I am officially in Norway! After months of planning and paperwork I have finally arrived. Since graduating I have mostly been concerned with getting a little rest and relaxation, otherwise known as watching The West Wing and working my way through the Game of Thrones books. Unfortunately this has meant that I neglected to update this blog. However, have no fear! Now that I am in Norway I promise to blog regularly.
Before I write about the present, I want to backtrack a little bit and talk about some of the things I’ve been up to and the paperwork that I’ve had to complete in June and July (the rest of this particular post is helpful for Fulbrighters and boring for friends).
Exchange Student Application
One of the first things I needed to address was how I was going to legally live in Norway. In other words: visas and residence permits. Before I really started to look into the paperwork I thought that I would be applying for some type of work visa in Norway (my two summer internships in Asia had required that I apply for work visas so that I could open bank accounts and be paid as a company employee). Funnily enough I was told to apply for what is called a studies resident permit. A studies permit is essentially a residence permit for students. This meant that the first bit of paperwork I needed to fill out in June was an exchange student application to the local university, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
I initially hit a few road bumps with my application because although the application itself was quite simple, I had not put down enough classes in my proposed coursework. I needed four classes per semester to qualify as an exchange student instead of the two classes that I had put down. Once I fixed this part of my application I received an acceptance letter from NTNU.
Normally if you apply for a residence permit you have to go to the Norwegian consulate in person; however, one great perk of getting the Fulbright is being able to mail in your application. Having the Fulbright also means that I had to work off of two checklists when applying for my residence permit. All in all I was told to send in:
1. My passport and copies of all used pages in the passport
2. My complete immigration application
3. Receipt that I had paid the application fee
4. Application cover letter
5. Fulbright-Hayes authorization letter
6. Acceptance letter from NTNU
7. A copy of my birth certificate
8. Two passport sized photos
The request for documentation of sufficient funds was covered with the Fulbright-Hayes authorization letter and confirmation of housing was also covered with my acceptance letter to NTNU.
The immigration office was incredibly speedy. Within a week or two I had confirmation that my application had been approved and they sent back my passport within days of submitting my application. Now all that remains is to finish getting my permit processed in Trondheim and then I can get the physical permit card.