Friday, January 6, 2012

Høgskolen i Telemark - Bø Orientation

Yesterday was the first day of orientation for international students at Høgskolen i Telemark (HiT or Telemark University College). Everyone had the opportunity to get their username and password setup to access the network, which I had already done on Monday. HiT has very good network security and they require everyone using network access in the dorms to setup their computers to authenticate with their servers every time they connect. We also learned how to use the StudentWeb and Fronter which are the equivalents of Campus Connection and BlackBoard at Minot State.

Afterwards, our coordinators Lisa and Per had purchased items to make up a traditional Norwegian lunch, many kinds of bread, cheese, meats and interesting things such as mackerel in tomato paste, liverwurst (which has pictures of children on it), flavored spreads, butter (surprise!) and different toppings or spreads for smør brød including bacon and cheese, and mayonaise in tubes. Per demonstrated also how to use sandwich paper (matpapir) to pack lunches for ski or camping trips. We were supposed to visit the police station to receive our residence permit stickers but someone had called saying they were too busy that afternoon.

Today we met around 10:00 to take our photos for student ID cards. This didn't take long and we had to find the meeting room (møterom) based on their numbering system which includes the hall number first, then the floor number and finally room number. For instance, we had to find 5-223 which is in the 5th hallway or "wing" on the second floor in room 23. A little different that the room numbers at MSU but I can see it is necessary for a campus this size which is all in one building! Our meeting went relatively quickly and two representatives from SiTel, the student organization talked about making payments for our rent, how to contact them, and showed us how to access our invoices. The best part of the day was the warm rice porridge we had while being able to meet some of the instructors and administrative staff.

I talked with professors from the Business Administration and Alpine Skiing and Ecology departments. The business professor asked what university I attended in North Dakota and when he heard my result of Minot, he immediately began talking about how Skien is Minot's sister city and the trip Minot leaders and Minot State faculty had made to Telemark a few years ago. We also talked about Sondre Norheim and about how he must have felt moving form such varied terrain in Telemark to the prairies of North Dakota. The instructor for alpine skiing and I also talked about the climate changes within the past few years and the weather here compared to North Dakota. Afterwards, we had a chance to talk with the Scandinavian Studies instructor, she was very nice and had studied abroad here in Bø herself while attending Luther College in Iowa. I will be taking Introducing Norwegian Language and hope to get a good start on learning enough Norwegian to practice it while here. I also found out that my Tourism and the Environment class will not start until January 30.

I needed to get my Telenor service working and we went to a electronic shop called Expert, I asked about my supposedly "unlocked international" phone which was not having service, and the man suggested that the phone was only dual band for 900/1900 GSM and Norway uses 1800. He said to return that one if possible and I ended up buying the cheapest Nokia phone for 399,- (about $68). Lisa told us earlier about some sales going on in the Bø Senteret, which is a small shopping center just across the street from Expert and the post office. I really didn't need to buy anything but was interested in seeing how much things cost. I did find a cool looking ski jacket that was 9999,- which would be about ($1,660) just barely outside of my price range..! That would be the equivalent of three months of student housing here in Bø!

We met some other international students on our way from the stores and stopped to give them my cell phone number so they can contact us tomorrow about skiing or other things going on in the town. I forgot to take my camera with me today, which could hinder my ability to keep on with project 365. I will make sure to have it with me at all times from now on. Todays picture may seem a little odd, but in fact we had to search very long to find such a necessity without breaking the bank.

(M)elissa toaster to go along with our (M)elissa microwave and coffee warmer


2 comments:

  1. Good looking toaster Duk! Sounds like everything is going well. Keep us posted.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Trey. I will keep everyone updated. I hope to hear updates about Beaver Brew Cafe once the club starts meeting again!

    ReplyDelete