American College of Norway
American College of Norway
Did you know there is an American college in Norway? Founded in 1989 by Dr. Steinar Opstad, the American College of Norway (ACN) first opened its doors in 1992 to 24 eager and adventurous Norwegian and American students. Flash forward to 2019 and over 2,000 students from Norway, the United States, and beyond have taken courses toward their U.S. bachelor’s degree in Moss, Norway, at the American College of Norway.
“In the [27-year] long partnership, over 2,000 students and more than 80 American faculty have been favorably impacted. This is one of the most successful and enduring educational partnerships in all of Norway,” said Kåre R. Aas, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Ambassador to the United States.
ACN is part of the American university system and offers curriculum taught in English by American faculty. Norwegian students choose ACN to gain one year of an American university education before heading to the United States to complete their U.S. bachelor’s degree at one of ACN’s cooperative partners or other universities throughout the United States. During their year at ACN, Norwegian students work one-on-one with ACN’s knowledgeable and committed staff to help them with course selection, applications, transferring, visa information, and other important matters needed for their transition to the United States.
American and international students studying abroad at ACN make up about 10% of the student body. Collectively, 70 students are admitted to the program each academic year. This allows students to get to know their classmates and enjoy the intimate environment. studying abroad at ACN allows American students to experience Norwegian culture and the daily excitement of living abroad while working toward completing their U.S. bachelor’s degree. ACN’s academic calendar and schedule follow the American system. Academically, ACN has worked hard to ensure that all of the course credits transfer back to the United States. This results in cultural differences being exciting and not overwhelming when studying abroad at ACN.
Conrad Pederson, a study abroad student in spring of 2018, thinks ACN is a great opportunity: “As a freshman, it has given me the chance to have an experience abroad while taking care of my general classes before I get deep into a major. The small classes and many activities present the chance to really get to know professors, staff, and other students well. The school is located in a nice, smaller town that has easy access to Oslo and surrounding airports, which makes it easy to travel. My semester at ACN has been amazing, and my biggest regret is that I came here for only a semester rather than a full year.”
ACN’s unique and exciting tight-knit living-learning community helps Norwegian students get acclimated with the American university system not only through their studies, but their daily interactions with our American students. And for our American students, being surrounded by Norwegian peers gives them an authentic Norwegian experience that can’t be replicated. On any given weekend, American students are going home with their Norwegian roommate, partaking in Norwegian cabin trips, exploring Europe, and much more!
Megan Reister, who studied at ACN in 2018-2019, also vouches for the authenticity of the experience: “If you want to study in Norway, I’d highly recommend studying abroad at the American College of Norway. I doubt you’ll get a more Norwegian experience if you tried! From having a Norwegian roommate to studying alongside Norwegian peers, don’t let the name fool you, the American College of Norway is pretty Norwegian!”
In addition to ACN’s academic school year, ACN offers a four-week summer program. During the summer session, students have the opportunity to earn up to six U.S. credits in small, interactive classes. Summer school at ACN is a unique experience both in and out of the classroom with weekly field trips in Østfold and Oslo. Another bonus is that classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday, leaving every weekend as a three-day weekend so students can get out and explore Norway and the rest of Europe.
According to Lexy Zimmerman, ACN summer school student in 2018, the experience is about much more than classes: “The faculty and staff are some of the nicest people I have ever met, the course load isn’t overbearing, and the apartments are super cute. Moss is also a friendly and inviting city with lots to do. There are great hiking trails, the beach and the Oslo Fjord, plus there are great restaurants and cafes. Additionally, Oslo is only a 40-minute train ride away, so there is always something to do.”
If you or anyone you know is interested in studying abroad in Norway, why not make ACN and Moss your new home away from home?
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This article originally appeared in the September 6, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.