Jess J.

Senior - Sociology
Albuquerque, N.M.

Study Abroad Location: Bergen, Norway

Interests: Social Justice, Zero Waste/Eco Friendly Living, Guitar, Sci Fi and Fantasy Literature, Crafts (knitting, sewing, etc.), Photography

Extra Curricular Activities: Cosplay, UNM Tolkien Society, Yoga

Red or Green? green

In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.
— Abraham Maslow

Favorite Class: Tolkien Field Experience

Favorite Bands: The Beatles, Mumford and Sons, Paramore, Panic at the Disco

Why did you choose Norway?
They have a semester that lines up with ours, but they are also a Direct Exchange, which meant an affordable semester abroad. Also, I could learn a new language but also have a bit of a safety net in case of an emergency, because many of the younger generation there speaks English. What sealed the deal for me was seeing how gorgeous it is there, along with the fact that I have ancestral family that still lives and own land there that I will have the chance to go visit.

What are you the most excited/afraid about this exchange?
I think I am most excited for the scenery and for the challenge of learning a new language. My goal is to be conversationally fluent in Norwegian by the time I get back! I think I am most nervous about getting homesick and how much I will miss my friends and family since this will be my first time traveling alone to a new place.

Do you plan on visiting other countries, cities during your exchange?
Definitely! I hear the train ride from Bergen to Oslo is beautiful, so that's on my list for sure, and I want to do some exploring and sight-seeing in Europe. The best case scenario would be that I make a few friends and go hopping around the continent with during the weekends or class holidays.

Why is it important to study abroad?
I think it is important for everyone to do some traveling by themselves at some point in their formative years because you are forced to adapt and take care of yourself and learn a lot about how you react to certain situations on your own. Being in a new country adds another level of experience to your travel, and it forces you to look at different cultures and your own culture in ways you hadn't before. Even places that seem similar at first have their own traditions and strange quirks, and I think it is important to experience those first hand to broaden your horizons and stretch your brain a little.

Meet Jess J.

A Weekend in Stavanger Part 2: Preikestolen

With day one and Kjeragbolten done, it was time to look forward to day two on Preikestolen! Were we a little crazy to do two hikes in the same weekend? Maybe, but we wanted to take full advantage of our weekend! Also, conquering Kjerag was a pretty big confidence boost. Sure, I was a little […]

A Weekend in Stavanger Pt. 1: Kjeragbolten

The weather is officially changing here in Bergen and fall is in full swing. The rain has picked up, along with the wind, and the temperature is hovering somewhere between 40 and 50 degrees. It feels like most of the trees lost their leaves in one weekend, before they even had a chance to turn […]

Food Part 2!

In my first food post, I wrote about a couple of things that are stereotypically Norwegian, but Norway no longer lives only on fish and weird cheese! So what other foods is Norway obsessed with?   Grandiosa Pizza In the States, we have Top Ramen. In Norway, they have Grandiosa. Because higher education is free, […]

Self Care in the Rainiest City in the World

Sometimes, taking care of yourself is hard. I knew going in that studying abroad can be emotionally difficult, and I had a plan: drink tea, call home, do yoga. But six weeks in, I felt myself slipping. A quick Google search for “self care” and even “self care while studying abroad” yields hundreds of results, […]

Food, Glorious Food (Part 1)

Alright, so chances are that you don’t think of “glorious food” when you think of Norway. In fact you may not think of food at all, and are now wondering, “What do people even eat there?”  Never fear, because you are about to learn! This series of posts will take you on a tour of some […]