I had a quick ‘twitter’ style cyber chat with Norwegian student Stian about his life in Norway and time in the army. Stian, 21, is currently studying for a degree in Archaeology at the University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.
Q. What attracted you to the course you’re studying?
A. I always liked it, I was going to try some engineer course, because I got math and physics in college, but when I was in the army I just came across archaeology in the catalogue. Then I was like oh yeah… and picked it.
Q. What are your plans for when you finish the degree?
A. I don’t know really, haven’t gotten that far in my plans. I guess I’m going to get a job in some sort of excavation (or at least try!)
Q. Your English is very fluent, was learning another language important to you?
A. Well, we don’t have any dubbing or voiceover on TV/movies so as the majority of the entertainment on the TV is in English with Norwegian subtitles knowing the language helps a lot. We also started early with English in school, 4th grade I think, so it just happened. It’s not really important to me, but it sure is useful.
Q. It’s a requirement for men to join the army in Norway when they are 18, what was that like?
A. I didn’t want to go at first but it was only for a year, it turned out to be one of the best ones in my life. It was real fun, meeting new people and making friends while playing war in the forest.
Q. Did you encounter any dangerous situations?
A. No. We were only running around training, training in case someone attacked us, any international operations you have to volunteer for, and 1 year is not enough time to put us in any live situation.
Q. Despite enjoying your time in the Army, what is your opinion on it being essential, do you think it would be fairer to be optional to teens?
A. I think it’s fair enough. You can always do some social service work for a year as an option, if you say you’re a pacifist for example. So you can, if you just want it enough, get dismissed.
Q. What do you enjoy most about living in Norway?
A. I don’t really know, haven’t thought of that. Always lived here, so I can’t really compare it to somewhere else. I just like it.
Q. Do you hold any stereotypes of us English?
A. I really like English humour, so whenever I think about English people or hear, I think of some of the characters that John Cleese plays in different sketches, like witty, arrogant and a very serious face. But in general I don’t really hold to stereotypes.
Q. And finally what are your hobbies and interests?
A. I really like to create stuff so I make some jewellery (I have a small dream about becoming a goldsmith), doing some origami, also taking photos, helping my dad with restoring old cars. And in addition I play tennis and some computer games.
Thanks for your time Stian 🙂