The International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) is one of the biggest and best student festival organized every second year in Trondheim, Norway. ISFiT provides a platform to listen, learn, share, discuss, purpose new ideas on different topics. This year ISFiT9 was held from 7th Feb till 17th Feb with theme MIGRATION. I had an opportunity to attend ISFiT 2019. And, I must say that ISFiT was absolutely amazing experience in my life. I really enjoyed workshops, cultural events and my stay in Trondheim with host family.

I would like to thank a lot to ISFiT members, volunteers & organizers for incredible work. Below are top seven best things about ISFiT19 based on my personal experience.

Opening ceremony of Isfit19

Popular Norwegian singer Moddi playing during opening ceremony

A band playing in opening ceremony of ISFiT

1. Making Friends from all over the world

ISFiT is golden opportunity to meet and make friends from different part of the world. There were more than 450 students from all over the world. It was wonderful experience to get acquainted with open-minded participants from all corners of the world. And, of course knowing about the new country, their culture, history from the originals not only helped me to learn more about country profile but also cleared my perceptions and general stigmas related to different nationalities.

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Diversity: Hand prints and flag to show where we are from and where we live (National Identity group)

2. Norwegian nature, culture and food

The second best experience was knowing about Norwegian nature, culture, people and food. The warm welcome and hospitality from Norwegian host family made me feel very welcomed and comfortable in Trondheim. The beautiful landscapes of Norway: snow covered mountains, lakes and fjords are remarkably stunning. I have been living in Finland since 2012 so, the weather in Norway did not surprise me. Despite of cold temperature, the view of mesmerizing snow covered landscapes, colorful wooden building made it worthwhile to roam around Trondheim.

View of Trondheim City from Kristiansten Fortress

Bakklandet

Front View of NTNU ( The Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

It was so surprising for me to know that most shops are closed during Sundays. Though, some bar and clubs are open. So, be prepare if you are planning to visit Norway.

Tasting local food was another amazing experience of ISFiT. Norway is typically known for “brown cheese”. Brown cheese is made from whey and goat milk/cream. The brown color and sweet & caramel-like flavor makes brown cheese unique from normal cheese. Another special thing about food was “Norwegian waffle”. The typical heart shaped Norwegian waffle is sweet and soft. It is usually served as dessert or snacks with hot coffee.

Our host family was so generous that I felt like being in hotel each day. The breakfast table was full of different kinds of bread, brown cheese, smoked salmon, berries, bread, milk, coffee, cereals, juice, tea, ham and so on. Among all, I loved Norwegian waffle with cream and jam. Apart from Norwegian food, we had chance to taste chocolate and snacks brought by participants from different part of the world.

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Norwegian Breakfast with host family

Norwegian waffle

From Right to Left: chocolate from Canada, Peru, Belgium and dry meat from south Africa

4. ISFiT workshops

There were 19 different workshop topics on migration in ISFiT19. The workshops were interactive and lively. There were presentations and lectures from professors and visitors from various organizations as part of workshops. I was able to attend the workshop titled “National Identity”. This was an interesting opportunity to me as I was curious to know how second generation immigrant identify themselves.

The discussion during workshop was pleasant, long and sometimes serious too. Hearing the first hand experience from participants really helped to get answers to my curiosities. And it was valuable and thoughtful experience. The workshops and interactions broadened my thinking and increased insight on dynamics of migration.

The small games, we played in between workshops were also very interesting and full of fun and joy.

Brain storming during workshop

5. Cultural events

There were plenty of cultural events each evening during ISFiT festival. It was diverse fr0m poetry night, movie night, stand up comedy, stage performance, art exhibition to theme party and club night. The start time of some cultural event and plenary session coincided with each other so I could not attend all of them. The cultural events were interesting and informative. The participation in some cultural events required entry fee which ranged from 100 to 500 NOK.

I liked the chillout lounge in Samfundet (building of student center in Trondheim). I enjoyed karaoke, dance and relaxing environment in chillout lounge. If you want to hang out with other participants outside of your workshop group, Chillout Lounge is perfect option. Ooo, they also serve free Norwegian waffle and drinks.

6. Networking

ISFiT can also be a good opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with professionals, activists and organization working on different areas related to ISFiT theme for that year.

7. Winter sports

If you are interested in winter sports, ISFiT might be the reason to pack your winter sports gears and travel to Trondheim. Although, I did not know how to ski or snowboarding. There were plenty of things to do for a noob like me as well.

We went to Skistua for skiing during Snow day event organized by ISFiT19. It was about 10km far away from Trondheim center. There are also other popular ski resorts around Trondheim like Skiing Vassfjellet – Klæbu/​Trondheim, Steinan Skitrekk, Stokkan Alpinbakke and Oppdal which are slightly far away from the center.

Picture from Skistua (Snow day)

 

This article is not written by ISFiT and all credits for text and pictures go to Nirupa Mahat, Participant ISFiT19.