying in Norway was not only a first option for me because of family, but because of one of the courses it offered in a small town called “Bo.” In this countryside town, sat a small campus from the University of South Eastern Norway. In this town I would take my studies to the next level in a course that entailed learning how to become a guide for outdoor activities. But because this was spring, or winter in Norway, that left me with no choice but to study “Outdoor Leadership and Backcountry skiing,” as well as kayak guiding towards the end of the semester. This course is a three year baccalaureate program that is designed to go through different outdoor sports in its teachings; I merely came for the skiing section. Don’t get me wrong, I was as excited as ever, but mind you, this course was also designed for students with ample ski experience - and I had never skied…
This didn’t stop me from applying to the University of South Eastern Norway to get into this program. Sure, I had to exaggerate a bit of my experience - which then led me to being the only one in the class who had never skied before, but I made it work once I arrived in Norway! The toughest part at that point in my journey was just getting there, but boy oh boy I had no idea what I was in store for with this course. None of us did. This outdoor program in Norway had never been done by a PLU student before, and the Norwegian university had not received a lot of American international students in comparison to the other nationalities present. This meant that my home university, PLU, did not entirely know what this course involved - and neither did I.
Read more about Noah's experience and full article on our website.