My Second Home, Moss
Every semester, we welcome a new group of international students who will spend a semester, sometimes even a year, studying abroad with us at American College of Norway. Recent West Chester University student, Jamison Ludgate spent her fall semester studying abroad with us and offers great insight and reflections on what it is like to study abroad in Moss, Norway at ACN. If you're thinking of studying abroad, why not make ACN and Moss your second home?! Trust us, you won't be disappointed!
My semester studying abroad at ACN has been an unforgettable experience. I’ve learned more about myself and the world in these past four months than I learned in the two years I attended school in the U.S., and looking back, I can’t believe I almost decided against studying abroad at ACN.
I am a very cautious person and my family was initially shocked when learning I wanted to go abroad for my junior year. I think my time here would have been difficult on me if not for the incredible staff at ACN who made my transition here go so smoothly and who’ve continued to help me since coming to the school. The small student and staff body at ACN meant that everyone knew everyone; I would end up stopping and talking with half a dozen people walking from my dorm to the classroom every morning. This close-knit environment at ACN was completely unlike anything I had ever experienced before, especially coming from a big college like West Chester University, and this definitely made me view Moss as my second home.
Even with a student body of only 50 students, there were many opportunities to get involved at ACN and during my semester here, I was a member of the Peace Committee, the Activities Committee, the Yearbook Committee and the Film Club. These clubs, especially the Peace Committee and Activities Committee, organized school events that were not only fun to participate in but also brought the students closer to the community in Moss. Even though I spent most weekends traveling around Norway and across Europe, Homecoming Weekend and the Haunted House (both events put on by the Activities Committee) still remain two of my favorite weekends abroad because they brought me closer to the other American and Norwegian students at ACN.
During these past four months I got the amazing opportunity to visit nine different cities in six different countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, United Kingdom and Germany. Traveling every weekend to a new place challenged me to extend beyond my usual comfort levels and experience new things. I hiked a glacier in Svalbard, saw the Northern Lights, climbed up Mount Ulriken in Bergen twice, visited Liseborg Amusement Park in Sweden, jumped in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Helsinki and skinned my knee tripping over the Berlin Wall. And during these weekend trips I got to know the other American students studying abroad at ACN. I’ve only known them for half a school year, yet I’ve had the opportunity to travel to such incredible places with them in that time.
As the semester was approaching its end, I began to realize how much I have come to love ACN and Moss. I spent the past four months getting to know the students, faculty and staff here and never before have I become so comfortable, so quickly with a group of strangers. I have changed so much from the nervous person I was first arriving in Norway to the confident person I am leaving. I am so happy to be returning home to my family in time for Christmas but I am extremely sad that I won’t be returning to ACN in January.