Norwegian student seeks out chances to meet, learn

sara_christensen_profileSara Caroline Christensen
Age: 26
Home: Oslo, Norway
Major: Real estate
Hobbies: Reading, writing, exploring nature, running
Favorite saying: “Why do you want to be ‘big’ when you’re happy as a kid, as you are.”

For some, a bustling life meeting new people and experiences seems daunting. For Sara Caroline Christensen, it’s natural.

Christensen, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln international student from Norway, lived an active life since the start. After growing up in Oslo – where she jogged through the nearby mountains and played sports like handball and gymnastics – she joined the Norwegian military. For about two years, she worked with ground forces and trained in the Norwegian Royal Navy as a medic and officer.

During her military time, Christensen says she learned the importance of communicating with people.

“You can always get better with getting together,” she said. “It’s all about the choice you make to enroll in different activities and talk to people.”

As one of the only women in her units, Christensen said she also learned how to cooperate with the men, an experience she found surprising.

“It was interesting in that we are much more alike than you think,” she said. “We’re all concerned about the same things: getting food on the table, having friends.”

Wanting more personal freedom and chances to meet new people and opportunities, Christensen left the regimented military after those two years and started college. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in building engineering from the University of Bergen, she began majoring in real estate at the University of Oslo for a future career not dominated by one sex or the other.

“I want to work in an environment with men and women,” she said. “It’s much more fun. It’s a good environment.”

Once back in Oslo, however, Christensen decided to transfer to UNL for a semester, wanting “something new, something American.”

Now, in between UNL courses, writing in her travel blog, “Sara On Adventure,” and exercising, she hopes to improve her English and encounter more new people and opportunities.

“What can we learn about another culture?” she asked. “That’s why I want to meet new people – there’s always something new to learn.”

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