Wednesday April 9
Day of arrival, all the students were met by their host families.
Tuesday April 10
The day began at Sogndal vgs with a getting to know each other activity about the different participant countries. The intention of the activity was to find out what they knew about the countries from before and possibly learn something more. They worked in national groups first taking notes about the other countries, and then they mixed in new groups with people from all the four participant countries to discuss their findings. The groups summarized the results in a short presentation before a tour of the school.
Departure for Lerum Factory, Kaupanger where we got a tour of factory. Lerum is a firm that produce juice, jam and lemonade based on fruit and berries from the region.
Back at the school, the Norwegian students held their lecture about the Sogn region.
In the evening, we went to Sogndal Ski Centre Hodlekve to ski, have a barbeque and socialize.
Wednesday April 11
We worked all day on the Erasmus project. Each nation presented aspects of their culture and provided taste samples.
Thursday April 12
We visited different companies in Luster municipality, first Avery Dennison NTP, a firm that produce prints and logos for sport clothes, and have several international football clubs as their customers. After that, we visited Digital Etikett who are in the same line of business; except that they produce prints and logos for different types of packaging, plastic, glass and so on. Both companies expressed a desire for a background in vocational education, but preferred to train their employees themselves. The reason is that this is a very particular line of business and it requires special competence. It is possible to become an apprentice and take a craft diploma in the firms, mainly in drawing and design.
After Gaupne, we travelled to Jostedalen where we had lunch and a lecture at Jostedalen hotel. It is a family run hotel open all year round, and the owners talked about the pros and cons of this. The biggest challenge in the winter, is a low interest for rooms, thus they close parts of the hotel to ease the pressure on the fulltime staff. In the summer season, there is more business and they employ holiday help. However, the season lasts longer than the school holidays, and it is hard to find extra help in the shoulder seasons. A cooperation between the companies in Jostedalen has solved this problem; they hire each other’s staff based on the demand in each firm. Since most of the companies work within tourism, this is a good solution for all. Important qualifications are knowledge of outdoor leisure and sports activities and local knowledge. The local firms viewed an international work environment as an asset.
The day ended at the Glacier Centre where we saw a film about the glacier and the exhibition in the centre. We learned about how the glacier has shaped the landscape, its importance for the life in the valley and its importance as a tourist destination. In April, there was still a lot of snow in Jostedalen, so we had to look at the glacier from a distance.
Friday April 13
Friday the 13th of April
We drove alongside the mighty Sognefjord from Sogndal to Hella, where we crossed the fjord by ferry.
In Vik, we visited the prison, situated in the midst of the local village, surrounded by shops and private homes. In Vik prison, there are prisoners with both long and shorter sentences, an open and a closed section. The prison director gave us a tour of the facilities and he talked about the history of the prison and the plans ahead, plus general information about Norwegian correctional policies.
The employees must show respect for the individual even if they condemn the reason why they were imprisoned. It is imperative that the inmates get help to become good citizens after they have served their time; and they may educate themselves or get work practice while in prison. We talked with an Italian prisoner who asked the students to spend their life more wisely than he had done.
We carried on to the Vik Mountain (Vikafjellet), where we looked at ways to expand tourism through building more cabins and various outdoor activities.
Lunch was at Meieriet (the dairy), where the speciality is old cheese, unique to Vik. A special, strongly flavoured cheese needs getting used to. We got plenty of other food as well.
The last stop was Hopperstad Stave church. There was a guided tour and we got information about this and other stave churches. It was a great day with lovely weather, an interesting program and great company.
Saturday April 14
We went from Sogndal to Leikanger to watch the race «Kjerringi Open». We placed ourselves along the track or in the finishing area and cheered the participants in skiing, cycling, swimming and running on. Four of the Norwegian Erasmus+ participants took part in the race. It was a good and social time enjoying the atmosphere of the race and the beautiful fjord landscape of Leikanger.
In the evening, we met at Sogndal vgs to sum up the stay and to socialize with food and Kahoot before saying goodbye to the Belfast boys who took the night bus to Oslo.
Sunday April 15
Departure the Italian and the German delegations.