Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things I Learned In Norway

I recently traveled to Norway to present at an education conference in Sandvika, just outside Oslo.  I have traveled internationally quite a bit in my 34 years on this planet, but I had not been outside North America since 2004.  My reflections are as follows:

1. If you don't like American football (I don't) and do like real football (I do), you will be mistaken for a Canadian (not that there's anything wrong with that).

2. The US banks need to get with the times and issue Chip and Pin credit and debit cards.  When the waiter at the restaurant calls swiping your card "running it the old fashioned way," and your colleague cannot pay at the gas pump, something should probably give.

3. I am thankful for and humbled by how much of the world speaks English, and I wish I knew more languages.  American schools need to start teaching languages earlier.

4. I submitted a bill to the organization I was working with for some travel reimbursement and was notified that Norwegian banks no longer issue checks and the money would have to be wired electronically.  No big deal, right?  Come to find out, the small local credit union I use does not have an international SWIFT number necessary to handle the transaction.  I like this particular local credit union, but I guess shopping local can have some limitations.

5. Educators in Norway are highly professional, take pride in their career choice, and are compensated adequately.  I noticed the same when I was in Victoria, BC last year.

6. Trips to interesting places are much better when my wife comes along.  I'm glad she got to join me on this trip.

7. Fish is best served raw, cured, at breakfast, and often.

8. IKEA in Norway looks, feels and smells like IKEA in the US.


Martine said...


At the moment I am a student at the University of Bergen, in Norway - Fun to read what you discovered in our country!! :)
In just 2 more years I will be done with my masters degree and teach chemistry, biology and general science at high school.
I came across the flipped classroom when I had my school experience this fall - I was hooked from the get go.. So I am writing a paper on the method for one of my classes and I am trying to connect the method with the three learning-visions (behaviorism, cognitivism and sosiocultural perspectives). Do you have any tips on what to include?
Your videos and classroom-activities are an inspiration, and I hope to use some of it when I jump into a classroom myself!

Thanks for sharing,
Martine from Norway

Ann S. Michaelsen said...

My favorite point would have to be number 6 although most points are familiar to me! The gas pump problem is one example! I will never be able visit IKEA without thinking about you guys! And I think it was a great idea to bring your wife! Say hello to her from Norway! Hope to see you back here soon! If not for the flipped classroom you might want to come back and test American /Norwegian banking improvements!