Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bachelorette days in Oslo

I moved into a bachelor's apartment in Oslo on Monday, as I began a four-week long nasjonal fag kurs for sykepleie (a national "subject" course for nurses). This course is required for any nurses seeking authorization in Norway who were educated outside of the European Union, as it addresses the Norwegian health care system, welfare system and spends an inordinate amount of time assuring that we can properly calculate medication administration. For many in the class it is the final step before they are fully authorized. For me, it is actually no longer a requirement, since SAFH and the appeals board decided that rather than doing a few months of clinical experiences like every other person in my class, I should instead begin my nursing education again, or try to get a few measly courses from my pathetic education approved by a nursing program and maybe, just maybe, I can shorten my study period by a few courses. It is no longer a requirement since I would presumably get all of the course information in a real Norwegian nursing educational program. 

So, why am I taking the class, you ask, since it is no longer required? Well, since I have no intention of ever repeating my basic bachelor degree nursing education, I still cling to the hope that I may someday be authorized through other avenues--media pressure, legal attention, etc. I realize, however, that I will still be required to take this class, if I ever by the grace of God, gain authorization in Norway. And this I have no arguments with. Since I have sat on a waiting list for over a year, and the class is only offered twice a year in two locations in Norway, I had to jump on the opportunity to take it now. 

Taking a two hour and 11 minute train ride two times every day was not a viable option for me, so after a bit of desperate last-minute scrambling, we found a barely reasonably priced apartment to rent in the Majorstuen neighborhood of Oslo (costing us about $1200 for the month, if you are curious). It is a 20 minute walk from the Pilestredet campus of the Høyskole i Oslo (Oslo University College) and very conveniently located to the metro, shops and even a local campus of my gym. So, I'm living it up in Oslo for the next month! I've always daydreamed--when walking past the lovely brownstone homes in Boston or New York, or the gracious, wrought-iron decorated apartments in Stockholm, Oslo or any other romantic European city--what it would be like to live there. Now, without my husband and daughter and dog, I get to try out that life. I'm looking forward to it, and dreading it as well. 

I am nervous about so many of the unknowns for the following month: how the class is actually evaluated, if my language skills are up to par, how difficult the written work/reading assignments will be, how much time is demanded of us out of class, how much I will miss my family during the week, how comfortable my living arrangements will be, and not least of all, how lonely I will be. 

Three days into the experience, all is going well. More on the class to follow. . . 


  1. Hi Emily,
    I think taking this class preemptively is a really smart decision on your part. Makes sense to get it out of the way & shows initiatve on your part (though at this point, that shouldn't even be in question). Good luck to you!
    I am sure you're very busy with the class and it's not like you're there for a social adventure. You likely already have friends in Oslo, but if you'd like to get in touch w/our friends there, I could see what I can arrange. They live maybe 15 minutes (by car, though there is good public transit) to the east of where you're staying.
    Good luck and have fun!
    Best, Suzy C.

  2. I think you are doing the right thing, too! I'm pretty central in Oslo and also a bachelorette this weekend. Sverre will be out of town and it will be just Max and me holding down the fort. If you want to hang out with us, email me at northern (dot) natterings (at) gmail (dot) com.

    1. Thanks Corinne! Will do! I'm back in Lillehammer for the weekends, but maybe we can find a free night between the two of us.


    Kanskje noen tips her når du først er i Oslo og har savnet gode kaféer og god kaffe :)

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    1. So far the course is. . . (dare I say it). . . easy? More on that later. It's great to have one week down. The time really did go quickly.

      But I would love to meet up--I'll be in touch!

  5. Hi. Good to hear your first week went well. I 'm an expat living in Oslo and I'm so inspired by your story. I'd love to have your over for dinner while you are in town. Please email me at