Martine’s experience from Norway to London
Welcome to my new series ‘The Living Abroad Questionnaire’ where I interview 5 women born in 5 different countries about their experiences of living abroad for extended periods of time! Every day of this week you will get a new insight into what its like to move to a new country and how it can impact your life for the better!
Country of birth: Norway
Countries you’ve lived in: I’ve lived in Norway all my life, but moved to the UK nearly three years ago, and this summer I lived in The Netherlands for a few months
Why did you move abroad?
I have always wanted to move specifically to London, and years before it was even time for me to start University I had already seeked out the University I wanted to attend in London, because I knew that would be my “ticket to London” so to speak. To be a student in London was really the only way I could see myself being able to move abroad, so that’s what I did!
What was the process of moving to a new country?
Because I’m Norwegian the process of moving to the UK to study is quite simple, you don’t need any visa or paperwork. However, there were still a lot of things to plan out and think about, most of it concerning how to apply and get into a University. I also needed to find a place to live, which can be tricky in London if you’re not already in the city. Because of that, I decided to apply to student accommodation for my first year, and that way I knew I had a secure place to live without having to travel to London in advance to find it. I also saved up money from my part-time work for a couple of years to be able to have a buffer for anything my student finance wouldn’t cover.
Was there an aspect of living abroad that was different from what you expected?
Being a huge worrier, I had already prepared for and half-expected most things ahead of the move. I knew that it would become lonely at times, I knew cooking would get boring after a while, and I was prepared for all the other things that comes with moving out and moving abroad. However, these things hit you however hard you try to prepare for them, so the best thing is to take things as they come. Also, a funny surprise was how different the seasons are here in London, compared to what I was used to from back home in Norway. To me, spring and autumn were always those dull periods in between summer and winter, but here in London these seasons completely blow me away with their beauty. When they say London is at its prettiest in spring they aren’t lying, the cherry trees are wonderful.
How has living abroad changed your perception of life?
For me, life changed completely when I moved abroad. It became more wonderful and exciting than I ever imagined it could be. Both because I started living in a new city, but because I started studying, I gained new friends, I became independent. It’s truly an experience I will be forever grateful for.
Any tips for someone moving abroad for the first time?
Take things as they come! Not everything can be planned beforehand, ultimately you just have to live in the moment and see what happens once you get there. As I mentioned earlier, I worried about everything before I moved and tried to envision how things would be in order to prepare myself. But things never turn out how you plan, and that’s the way it should be. Take a deep breath and just jump into it. Also, teach your grandma how to Facetime! That was the best thing I did.
Thank you Martine! Stay tuned for a new interview tomorrow!