Friday, February 11, 2011

OSLO, Norway – Former NAU women's soccer player and the current women's soccer CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-American of Year Kristi Andreassen is in Oslo, Norway playing soccer and taking classes at the University of Oslo. Andreassen, who's family hails from Norway, sends us her final blog entry as she experiences the culture of her native land and prepares for the rest of her time abroad.

Picture: Kristi on Karl Johans St in downtown Oslo. The road leads directly to Det Kongelige Slott, which is the Norwegian Royal Palace and serves as the main residence of Norwegian King Harald V (seen at the end of the road in the distance).

Blog - Week 4

In the past week, I have had to make some important decisions.  I have decided to play for Øvervoll Hosle, a team in the division below Røa.  Even though the team overall is at a lower level than I am used to, I think it will still be a fun experience!  I also think that I can possibly help them move up a division this season.  That is my next goal!  Finding work in Oslo is very difficult for me because I am still not fluent in Norwegian.  There are very little jobs available for American students.  Luckily, my soccer experience has landed me a job at the local soccer club.  Next week, I will hopefully start training some younger soccer teams.  This is the perfect job for me because I can learn Norwegian from the kids and I can help them learn English.  Also, I love working with children and teaching soccer!  School has started to speed up and my brain is full of new information!  My Norwegian is coming along, but I still have more practice and learning to do.

Even though I am having a great experience out here, I have realized how much I miss Flagstaff, NAU, my soccer girls, and of course, my family!  At the same time, this is such a great opportunity for me and I plan on making the best of it.  While I am here, I plan on doing a lot of traveling to different European countries including Paris, France to visit my cousin, Krakow, Poland to visit my other cousin, and Alicante, Spain with the soccer team!  I also have planned a 4 week long Eurorail trip through Europe with my sister this summer, while catching some Women’s World Cup games in Germany.  There are still a lot of things to look forward to while I am away in Norway! Thanks for reading my blog!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Andreassen in Oslo: Blog Entry Two

OSLO, Norway – Former NAU women's soccer player and the current women's soccer CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-American of Year Kristi Andreassen is in Oslo, Norway trying out with professional women's soccer club Røa and taking classes at the University of Oslo. Andreassen, who's family hails from Norway, will be sending updates stateside as she experiences the culture of her native land. Here is her second entry:

Picture: Kristi's first outdoor practice with Røa on the frozen fields of Oslo.

Weeks 2-3

The past two weeks have been full with school, soccer, observation at a physical therapy clinic, and spending time with my family. School has picked up pace, and I have been learning a lot! Unfortunately, you cannot learn a language in three weeks and I still have so much more to learn. In the house, we have started to use more Norwegian and I must use the Norwegian word if I know it. Soon, my uncle says that he will no longer speak English to me, Ah!

Soccer practice during the past two weeks has been really tough, and I hit the wall this past week. My legs did not want to work anymore and I was completely exhausted! This typically happens during preseason at NAU as well, and happens to everyone! Last weekend, I had the chance to play the whole game for Røa at center back, my position. We played a team in Division I, which is one level below the top series. We played outside and all had a hard time kicking the ball well due to frozen feet! It was still a lot of fun and we won the game. We were missing a lot of girls because they were at training camp with the Norwegian National Team. Unfortunately, after three weeks of tryouts, I did not make the final cut for the Røa team for the upcoming season. I was disappointed to find this out, but I knew that I took a risk by trying out for the best team in Norway (literally, they are the best in the professional league). On the positive side, the coach truly believes that I have potential and wants me to continue playing so he can keep his eye on me. Also, I am proud that I was able to train with the best players in Norway for three weeks! The coach could have cut me from the team earlier!

This is the next part of my adventure! I need to decide if I want to try out for another top series team, or maybe play on a team in the lower division, or maybe not play soccer and get a job and travel during my semester abroad. I have a couple of coaches that are interested and want me to play for them, but I have to make sure that this is what I want to do. The possibilities are endless and there are so many exciting opportunities for me here!

Last week, I started observing at a physical therapy clinic. I really wanted to do this because I wanted to compare techniques the therapists use here compared to the therapists that I have observed in Arizona. So far, I have noticed that there are many similarities, but also some major differences. I will not bore you with these details!

I have really enjoyed spending time with my family here, since normally I never get to see them! They are all very supportive and just want me to have a good time while I am here. The city of Oslo is very interesting and beautiful. It is a very old city and has many historical buildings. I love historical buildings and learning about the history of my culture. Andre (Luciano), the NAU head soccer coach, came to visit! He started his trip in Bergen to do some recruiting, and then made his way to Oslo. We met up for some coffee and lunch at Aker Brygge, a harbor in Oslo. I really enjoyed his company and catching up! Even though I miss all of my teammates in Flagstaff, I decided that I do not miss spring season and early morning workouts! Andre’s visit was short, but I think he was charmed by the city and will come back again for vacation!

In my next blog, I will talk about the decisions I have made and how I will be spending my time abroad!