First Person: A Week in Norway

First Person: A Week in Norway

By Sal Picheria, Class of 2017, School of Business and Management

Last year, my professor, Dr. Read, sat another student and I down for a meeting to discuss an opportunity which few college students can include in their experiences. The plan was simple: go overseas, visit an old colleague of his, and plan a highly realistic digital forensics case to be used for teaching by both universities. As if the trip wasn’t ambitious enough already, the destination was settled high in scenic Scandinavia and the timing would be the week before finals.

Never one to shy away from an adventure, I was ready to go without hesitation. Since I effectively shortened my fall semester by a week, I crammed all my finals into the last school week and rushed home to drop off my car the day before the trip. Since the flight didn’t leave until 7 p.m. I spent the day with my family before heading off to Newark airport to begin my journey.

Thirty-five hundred miles and 8 hours later I landed in the capital of Oslo before continuing to Kristiansand, our destination. I collected my bags and met up with our contact who took me to the hotel. The airport was nestled deep in a mountain pass, providing wonderful views of the terrain as we drove into the city. Our short 20-minute drive was eye-opening; in the short distance we travelled mountains, farms, cities, and Norway’s famous fjords were all visible.

The city of Kristiansand itself was breathtaking and the architecture was fascinating. Old brick roads interconnect with the city’s main streets, while classic European stone low-rises separate modern clean cut high rises. Our hotel was situated on the northeast point of the coastline less than a block from the university we were visiting.

As an avid film photographer, I took full advantage of the scenery and the perfect shooting conditions. During the winter, the sun does not rise all the way that far north, and is not out for most of the day. During our trip the sun came up above the ocean at 10 a.m. and went down around 4 p.m. The intense yellow produced by the sun during that time is the holy grail for film shooters like myself.

Scenery and good times aside, we had a very productive week with the students from Noroff University. We created the plan in their office, all while sampling their local cuisine and learning about their culture. Professor Sutherland and everyone else at Noroff did a wonderful job welcoming us and exposing us to many aspects of the Scandinavian culture.

While we were there for a week, it felt like it might have been a day. Even as an experienced traveler, I never thought I would learn so much in such a short period. Thank you again to Professors Sutherland and Read for the amazing opportunity as well as all the folks at Noroff who made the trip as great as it was.