This might be the last writing from Norway – I am facing the last month of my stay in Tromsø. As the days have grown even shorter and the dark period has begun, I am just starting to experience how the absence of the sun feels. Finally the snow came and brightened up the scenery a little bit before it started again to get warmer and to rain. But I am convinced, that there will be colder days and the snow will return again before I finally return home.
I recently remembered a list I had made when I came here. Seems like it´s already time to sum up the last months. But I must say that this might be difficult right now. I just got the feeling of having settled in a realistic everyday life. I go to University, meet friends in the evenings or at the weekends and last week I started to work in the library on my home exams. I started to go to that wonderful room with the full spectre lights, afterwards to the library, middays to the cafeteria with my friends and I finally got into routines – And now I will have to leave in a short while. That seems quite unfair to me. But, as I mentioned before, I knew that my time in Tromsø would be limited and that I would have to face going back home in the end. So now I would like not only to think about what I will leave behind but what I will take back home with me – And I´m not talking about my collection of stones and seashells that I will have to carry in my luggage. One thing that´s for sure is, that I gained a lot of writing experience in English during the last months. Writing not only for my classes but also for the Student Magazine has improved both my creative as well as my scientific writing skills (Yes, I got some nice feedback on this by others. So this observation is not completely exaggerated). I also have the impression that my spoken English got a lot better. I remember the first days at UiT, when I definitely had some problems expressing myself. Norwegian language acquisition worked out quite good as well. At least I was finally able to have basic conversations with citizens of this lovely town!
Well, the cross-cultural experience could have been a bit broader. I hang around mostly with other German people. At least this will be a benefit when I go back home: We won´t be too far away from each other after returning to our hometowns. And I also spent some mentionable time with other Europeans, mostly they are French and Norwegian. So there will be a few nice spots in Europe to spend my next holidays at.
Then there was this leaving the comfort zone-thing. I guess I can say that I succeeded in this as well. And the good thing about it is not that I changed completely by doing that. I just got assured of what I already considered myself to be. So I will definitely not go home as a totally different person but as a self-assured version of myself. And of course with some wonderful memories, some friends I hope to keep in touch with and with a lot of beautiful pictures – and of course with my collection of rocks and seashells!
So farewell, Tromsø – It was a pleasure to live here. And I will gladly return in spring when I visit those lucky friends of mine who will stay for more than one semester!
Text: JOHANNA SCHIRRA