Fortunately, I always came across to very good and friendly people who helped me a lot. We were two of us from North-Eastern Federal University to study as north2north exchange students in Sámi University of Applied Sciences in Kautokeino, Norway.
Despite the tiredness and jetlag we really enjoyed our trip to our destination. When we arrived in the town, our college was celebrating Norwegian national holiday. There we met two other students from our hometown and one more from Murmansk.
Our classes normally began in the morning. All our teachers and professors spoke only in Sami language which was really complicated to understand and speak. The way of teaching sounded pretty simple: “Tell what you see. Tell what you do”. Sami is the language of verbs, so the language was easier to learn by doing something as an example.
During our studies we visited a very successful factory called Venor, which manufactures Sami tents, and we went to different local museums. In each place we visited we were separated into several groups in which we studied and spoke only in Sami. I was so used to speaking Sami that it was even difficult to make sentences in English! When I was studying the Sami language and culture, I found many common things with my own Evenk culture. In both cultures there are such branches of agriculture as reindeer herding, fishing and reindeer skin manufacturing; there are some similar musical instruments; and the languages are both melodious. It was so interesting to learn it all.
This year I am graduating with a bachelor’s degree in philology. All these invaluable experiences will definitely help my future teaching career. Many thanks to my university for a chance to explore another culture and language, knowledge and experience, for opening a new world and new horizons! Ollu giitu!
Published in 2015.