Full Name: Dieu Linh Le
Home Country: Vietnam
Previous University: Foreign Trade University (Vietnam)
Current programme at BI: MSc in Business Analytics
“Norway is one of the most worth living countries in the world!”
“Norway is in the top 10 happiest countries”
“Norway’s nature is unbelievably breath-taking!”
And so many other compliments that you have heard about Norway. I am pretty sure that you, upcoming BI students, are very excited about arriving in Norway as soon as possible to start your studies, and of course, experience beautiful Norway truly by yourself. Personally, I believe that good preparation will help us to discover new things perfectly. So, I would like to share with you 5 essential things to bring to Norway, which I learned from my journey, especially if you are an Asian student like me 😊. Let’s get started.
Electrical socket adapter
It may seem to be a trivial thing and we absolutely sometimes ignore it, but you may spend a large amount of time walking around Oslo center searching for an electrical socket adapter (my friend and I experienced it). Like other Northern European countries, Norwegians use European standard electrical sockets (which you just need to do a search on Google and you can get the idea of what these sockets look like). Therefore, if you have any electronic devices using unique sockets, make sure that you bring an adapter for it.
I would say I did really miss Vietnamese food on the first days staying here. It was not until 2 weeks after arriving in Norway that I found Asian supermarkets in the Oslo center to buy some Asian additives. However, the prices are not always cheap, and you may not manage to find all the seasonings you need. My advice is to try to pack some light additives such as noodles, soup powder, and five-spice powder, which are indispensable for Asian cuisine. Especially, if you are a Vietnamese student, it is a good idea to bring some rice papers and dried wood-ear mushroom to make spring rolls. It is obvious that you cannot bring enough for a year, but these will serve you well at least on your first arrival days.
Socks, scarf, beanies
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”
Coming from a tropical country with an annual average temperature around 30 Celsius, I find winter in Norway pretty hard to get familiar with at first. Thus, bringing warm socks, a scarf and beanies should be intelligent preparation for your journey. These will not take up much space in your suitcase, in contrast, they will save you from the -10 or even -15 Celsius in late December and January.
Getting sick or having a fever is common but unpredictable, and of course, we do not want to let illnesses discourage us from studying or working. Bringing some medicines that you are familiar with such as paracetamol or berberine for common symptoms will help you to feel more comfortable and secure. Being located in the North, Norway has quite long and dark winters, leading us to shortages of sunlight exposure. Therefore, it is essential for to supplement vitamin D. You can easily buy Vitamin D at every pharmacy in Norway, but it is also good if you can prepare some prior to your departure. Besides, another tip for new, incoming students is to take some moisturizing products together, such as body lotion, moisturizing lips in case the humidity becomes lower.
A thing that means a lot to you
Finally, the most important thing I would like to share with you is to bring something that you find meaningful or special. For some of us, this could be the first time we live far from our family, thus we may feel homesick or sometimes feel lonely. Therefore, if there is something that encourages or stimulates us to overcome difficulties, it should be put right on our studying table. It could be a family picture, a notebook with lovely messages from our beloved friends, or simply a cute cup of tea, as long as we feel more motivated and stronger when looking at them. I believe that these small things will have a huge positive influence on our mood as well as bring us the mental strength.
Norway is always beautiful and warmly welcoming for you to explore. I hope to see you soon at BI to share with us your story. 😊