Familiefest in Averøy

Gilman International Scholarship, Hiking, Norwegian Pride, Photography

Three years ago I learned I had a branch of my family tree in the island of Averøy, on the West Coast of Norway. Thanks to Alt for Norge, journalists (specifically Ingrid Kornelia Sanden Sunde) and genealogists (particularly Randi Hagen), my enthusiastic family members, and the help of study abroad scholarships from University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) and the Gilman International Scholarship- Official Page, I am able to say I have completed a long awaited journey home to the place where my family name originates and my relatives and new friends still live. My heart is aglow with thanks.

To study culture and the various ways of living worldwide is one of my deepest fascinations; being able to connect with that from which my heritage stems is a most precious gift, and meeting my extended family during my study abroad is a monumental opportunity. Thank you.

13. Norway – Reality Show or Reality Check

Norwegian Pride, Thirty by Thirty, Travel

In 2015, I was one of twelve American contestants on the award-winning Norwegian TV series, Alt for Norge, also referred to as “The Great Norway Adventure.” Over the span of ten episodes, viewers followed a dozen of us Norwegian-Americans on our journey through Norway, where we were to dive into their culture by competing in a series of challenges. Ultimately, contestants are eliminated and the winner meets their Norwegian relatives that the show’s genealogy researchers have tracked down.

The purpose of the show is to re-introduce Norwegians to their own country, and to give all of us a sense of identity in teaching valuable things about our Norwegian history and background. For this blog post, I’ve pulled a few examples from the episodes, including historical facts, fun cultural traditions, and some of the linguistic lessons we filmed in Norway.