200 International Students at the Beach | A Trip to Grotfjord

I'm still blogging about August here on Thursdays but today it's already about the first day of my second week as an expat - hooray!! I mentioned this before, but during the international students' introduction week, we went on a trip to Grotfjord which is a fjord situated on the island Kvaloya. There are about 50 (or even less) people living at this fjord so usually it's a place where nothing exciting happens and where you hear nothing but seagulls the whole day. Now imagine 200 (maybe we were even 300, I have no idea) students invading that place!

We went there early in the morning (well relatively at least), and split into groups as soon as we arrived. We could choose whether we wanted to go hiking in the mountains (me and my non-existent stamina? no thanks), stay at the beach and play volleyball (yeah well....) or go fishing which is what I did. I mean you don't often get the chance to go fishing on a real fishing boat and if you book such a tour via a tourist guide service, you usually have to pay a lot. We had to pay a bit too but it was way less than you'd expect and we spend about 3 hours on the ocean.

It was also a little bit adventurous (well, at least for someone who isn't used to fishing) as we had to go by motorboat to get to the actual fishing boat but that was fun as it was my first time. On board we then were showed how to use the fishing gear and although I tried, I didn't catch any fish. Probably this was also due to the fact that I had to concentrate on not killing people with the fishing gear or accidentally throw the pole into the ocean. However I definitely enjoyed watching the professionals of our group catching one fish after the other and just looking over the ocean inbetween. What I didn't realize though, was that fishing is such a bloody activity. There still is a blood stain on my bagpack but I should have known that killing animals isn't exactly a pretty thing to do, right?

However we didn't actually kill the fish. I thought that after catching one, you just kill it (in one way or another) but instead the fish was thrown into a box in order to let them choke which I thought was more cruel than to kill them directly after catching them. If you have any idea why it's done this way, please explain it. I'm curious!

So luckily the other ones caught some fish so that we had something to eat for the barbecue that took place afterwards. I have to admit, I have never eaten more delicious fish before! Fish directly from the ocean on to your plate really is the best! We just buttered it and put some salt and paprika pouder on it and after half an hour on the grill, it was lunch time! Most delicious thing ever!

After the barbecue there was one activity left: the cultural presentation. Each country had to think of something that would represent their culture and for example do a dance, sing a song or just tell a story. As we were about 100 Germans, no one thought of anything beforehand as everyone was certain that there will be SOMEBODY who has an idea. Naturally, we gathered about 5mins before the presentations started to think of anything and ended up with singing a German drinking song. It was kind of embarassing, also because we were the first group to present but we enjoyed the other presentations immensely. We danced the Macarena with the Spanish students, tried Czech candy, watched the Danes playing a drinking game and listened to yodelling Austrians (and yes, yodelling is Austrian and maybe even Bavarian but NOT German per se).

It was a lot of fun even though I didn't like the fact that we had to get together with people from our own country at first as that doesn't necessarily improve your English/Norwegian skills and makes you live in that German bubble for a while. But now that we've all settled in (well, kind of), that problem is out of the way and it was just a wonderful day at the beach! In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I signed up to be a volunteer during the next international student's introduction week in January!

Have you been a student abroad? How were your introduction days?