Today began the first official day of my semester and I could not be happier. Norwegian breaks are far too long for my liking and after a little over a month of free time on my hands, I was itching to get back in the classroom. Adding a bit of diversity to my course this semester also added to that excitement. With classes ranging from Migration, Diversity, and Inequality to Witch craft and Magic, I look forward to the unique semester ahead.
Today I attended my first lecture in my Migration, Diversity, and Inequality class. The first lecture focused mostly on the History of Migration, a interesting topic when looking at it from a political viewpoint. With topics such a international security on everyone’s mind, migration patterns continue to play a large part in the policies governments across the globe will implement to alleviate concerns. As I sat in class listening about migration patterns, I could not help but to think about how the fear of migration an immigration plagues the minds of many citizens in my own country. Being abroad has allowed me to see my home country from abroad and the ability to see how others view the issues that are so televised. I get the unique opportunity to watch the news coming from America and not be directly affected by my nations policy decisions and it’s interesting to see the rhetoric and how other nations view us. I won’t go into my own political beliefs or how I personally feel about the direction I think we may be heading down. All I will say, is that the issues facing America are not just American issues, I see the same problems in my host country.
Another feeling I had as I sat in my Migration, Diversity, and Inequality is one that I have often..it’s the feeling unadulterated awe and shock. Awe that I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn in such a unique setting and shock that I am physically here. As someone who struggled so much in high school, to the point where at graduation I subconsciously vowed to never return to another classroom the fact that I’m here still amazes me five months later. I also could not help to feel a small wave of melancholy as the realization that this is my last semester in Oslo overtook me. Even as I continue to experience this, I can’t help but to look at every moment with pure joy. Studying abroad allows you to overcome so many fears you may not know you have. Being here has allowed me to not only grow as a student and learn to express myself and broaden my viewpoint but to also grow as an individual. I have found myself doing things I never thought possible growing to become more comfortable with expressing my opinions, my fears, and my dreams. I find myself becoming more unapologetic with the space I take up in a classroom, no longer sitting at the back as only an observer, but rather sitting front and center not only taking in new information but engaging with it. I hope to take that confidence back with me to America and use it to talk to other students on the fence about studying abroad; because one thing I can say for certain is that out of all the regrets in my life, this moment in the place will never be one of them.