To say leaving Norway was difficult would be an understatement. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I was entranced by everything from the street vendors to the ungodly amounts of salami that seemed to be a part of every meal. Within the first couple of days, it began to feel less like a temporary vacation and more like a permanent fixture in my life. The classmates that were complete strangers on the first day felt like people I had known for years. Every time, I saw a nice house sitting on a mountain slope overlooking a fjord, I said to myself, “I’m going to live there one day”. By the end of the trip, I felt like I could get navigate Oslo as well as I could navigate Tuscaloosa. Soon, I began to forget that this was only a short-term class abroad and that Norway wasn’t my permanent home. Getting on the plane to return to the US was a somber experience as I prepared to return to everyday life.

As the plane glided over the Pacific Ocean, I thought about my experience and had a revelation. Even though my time abroad was ending, the memories I made would always be with me. Every time I try something new that I have never done before, I can think back on my study abroad and how I leaped out of my comfort zone and was rewarded for it. Even though I was only gone for three weeks, I was not the same person after going to Norway. My study abroad was one of the best things I have done since coming to the University of Alabama, and I can’t imagine how my college experience would have been without it.