Name: Monica Norton’15
Hometown: Livingston, N.J.
Where are you studying abroad? Sogndal, Norway.
What is the most unexpected thing you have encountered so far during your off-campus study experience? The warm weather! While Beloit and my hometown have been pounded with snow this winter, Norway has been uncharacteristically warm and nearly snow-less at sea-level! The Norwegians are very envious of the States. While my family and friends have been thinking I would be roughing it this winter, they have actually been the ones roughing it. I find this very ironic since I am studying climate change here.
What is your favorite place in your host city/country? I love the mountains and fjords. I can start a hike a sea-level where it feels warm out, and once I reach the top of the mountain I am standing in 60 centimeters of snow. It is like I am changing climate zones just by increasing altitude.
What did you miss most from home/Beloit? I miss the quirks of Beloit, and the people, my friends. I miss playing soccer at Beloit (and calling it soccer). Milkshake Mondays. I miss things not being outrageously expensive.
What is the biggest difference between Beloit and your host city/university? Similarity? One of the biggest differences is the lack of diversity. There are only a handful of international students here, from only three or four countries,and I am the only American. Similarly to Beloit, students have good relationships with their professors. Everyone is on a first-name basis. There is a good support system.
What has been your proudest/most exciting moment abroad? Fjord-jumping was very exciting and exhilarating; despite this warmer-than-usual winter, skiing here is greatly appreciated and for a good reason: it is amazing; the beautiful Northern Lights; going about the small city, Sogndal, and being able to get by without using English--just the few Norwegian phrases I know--is something I am proud of.
What is one song from your host country that you think everyone here should listen to? I think many people have already heard it: "What Does the Fox Say?" by Ylvis. It is a very important question to ponder.