30 September 2009


Studying abroad really does make you grow as a person. I realized this last night when I finally realized how stressful and overwhelming everything is here! Don't get me wrong, I love being here. But learning the language, making friends, and going to activities takes up a lot of time. I feel as though I never have time to just relax. Being in a new environment is actually very difficult. I know once I learn Norwegian everything will get better, but I have quite a ways to go. I wonder how many people actually understand how difficult it is to learn another language! Learning Norwegian is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, I am sure about that. I understand a lot (when people speak slowly haha) and I can read a lot. But writing and speaking is totally different. There are three letters in Norwegian that English doesn't have: æ ø å. Also, in Molde, everyone roll's their r's with their tongue, which is very difficult for me! If anyone has tips on how to do that let me know please! Haha. Every night though my parents and I will sit down and practice Norwegian. I think this will be very helpful and I will learn Norwegian quicker. Though I feel if I could just pronounce everything correctly Norwegian would be very easy to learn. I am just very uncomfortable with speaking the language, because I dont pronounce everything right. I know its okay for me to say things with my American accent, but its still scary to do so! Today I actually read something in Norwegian to my History class. It was probably one of the scariest moments of my life! But I did it! I know it wasn't perfect, but it's a start for me. And I know every time I read Norwegian out loud, or speak Norwegian with people, it will become a lot easier. But it is soo frustrating to not understand what someone is saying, or not know how to say something back. I never realized it would be this difficult to learn another language. Though in February I am sure I will look back on this and laugh at how difficult I thought it was to learn/speak Norwegian. One of my biggest fears/worries is that I will not learn the language while I am here. I have to doubt that though because I know my parents will make sure I do, and help me in every way possible. I really do appreciate that, I could never do it without them, or without my friends at school helping me too. Tusen takk =) I am also kind of happy that Norwegian is proving difficult for me to learn. It's a challenge and I now have a goal that I would like to accomplish. This forces me to really work hard for something I want, and learn more about myself along with the way. I know my year here will change me, for the better I believe. I am looking forward to the day everything finally clicks in my brain, and Norwegian makes sense :) What a great moment that will be! Then I can actually use the language. I will be able to join in conversations at school, understand what the teacher is saying and do my homework (oh joy oh joy). I may have a lot of work, but I will finally feel like I belong here and fit in with everyone else. And who doesn't want to feel that way?


  1. Don't worry! I'm a Norwegian and I can't even do the rolling rs'! :P

  2. That makes me feel a bit better! But last night I actually kind of did it! So I think I might be able to learn it :D

  3. Nicole;You should practice in front of a mirror =) I remember we did that in first grade or something, and it definately made things so much easier!
    Amalie: Which organisation are you traveling with ? I'm traveling to somewhere in Great Britain next year with explorius and can't wait! :D

  4. I actually tried practicing in front of a mirror last night! It really was helpful =) So I definitely will keep doing that!

  5. Great!

    I'm travelling through a school in Hordaland(knarvik vidaregåande skule). 15 students is now in Cardiff, but it's only students from Hordaland that can apply :)

  6. I can't roll with the r's either, and I'm also a Norwegian :p
    And I really understand that you think it's hard to learn norwegian, but I think you can do it :)
    Practice makes perfect :D

    I think I might take a year in USA next year, so I like reading your blog. Then I can see what you think about beeing in Norway, and see what the differences are and stuff :D

  7. I am sure you will learn to speak norwegian really well eventually! Just don't give up:) which I'm sure you won't.

  8. Hi, I just random came in on your blog - I am Norwegian but currently in Canada on exchange. And it is really interesting reading how you find Norway different from the US! Like the thing with tucking the pants into the socks and skinny jeans and open faced sandwiches.

    Hope you'll enjoy your year,

    Astrid :)

  9. Hey,
    I am loving reading your blog as I too am going to Norway next year and until now didn't really have any way of hearing some teenager for another countries experiences. Really helpful.

  10. Hey Kaiya! If you have any questions about Norway you can feel free to email me: nmp802@gmail.com. I don't really update my blog too often, but I write in a journal every day. I would be happy to tell you all about Norway! :)

  11. So I don't know if you're still having trouble with those pesky r's but maybe someone else is. Anyway. Try pressing the sides of your tongue up against your upper molars but leaving a channel for the air between the top of your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Then relax the tip of your tongue enough that it can just flutter. Make sure that your air is moving very quickly.

    I speak Spanish so I can roll my r's fairly well. Also I'm Scottish and our r's are, um, special. ;)

    Good luck.