Thursday 1 May 2014

Reflections: Rhea Kay

This whole experience has been amazing. I got the chance to be in Norway for both snow and summer like weather, to go in a wind tunnel, to witness ‘ski-shooting’, to go up mountains, to meet brilliant people, to live next to a forest and lake, to see fjords and more. I feel extremely lucky to be part of Shetland to Voss 2014 and to have lived and worked in a country I have always wanted to go to.

While I was in Voss I was working at a place called Bunadsloftet, a little building where Norwegian national costumes (Bunads) are made. There are seven women who work there, four of whom opened the business almost thirty years ago. They were all very welcoming and wonderful to work with and learn from.

I worked mostly with Astrid and Ingrid, who specialize in women’s Bunads. With a lot of guidance from them I helped to make things like shirts, skirts, waistcoats, coats, and embroidery. This involved measuring/cutting fabric, sewing machine work, various hand sewing/embroidery techniques and loads of patience! Doing this made me realize the huge amount of work and craftsmanship that goes into each Bunad which made me really appreciate it.

This September I will be beginning the Contemporary Textiles course at Shetland College. Being in such a diverse country has given me inspiration and everything I learned from my work placement has made me more skilled and prepared for the course. I feel more confident in terms of textiles and hope to incorporate what I have learned into my future work.

I would fully recommend anyone to who has the chance to apply for Shetland to Voss in the future to go for it. It is an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity.

Reflections: Arnold Dano

When we arrived in Norway it was a very cold day/night.  People showed us the hotel room and them we headed out for pizza. The second day Trond (one of the Norwegian teachers) took us on a tour around Voss showing all us our work experience places.

I was working at a gym it was called NR1 Fitness, and the facilities were absolutely incredible. The staff and the customers were really friendly and polite.  I was handling reception, cleaning and helping out people at my work.

It was a very fun place to work at I really enjoyed it. We went on the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour and that was incredible. I have never seen such an amazing place. We also went to a place called VossVind which was amazing as well.  Me, Stephen, Eve and Sarah went to Bergen on a Saturday to look around and to shop.  Bergen was a place like Aberdeen - packed and people everywhere.  My time in Norway was amazing and it went really fast. 

I would like to thank everyone who has organised this whole trip. It was an incredible experience and I left with loads of memories about Norway and Voss.

Reflections: Sarah Thomson

When we arrived in Voss I wasn’t too sure what to expect but the experience overall has been absolutely fantastic and I can’t believe it’s all by with already. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go on this trip and would recommend it to anyone thinking about doing it in the future.

I was at placement with Eve, another music student, in a local music school, a cafe and the local Jazz festival during my time in Voss. In the school we were mainly taking part in or observing classes between 1st and 3rd year (ages 16 - 20) but also got to teach the occasional music history class where we got to teach the students a bit about traditional Shetland music and a bit of Shetland dancing which they all seemed to really enjoy. As well as spending time with the students in school we also met up with them socially and hope to keep in touch with them in the future.

The cafe we worked in was for the public and athletes at the ski biathlon competition that was going on at the time. There we were mainly working in the outside tents and the scenery was fantastic, and it was worth travelling up there every day just for the beautiful view. At the Jazz festival we were given a lot to do. The days leading up to the festival were very busy with odd jobs like preparing the venues, moving equipment around and even greeting some of the artists who would be performing over the weekend. We were also given the opportunity to play at one of the seminars the day before the festival officially began. Our boss at the festival was particularly lovely and has invited us back in the next few years to work for her again and we will definitely be keeping in touch.

I have taken back from Voss lots of new experiences. I didn’t expect to but I really enjoyed the cooking, cleaning and washing. Most of the group ate together every night and everyone did their bit to chip in with the cooking and the dishes. I have come back home with a real sense of independence and responsibility after living away from home. 

It’s made me really keen to be more adventurous with my travel and I would definitely go on another trip to work in another country in the future. It was particularly easy in Norway because nearly everyone we met spoke fluent English and were very keen to practice their English with you.

The experience I have gathered while working at the Jazz festival and the school will be beneficial to me as a music student because in the music industry it counts for everything. And because I’m unsure as to what exact career I would like to go into it’s given me an idea of what it would be like to teach music and what working at a big festival is like.

Reflections: Eve Maguire

My time in Voss was fantastic.  I think one of the things that made it so great was the scenery - snowy mountains surrounding the town which had a river and little forest running through the middle.  Our first placement was in a school, where we took part in music classes.  It turned out to be very interesting to see how differently the students were taught.  For instance our main time signature is 4/4 but theirs is 5/8 which i found very interesting. One of my favourite classes was the music history class, the students taught Sarah and I a Norwegian song and in return we obviously taught them Shetland dancing.  By the end of the class we had all the students joining in, and the teachers, who we could tell were really enjoying it by their "woo hoo’s" in the Boston Two-Step. By the end of it Sarah and I had gotten to know a lot of the students and still keep in touch with a few of them, which I think is one of the main thing we brought back from our experience in Voss.

Our second placement was completely different, we worked in a cafe at a biathlon, we mostly delivered food from the cafe to the tents outside and coffee to the people organising the thing biathlon and the people at the finish line.

Our last placement was definitely the best, we worked at the famous Jazz Festival they have in Voss each year. We started by painting two rooms in one of the music venues and helping some of the famous musicians while they were practicing.  We also got to play our guitars at the Festival and put on a little show while people were drinking soup and buying tickets.

This whole experience was very beneficial for me because being a music student and getting to work at a huge music festival is definitely something I could put on a CV which will benefit in later life. Also I have a better understanding of how differently students get taught in different places and managed to take away some of the things I learnt and can teach them to my class in Shetland.  Lastly, another benefit from this experience is that I even picked up some Norwegian.

Reflections: Gaelan Miller

I can say straight of that it was a great experience. Working in Voss in the construction industry is a piece different from that over here. The hours to begin with are different with them only working 7.5 hours a day with only one half hour break at 11, they start at 7 and end at 3. The basics are the same for marking out, but the wiring and plumbing along with how they sheet the ceiling is different. One difficulty I found with working with both companies is that they worked in centimetres and not millimetres!

Besides the working life in Norway, living there was great too! We went on such tours called “Norway in a Nutshell”, which basically takes you around all the main sights in Norway. You start off in Voss, and then take a train across to Flam. After arriving there you'll have a bit of time for shopping.  Once you leave Flam by boat you then arrive in another place called Gudvangen, where there is a bus awaiting to take you back to Voss. We started the tour at about 9:10, and arrived back at our apartments in the evening.

I would definately recommend this trip to anyone, it is a great experience of living and working on your own.

Reflections: Stephen Anderson

I am currently studying joinery and carpentry at the Shetland College and I am working for a local construction firm DITT. I was given two work placements, one including the same kind of work I take part in back home.

As we left Lerwick harbour I just couldn't believe that we were heading to Norway to live and work for one month. It just sounded like an amazing experience we had a head of us. When we woke up in the morning we had a long day of travelling ahead of us.

We got a “Welcome to Voss” presentation from Knut, the international coordinator in Voss, where he showed us some of the many placements we were joining in Voss. Then he showed us our accommodation and left us to it. The next day we met the other international coordinator named Trond and he took us on a tour, showing our placements and other interesting things in Voss, including the Wind Tunnel, cinema and library.

When we started our work placements I was situated on a construction site, building a house for two weeks. I took part in a lot of different jobs like preparing the walls and ceilings for plaster-boarding, using glass wool for insulation and putting up wooden studs. For my last week I went to work at “Tunge Ting” (which translates into English as “heavy things”) where they made various things out of concrete.  It was really interesting, ranging from little things like kitchen worktops and sinks to big benches and letters.  I really enjoyed getting the chance to go out to Norway to live and work. I have learned to manage my money in a really expensive country. It has also given me an idea in the future to work away from home witch I have thought about after coming back.

Reflections: Iona Anderson

My time in Voss was absolutely mind blowing! I remember how nervous I was and how leaving my family and friends behind for a month sounded crazy! But I wouldn't take anything back and really enjoyed my time in Norway. I worked in a small cafe called Tre Brør which was situated in the middle of the small town. My main jobs were serving, waitressing and cleaning the inside and outside which was all fantastic! The members of staff were really friendly and comforting which made my time away from Shetland a lot easier, also making some new friends! I got the chance to learn about new cultures and a new language, this being very inspiring to me. We had it really lucky with the weather there as it was nearly always sunny, warm and no wind! It was so amazing to see the scenery and also the fjords! One of the most memorable things we did was the Voss Vindtunnel, indoor skydiving. They say its equivalent to skydiving 4 times in a row at 175km an hour! It was crazy fun. My highlights being my work, meeting new people, seeing the beautiful country and being independent! I highly recommend it to every student able to apply next year.