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Recently had the travel bug? Looking for inspiration for your next holiday? Or taken part in a new or unusual experience? Then watch this space.

We are looking to share some of your travel stories and experiences. Send your breathtaking photos and a short description to smcoga@santamaria.wa.edu.au

Whether it’s swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth, skydiving, walking some local hiking tracks or travelling around Europe – we want to showcase the amazing places you have visited and experiences you’ve had!

Student Exchange in Norway

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Unknown-2Since graduating from Santa Maria in 2013, I have always known I wanted to travel; taking a year off to live in London and eventually relocating to the east-coast to study at the University of Melbourne. This passion has recently inspired me to take up the opportunity and embark upon a student exchange to the University of Oslo in Norway. The decision to study in Norway was greatly inspired by both my Politics and Criminology majors, with the country’s exceptionally progressive political environment and innovative approach to the penal system of significant interest to me. As the definite highlight of my university life, this exchange has enabled me to study several challenging yet fascinating Criminology and Law courses, while further introducing me to many world leading academics and a diverse student cohort. My class on Refugee and Asylum Seeker law has proven particularly interesting, the ability to be taught within a European context offering an unparalleled insight into what has undoubtedly become one of the most pressing humanitarian issues seen today.

Despite it’s exorbitant prices, Oslo’s ability to combine its rustic wilderness with famous Nordic style and architecture, has allowed it to become a truly unique capital. Personally, I have loved hearing about Norway’s rich Viking heritage and have further relished in the opportunity to view iconic works by Edvard Munch during my lunch break. Located in the heart of Scandinavia, my exchange has facilitated yet another excuse to explore Europe. January alone saw several trips to Sweden, visiting Stockholm for a weekend and then staying at a friend’s cabin in the picturesque town of Strömstad. Although an unfortunate sledging incident left me with a fractured ankle and crutches, it did allow me to personally encounter Norway’s elite medical facilities, and failed to hider my plans to visit friends in the lively Copenhagen. Similarly, (with my ankle-brace upgrade) I was soon able to travel around the Swedish Laplan; seeing barren landscapes, marvelling at the Northern Lights and learning first-hand about the Indigneous Sami people. More recently, I have returned from a scenic road trip through Iceland, visiting the country’s famous waterfalls, black sand beaches and relaxing in the therapeutic Blue Lagoon. This coming Easter I will be visiting Norway’s idyllic seaside city of Bergen, and hopefully travelling to The Hague to attend a Model United Nations Conference in late April.

I strongly encourage anyone who is contemplating an overseas exchange to do so, as not only will you be able to learn at a foreign institution, but be given an opportunity to make friends, see new places and create memories which will last a lifetime.

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by Cailtlyn Goldney (2013)

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