The story of a youth exchange in Norway

Since I was little, I have been curious about how do people live in the northern part of Europe: what is its culture like, its ideology, flora and fauna, etc. I started looking for volunteer projects in the Nordic countries and found the Fundació Catalunya Voluntaria. Of all the programs, I chose to go to Norway.

I contacted the foundation and after talking about what the trip would be like, I was selected with three more people and our leader, who live in Catalonia: two boys who had been born in Morocco, a girl from Catalonia, I from Andorra la Vella and our leader.

I remember that at first I was very nervous in case I didn’t understand my colleagues, didn’t have enough level of English or didn’t like it as a personal experience. After a long journey of airport scales, we arrived. It was one of the best weeks of my life. We met people from different countries of Europe and we were gathered in a sports centre where we would live together.

I arrived with some ideas from the other countries, which are put in our minds since we are little even if we are not aware of it.

Every day we carried out a different activity, except in the afternoons which we spent practicing the play “Antygone” and at the end of the week we represented it. Every night a group of people cooked the typical food of their land. We had certain free hours to visit the village and the houses. And one of the days we went to a pool, in the nearest city, and we had dinner at a restaurant.

Every day we discovered something new or different. I remember the houses were small and of wood, people went down the street with sleigh and at night we could see shooting stars. Step by step, and day by day, we started to get to know and talk to everybody. At the end of the week, although I couldn’t believe it, I cried with many of my colleagues, because we really did not want to leave.

I really recommend this experience to everyone who can do it.

Sara Casal Nerin