Studying Abroad at ACN – The Best Decision of My Life!

University of North Dakota freshman, Conrad Perderson spent his second semester studying abroad at ACN! In his blog, Conrad reflects on his life-changing experience at ACN and offers great advice for those looking to make ACN their next study abroad destination.

Choosing to study abroad at ACN has been by far one of the best decisions of my life. Small class sizes that are taught in English by American professors, a student body that is largely Norwegian, and a tight-knit community are just a few of the things that make ACN great. While the primary focus is academics, the atmosphere is still really laid back and everyone has a lot of fun together. The staff at ACN make the transition from the US extremely easy and are always there to assist with whatever you need and are happy to be that person if you need someone to talk to.

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As a study abroad student in Europe, traveling to many countries and seeing new things is an incredibly simple and relatively cheap thing to do. I got the chance to explore Norway, Lithuania, Italy, Sweden, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. My class schedule worked out perfectly in my favor in that I always had four-day weekends, so I was able to explore a few of these places in depth and see some of the cool “off the beaten path” sites. There were so many awesome and exciting things that I got to do that I never would have dreamed of doing just a year ago.   

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While traveling is exciting and a lot of fun, the things I am going to remember best about my time abroad were the times spent in Moss and on campus. Considered by many to be a small town, Moss still offers great hiking trails and beautiful scenery along the Oslo fjord. At ACN, you have the chance to hang out with and get to know students from all over Norway. My best memories will be the people I’ve met, the weekend social gatherings, outdoor barbecues, and seeing first-hand what life is like in Norway for someone my age. You learn a lot by having friends from a different country and from seeing how they view the world. Great connections have been developed, and plans are already made for some of my Norwegian friends to visit me in the US. Because of my time here, I know that I will always have a place to stay whenever I return to Norway, which is one of the coolest things ever.

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If studying abroad is still something you’re on the fence about, I highly suggest that you take the chance and go for it. By traveling and taking chances, not only do you learn things about the world, but you learn things about yourself. It’s better to regret the things you did in life rather than regret the things you didn’t do, and it’s hard to imagine someone regretting the decision to come to ACN. My only regret, and the only regret I hear from other study abroad students, is choosing to study abroad for only one semester rather than for a whole year. I did a non-traditional thing and chose to go abroad as a freshman. Because of the experiences I’ve had, the challenges I’ve faced, and the connections I’ve made, I feel that I am much more mature and prepared to take on my next three years of college and I owe a lot of credit to ACN for that. 

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