I went to Oslo, Norway this summer on a Global Citizen exchange for 6 weeks. I was living with 11 other interns who were all from different cultures and we had to organize a summer camp for Norwegian and refugee children ages 6 to 14. It was hard at first because everyone had different ideas about the camp, and we had different communication styles due to our cultural differences. However, we had utilized all our strengths to make everything happen! I have learned more about my strengths and myself. Learning about the culture of others allowed me to know more about the team that I was working with, and to know more about their perspectives. Keeping an open mind and communication were definitely the key!
I believe that learning about the Norwegian culture through the children from the camp is also valuable. Although many would say that Norwegians are distant and not as passionate as North Americans, I must say that they can also be very sweet when they get to know you better. Some children would come to me at the camp everyday for a hug as soon as they arrived and before they went home, and they would always want to play their traditional Norwegian games with me. Knowing some of the refugee children’s experiences made me realize that we should really treasure what we have. We shouldn’t take anything for granted!
I must say that the most memorable experience was the 12-hour hike through altitudes of up to 1800m. The hike was very challenging, as we had to hike up and down multiple times, and there was even a part where we had to do rock climbing without any safety gear!
We got to see the gorgeous Norwegian nature, but I think most importantly we all became much closer to each other after the hike. During the 12 hours, we helped each other out, we talked to one another, and I am happy to know that they are all very nice individuals with very kind hearts. It is great knowing them, and I am sure that whenever I go to the city that they reside in, I will have a friend and we will never forget one another!
Thanks to AIESEC for this internship, TusenTakk!