Saturday, February 4, 2017

My Norwegian Home

I've had several people ask me about my apartment and job at ACN so this post is dedicated to that.  Above is the street that I live on and my walk to work.  Down the street in the yellow building on the left that is the American College of Norway.  

Here's the building up close.  The building has two parts.  This part is from the 1700s or so it says on the door.  American College of Norway (ACN) is actually on the other side of the building and added on in the 1960s, but that part isn't as photogenic.  ACN is a small school that helps Norwegian students get a year of American college credit and also assists them with applying to college in the states.  Here they can take courses for one year only and then transfer them to another school.  ACN has a few partner schools and UND is one of them.  It is also provides a study abroad opportunity for American students  ACN is such a unique gem and if I was a Norwegian student that wanted to go to school in America it would be an obvious choice.  Navigating choosing a college when you are born in the country is overwhelming.  I can't imagine trying to do it as an international student.   

The student body is between 40 - 70 students with a wide range of interests and intended majors.  The courses I teach are typical fine arts credits for any student to easily transfer.  I am teaching Introduction to Theatre, which is a new class for me to teach, but good to have in my arsenal, Acting 1, and a course called Integrated Cultural Experience: Theatre.  This course is billed as a humanities course for a fine arts credit.  So we are reading plays, working on creative projects, etc.  This course also has an optional 1 credit course with it that is a theatre trip to London.  We will be taking that trip in April.  

I cannot say enough positive things about ACN.  The staff is incredibly student centered and continues to find creative ways to help students succeed.  Last semester one student studied quite frequently in a staff members office to get help on homework and learn proper study skills.  They also have activities for the students to help create community.  This semester they are having prom, tomorrow is a super bowl watching party, and we can't forget Waffle Wednesday! 
I loved them so much I ate 3...and then was sick for the rest of the day.  It is such a lovely community of committed people and they not only are wonderful to the students, they are very helpful to us newcomers.  When I got to my apartment they had my fridge stocked with food and clean sheets on the bed.  Any questions I have about getting around the city or country are alway welcome and I they always have time for questions school related or not.  I have only been here a month and I already feel a part of the family.  May will come all too soon and there will be some tough goodbyes.  

Now attention must be paid to the most important individuals at ACN.
This is Fifi and Louie.  They are Krista's, the director of ACN, dogs.  They are precious and I love them and tell them that everyday.  When you walk in the door in the morning they greet you, sometimes they will just wander in your office to say hello.  Sometimes I smother them with kisses.  There is also Kenzo, Nick's dog who makes appearances as well.  He's been on the blog before, but also a cutie! 

ACN provides the out of town teachers with housing.  It is lovely.  Here's some pics!
This is what you see as you walk into the apartment.  As you can see it's an open floor plan with the kitchen on the left and living room on the right.  I'm on the second floor and my apartment is two stories.  
I know you were worried, but yes there is a bathroom.  It was hard to get a picture with the correct angle to show everything, but on the left is a shower and you can clearly see the washing machine.  Dryers are not that common so everything hangs to dry. I'm a big fan of the drying rack, but air drying your undies is a new experience.  

This is the guest bedroom. Out of site is the opposite wall, which is closet space.  

Then there is the nook that heads to the upstairs.
And then the upstairs loft area.
And finally my bedroom.
The bedrooms are fairly simple, with a bed, a rug, and closet space.  It is the architectural details that I love.  Those exposed beams!  The brick fire place!  The skylight!  Eat your heart out Joanna Gaines!  

I'm such a fan of Scandinavian design.  It is simple and smart.  The skylight opens to let in fresh air, but they also have shades so when the days are very long in the summer you have some darkness.  Also, no top sheet here in Norway.  There is a bottom fitted sheet, but no top sheet.  

That is my home while I'm here. It feels very spacious for just me, but I'm not complaining at all!  

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