Four months in Oslo

During the fall of 2021, I received the most unique opportunity to follow an exchange program with Erasmus in Oslo, Norway. 

Exchange in Norway

On the sixth of August 2021, I arrived in Oslo for the very first time. Every day from then was filled with new encounters, challenges and activities. 

Besides having interesting lectures at the University of Oslo, I learnt a great deal about Norwegian culture, mentality, and food. I moreover met many interesting people, made some crucial connections, and travelled a lot through Norway and beyond. 

Exchange is not only about school and educational assignments. It is also about meeting new people, learning a new language and a different culture, becoming more independent, travelling, and mostly, discovering yourself. 

Universitetet i Oslo

At the University of Oslo (or Universitetet i Oslo), I followed three courses from the musicology master program: Music and Cultural Studies; Nordic Music Histories, Genres and Identities; and Research Seminar in Popular Music. For each course, I wrote a paper with a topic of my own choice. For the first class, I read a book which I analysed in the paper. I chose the book Why Suyá Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People written by Anthony Seeger in 1987. The second paper that I wrote examined the degree in which the perspective on the oeuvre, composing style and life of Norwegian female composers has been evolving the past few centuries by examining three examples from different centuries: Frederikke Egeberg for the 19th century, Pauline Hall for the first half of the 20th century, and Cecilie Ore for the second half of the 20th and beginning of this century. The third and last paper studies the incorporation of elements of traditional Norwegian and Sami music into contemporary Norwegian and Sami popular music. Below you can go to the three research papers I wrote during my exchange. 


In the middle of November, I travelled to Trondheim, a city in south-Norway, on my own. The journey to the town alone was magical; by bus, I passed by snowy landscapes and mountain ranges. The following days, I explored the Nordic city and its features like the Nidaros Church, the historic houses along the river Nidelva, Kristiansten Fortress, the harbour and its magnificent view over the Trondheim fjord and its surrounding mountain ranges. I also visited the Ringve Museum, the national museum of music, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Rockheim, a museum about the history of Norwegian rock music, and at last the Sverresborg Trøndelag Folkemuseum.


After I had handed in my term papers, I took the plane to Tromsø, the biggest northern city in Norway. Since I visited this city at the end of November, daylight was very brief and scarce. I joined several trips like an aurora-husky experience on a husky farm near Tromsø and an eight-hour-long boat tour over the arctic waters to spot whales and orka's. These activities made me feel so connected with the Arctic and Nordic spirits. I also explored Tromsø herself and her cultural phenomena like the Tromsø cathedral, the Arctic cathedral, the architectural exterior of Polaria, a museum, her historic centre and beautifully illuminated streets and stores. Besides, Tromsø is surrounded by mountain ranges and water and is a well-known location to observe the magical northern lights. 


After Tromsø, I still had some time to travel before returning to Belgium so I decided to visit a friend in Riga who was also on an exchange journey. Riga was a city I never thought of visiting so this was a great opportunity. I was actually astonished by the charm of the Latvian capital's historic centre. Also, since Oslo is quite expensive, it felt gratifying to be able to afford something extra. But mostly, Riga really took me by surprise and showed me some of her most beautiful features. 


I spent my last week in Oslo. On the 13th of December 2021 in the afternoon, I took the ferry to Copenhagen and said goodbye to what was my home for four months as Oslo disappeared slowly behind me. Copenhagen would be my final destination before returning to Belgium. Visiting the Danish capital was very enjoyable and interesting since I could understand some Danish because of my Norwegian knowledge. The city in the winter period is very beautiful and filled with lights and music. It was the perfect way to finish my exchange. 

And now... my journey in pictures