Folk High School Spotlight: Anna Grinde

grinde_2.jpgName: Anna Grinde

Age: 19

Hometown: Madison, WI

Folkehøgskule: Seljord in Telemark

Linje (Course): Friluftsliv (Outdoor Life)

What made you decide to go to a Folkehøgskule in Norway?

My sister had gone to Fredtun Folk high school 4 years before and I visited her while she was there. I was able to visit her there and I was so impressed with the atmosphere of the school and her positive reaction to the year. I wasn’t sure what where I wanted to go to college yet so I decided to move to Norway.

Why did you choose your Folkehøgskule?

I chose Seljord folk high school because I wanted to choose a course that was either outdoor sports or
sports. I also wanted to be fairly close to Oslo in the Southern region of Norway. This school stood out to
me and the scenery of the mountains and the lake made it that much better.

How did Sons of Norway effect your decision?

I have been surrounded and influenced by Sons of Norway my whole life. I was awarded the first Helen
Tronvold Folk High School Scholarship offered by the Sons of Norway Foundation in 2006. My father’s
strong involvement within Sons of Norway has shaped me and my siblings into who we are and what we want to continue with our families.

What was the biggest surprise to you living in Norway?

I had been to Norway a few times before but living there was a whole other adjustment. The meals and the extensive outdoor lifestyle of Norwegians amazed me the most. We had four meals a day and a lot of bread which fills you up fast. Norwegians spend a lot of time outdoors. Camping in Norway is an adventure. It was interesting to compare a lot of my family camping trips of car camping to the true nature filled camping trips of Norway. We hiked extensively and only brought the necessary food and drink, no coolers and no grills. Each outdoor trip I took was an amazing experience.

What have you enjoyed the most?

I enjoyed creating the strong relationships with my fellow students and teachers. We became almost a family. There were about 60 students at my school that year and we all knew each other very well. I miss  stepping outside of my dorm and seeing the beautiful view of the mountains and town below.

Do you have a funny story about adjusting to the culture?

I had to adjust to the long dark winters in Norway. Sometimes it wouldn’t light up until 9AM and then it would get dark again at 3PM. I had to figure out something to do with my time in the winter, so I learned to knit. Much to my surprise every Norwegian my age knew how to knit, it was second nature to them. It took my four tries get my first scarf straight and clean but after that I was knitting Norwegian style mittens and hats to give to my family for Christmas presents. They were so impressed.


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