Stavanger (Norway) Midwifery Study Trip!

A few months ago I headed to Norway on the University of Nottingham's first Midwifery Study Trip.

Click here to watch the vlog or see below.

It was a strange trip to be honest. You had to apply and write a statement to say why you should go as it was a competitive process with only ten places. I was very excited when I found out I was successful, but as the time drew nearer, we didn't have any details and cost upon cost kept getting added to the total price, despite being told it was "heavily subsidised". In all honesty, I'm still not convinced it was subsidised at all because it turned out to unfortunately, be very expensive and I really did have to stretch my budget massively, which now means I can't go on the elective I had planned in summer 2020 but once there, I had fun.

Strangely, Stavanger Norway felt very much like home to me. The weather was chilly and rainy, with cloudy skies almost 24/7, but not freezing. The buildings and shops were also very similar to the UK and although the people had slight accents, they all spoke great English.

Of course, the first and most important reason for the trip was to learn about the Norwegian Midwifery curriculum which is actually a new Masters programme. It was interesting to hear about the differences and to see both the university and the hospital, plus of course how Midwifery care works out there.

I absolutely loved being able to visit the hospital. I think that was one of my favourite parts of the trip. They had lovely little details on the walls and whilst I wish they could be shared here in the UK, infection risk and health and safety policies will but a huge halt on that straight away...I am sure.

The logistics of finalising collaboration details between the universities was mainly left to the lecturers so whilst they continued to work, we had free time. I went to explore Ovre Holmegate, which is the colourful building street in Stavanger. It was fun and sweet, but also very much like a seaside road in the UK.

As a huge group, we headed to Old Stavanger, also known as Gamle Stavanger, where there are "ancient" wooden homes all painted white that were transported from huge distances away. They all have white picket fences and are parted by cobbled stone's ridiculously picturesque.

A quick trip on a bus also took a friend and I to see one of the coastal beaches, where we saw the Sverd i Fjell (Swords in Rock). These signified the Vikings time in Norway and it was really gorgeous, despite the miserable weather. It really was quite rubbish.

Finally, much to my disdain, I tried to get some culture in me. I went to many of the museums in the city. The Petroleum Museum was fun and interactive, the Archaeology Museum was thankfully free as it was ridiculously boring, the Stavanger Museum had a fun pregnancy exhibit and the Maritime Museum was set in a very run down wooden beamed building, that felt like I was back in the war myself.

How could I forget! On the last day, we all went on an excursion to see the fjords! We ended up going to the Lysefjord as that was the closest to us but there are many more to choose from. Personally, I think we were really lucky because we also got to see the ever famous, Pulpit Rock. I couldn't help but imagine how much my dad would love the landscapes there!

Despite not having a clue what to expect, I think I really made the most of the time I had in Stavanger. I loved the food and my favourite restaurant was the Norwegian one by FAR! I loved the central lake which the city is built around and I had so much fun discovering all the statues built around the city.