March 12, 2009 § 2 Comments
The sun has come and gone. The snow is falling with force in every conceivable direction. I am home alone now until Monday, as my Aunt works several hours away and is only home for her days off. I was hoping to weather would stay decent so I could fill my alone time with long walks and reflection at the beach. Eventually I am going to have to make my way into town to get some groceries, but I will need to wait for the weather to improve enough for me to comfortably travel the hour walk to the store.
We had dinner Tuesday night at my cousin Karoline’s house in Tonsberg. I really enjoyed seeing her and playing with her two sons. I sat with them a while and watched Dora the Explorer in Norwegian and English. I felt quite silly sitting there learning Norwegian at the same rate they were learning English. My ability to communicate has been reduced to the level of a six-year old. Her husband came and rescued me at one point, ushering me to join the adults in the kitchen.
After dinner we sat and talked a bit about politics, the economy, and then my plans here. Karoline and her husband are both teachers and a wealth of information about the education system. We spent an hour looking up information on different sites and began mapping out my plan of attack. It seems that my track will take much less time than I thought. Here in Norway, you can apply to medical school as soon as you have taken the required courses in science and passed proficiency exams in both English and Norwegian. While it is nice that you don’t have to have a bachelor’s degree, the schools are extremely difficult to get into and take a couple years longer. Most Norwegians end up attending medical school in Poland, Denmark or Germany. The best part of everything is that the government pays for all the costs of school, including room and board, and gives a stipend to all the students. In addition to that, I can apply for numerous loans and scholarships that are extremely easy to get. I am so relieved by the fact that I can finish school without any debt and possibly not having to work. I haven’t known what its like to go to school without working since I was 14.
Now my full focus is on figuring out exactly when I need to apply to the schools. I will have to take a class in Norwegian first so I can pass the language exam. Most of the classes and booksare in English because the cost of translation is too high. After that I will apply to all the medical schools here in Norway… and possibly some others in Europe. I am so lucky that I have already taken all the science and math courses. My main worry through all of this is how well my medical license will travel to the U.S. in case I want to move back at one point. I should probably force myself to just focus on here and now and worry about those issues when they come up later.