Foto: Boyka Todorova

International Student’s Diary

Dear Diary,

It´s me again – still alive, still enjoying my time in Tromso, still busy with traveling, studying and finding adventures. We can feel that winter is coming – the period of sunlight gets shorter from day to day, in the night it´s freezing and sometimes we even slide in daytime on the icy floor. On some mornings, the whole Island of Tromso is covered with white frost and there have been some days where the frost has stayed tenaciously in the long shadows of sunlight that gives you the impression it´s always around 5pm.

As it´s now the end of October, half of my time in Tromso has passed. And I already feel sad about saying goodbye in a short while. I´ll not only have to say goodbye to this lovely city, the amazing landscape, but also to my friends, my lifestyle and my every day surroundings. Although I knew when I came here, that my time will be limited, this fact hit me even harder when I thought about my flight back home. I think that I´m not only speaking for myself but also for my fellows when I say that just everything is different when you are abroad. Especially the people and the way you interact with them. The friendships I built up have become more intense in a shorter time than it has ever happened at home. When I think about the first two weeks in Tromso and the people I had just met then, I feel as if we had already known each other for years. And because these friendships seem to be so intense it´s quite shocking to realize, that they are also limited by time. I think there are also a lot of international students who don´t want to go back home and to leave these special feelings behind. And I have to admit, that right now, I´m not sure if I would like to be home again. Of course, I miss my family and friends. But I´m sure that I will miss the way of living here in Tromso as well. Maybe even harder in the beginning. I love the fact, that I only have to walk two minutes to see my friends and to share a cup of tea, that we can meet up spontaneously to make dinner with the different ingredients everyone brings around and to walk to the private sauna to have a chat with the girls, enjoying the heat on a cold winter day. Yes – writing it down strikes this feeling: I will miss it sadly to live here.

But I must also say that I´m looking forward to going back to everyday life. Living in this time limited bubble of an exchange year (or even half a year) I feel like someone has pressed the pause-button. The Bachelor Thesis, the amount of gathered Credit Points, the worries about the future – it´s been gone for a while. I felt like I could do everything in my first months up here because everything that could bother me was suddenly so far away. But when I realized that life will go on, once I´m back home, I was not too sad about it. I think it´s good to have a direction to hang on to.

Btw: Exams are on their way – so I´ll have to go back to work now!

Greetings, Johanna Schirra