First impressions

Stepping Out of Comfort Zones for Personal Growth in Norway

Caitlin – Oslo Metropolitan University – Norway

Semester 1, 2023

Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws


My 6-month student exchange at OsloMet in Oslo, Norway, was an unforgettable experience that allowed for major personal and professional development. This opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and engage with individuals from diverse backgrounds was thoroughly enjoyable and one that I will cherish for years to come.


My studies at OsloMet were very interesting and the content I studied has allowed for professional growth within my field of study. The course coordinators were very supportive and personable, and the small classes allowed a large amount of interaction between teacher and student. The courses also provided a different perspective on various topics and enriched my knowledge on the culture and way of thinking in Norway and Scandinavia as a whole. I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the academic material and exploring new ideas and concepts.

Culture and Language

Oslo is a vibrant and diverse city, attracting many Norwegian and International Students alike.  The university’s buddy program facilitated meaningful interactions with exchange students and current students. Learning about different cultures, customs, and languages not only increased my cultural intelligence but also instilled a deep sense of respect for diversity and inclusivity. Through my friendships with international students, I was provided with countless educational experiences on their culture, as well as being able to share my own.

Adapting to life in a foreign country with a different language and social norms pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged personal development. I became more open-minded, adaptable, and resilient in the face of new challenges. Living independently in Oslo allowed me to develop essential life skills, such as budgeting, time management, and problem-solving. I also learned the value of forging strong connections with people, as friends from various countries became my support system during my time abroad. It was also a great experience to look at how we can become used to very minor things in life and when such changes, it is very noticeable – even small things such as light switches and windows which operated differently than back home. Majorly, the snow and the lack of sunlight in the initial months were also experiences that have changed my perspectives on life back home. I find myself much more grateful for the Australian Sun and the environmental diversity we have.

The Adventures

The stunning natural beauty of Norway, with its fjords, mountains, and picturesque landscapes, provided for some amazing adventures and day-to-day explorations. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to explore the Norwegian outdoors through hiking and skiing. The university accommodation also made this exploration easy as I was located in an area where these trails were very accessible, with accompanying scenic lakes and picnic area.

I was also fortunate enough to do some further travel, both with newfound friends and by myself. These experiences are ones that have also pushed me outside my comfort zone and allowed me to see how easily I can adapt to new experiences and a new way of living. Not only this, it allowed for further cultural experiences to broaden my global knowledge. With some of these experiences also being in countries that do not widely speak English, it has also increased personal awareness and communication skills.


Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.

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