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Life in Norway

Life in Norway – Getting out of my comfort zone and making new friends

It is very normal to feel strange or lonely sometimes when you move to a new country to study. Not having your beloved friends and family around you is a real challenge and can complicate life at certain times. In my experience, the best remedy for it is to simply understand the fact that you are not alone in this!

MJ Habibi, Iranian, Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus, Studying MSc Business Major in Strategy at BI 
 
It is very normal to feel strange or lonely sometimes when you move to a new country to study. Not having your beloved friends and family around you is a real challenge and can complicate life at certain times. In my experience, the best remedy for it is to simply understand the fact that you are not alone in this! Every year, numerous students from all over the world come to Norway to study Believe it or not, almost all of them feel the same way as you do! Most of the new students, have no or very few acquaintances when they arrive. Therefore, everyone is more open and welcoming to establishing new friendships than they usually are in their hometowns. So don’t be shy, go ahead and start a little chat. Who knows, you might be talking to your new BFF! 
In addition, you should know that university staff and student organizations (SiO, SiT, etc.) are well-aware of new students’ situations and give their best efforts to help you out. BI and student organizations hold plenty of events before and throughout each semester, where you can have a lot of fun and make new friends. No matter what religious or personal values you might have, you can always find suitable events to attend and have a great time.  
Before every academic year, BI holds orientation days in collaboration with several other student organizations. Students get the chance to participate in many exciting activities and discover attractions of the new city they will be living in. Orientations are one of the best opportunities to get to know your classmates and explore the city with them! 

You can also join in for BInners (BI dinner) and coffee hours at Kroa, where besides free food, coffee, and buns, you’ll get to meet amazing people and make new friends. And if you have a passion for certain sports and activities, you can always join one of BISO’s groups where you will meet people who share your passion allowing you  to take part in a variety of physical and intellectual activities, like skiing, hiking, bathing, or you can dive a bit deeper and work on a favorite track of study like finance. 
I recommend you take advantage of many facilities provided by BI and student organizations, and join as many events and groups as your studies allow. Here in Norway, the most effective method to expand your network and make new friends is through activities. This specifically applies when you want to make Norwegian friends. It is way easier to make friends with a Norwegian when you run out of a sauna and jump into freezing water together, than randomly texting them on messenger, asking how their day was like! 
In conclusion, try not to spend your spare time sitting in your dorm room watching every YouTube video there is. Go out, engage with people, and experience new things. You will have a lot of fun, and surely, make a couple of friends on the way!