ISFIT – life changing experience.
“I wanted to learn photography – but learned the whole world”.
“Nothing is gonna change if I will stay at home… but if I would, I might regret that I`ve missed something quite important”
There are many of international student`s festivals all around the world, but there is one which might be best of the best – International student`s festival in Trondheim. This youth gathering has more than 20 years of experience and I might say that it is truly life changing opportunity for students from all over the world. Each two years the city of Trondheim, which is one of the biggest cities in Norway, unites more than 450 youth people from different countries. But you have to be a student to join the ISFIT.
ISFIT runs every two years in Trondheim, Norway, during the coldest month – February. Usually there is snow during this season and all the beauty of Norwegian nature attracts visitors and unites ISFITers to warm up with outstanding energy which goes from each participant. There are many people coming from warm countries who have never seen the snow before and who never experienced the weather with the temperature of – 20 degrees.
ISFIT offers participation in a variety of workshops and everyone could choose the topic of interest from arts to social movement. I was participating in ISFIT 2013 and my workshop was digital photography. As a beginner photographer I wanted to learn photography – but learned the whole world…
There was my first time travelling alone and friendly saying I was scared, and wanted to cancel my participation in ISFIT, but than a single thought came to my mind: “Nothing is gonna change if I will stay at home… but if I would, I might regret that I`ve missed something quite important”… That was my point and I started to pack the luggage to Norway.
30 outstanding people from my workshop became my diverse international family in the 10 days of the Festival. I can say that we have lived a short but sparkling life in ISFIT with love, sharing, carrying, exploring and making pictures of our inspiration. There was such a feeling of euphoria… it’s like being drunk without alcohol, which is pretty good, cos the prices in Norway are extremely high, especially when it comes to the alcohol.
Among this, each of us had our Norwegian family, who hosted us during the Festival. I was so lucky to live with wonderful couple in their wooden house close to the mountains. The place where I lived was like a screenshot from the Christmas movie…
My host family with two of my roommates
Among the workshops there were a variety of activities for ISFITers, which could absolutely change your mind and make you believe in miracles again. There is a special ceremony where the most prominent youth peacemaker is awarded. To reach the ceremony, participants have to make a “Walk of Peace” which is one of the most inspiring and beautiful scene… More than 450 people, from different backgrounds, with burning torches in their hands are walking through the city of Trondheim showing the importance and respect to Peace and peace makers. It is truly breathtaking event and I proud that I was a part of it.
During the Festival organizers offer participants to have a ski day, and even if I came from the country where snow is usual thing in winter, there was my first time trying skiing and snowboarding. In 2013 during the “Ski day” ISFIT set a world record. There was the biggest amount of international people, who represent different countries, in one place. We were staying in the circle holding the hands of each other while representatives of the “Guinness Book of World Records” were counting us and checking the IDs to prove that we are diverse.
Have you ever tried the “brown cheese”? It is typically Norwegian and you might like it or dislike, there is no middle for liking the Norwegian cheese J For me its reminded peanut butter and I like it so much especially with jam on it as our host family offered us to try.
During these 10 days of Festival I have so much to share and to speak about, but I believe that my pictures were speaking more out loud. You`d rather experience it once in your life and believe me – it`s worth it!
Do you know how many people from ISFIT I`ve met after the Festival? For now there are only 3 of them but with my Moroccan ISFIT friend we already have 4 meetings in Morocco, twice in Turkey and in Germany. I`ve met my wonderful Mongolian diamond in Turkey and Armenian diamond in Armenia… It is difficult to describe this feeling when you come to a foreign country and someone is waiting there for you ❤
So If I encouraged you to apply for the next ISFIT, there are the following information you have to know:
What do You need to apply:
1. Be a student (PhD student is also a student. Btw, having a student`s ID will give you 50% discounts for transport, museums, etc. in Norway, which is quite essential, so far as Norway is one of the most expensive countries);
2. Be a good and fair representative of your country. You will act like an Ambassador; cos there will be 4-5 people from your country and you might not gonna meet them. So do your best and let the world know about your motherland;
3. Be flexible and ready to meet diversity;
4. Be friendly, open-minded and passionate.
So if You have what is needed, follow the links below and remember that your passion and your motivation are those things which could give you the priceless invitation to the ISFIT, which is not just a youth gathering, but invitation to life changing opportunities.
Links: ISFIT web-site: http://www.isfit.org/
Facebook official: https://www.facebook.com/ISFiTNorway
More about Norway would be available here soon: Norway
If You have questions, connected to ISFIT, Norway, application, do not hesitate to ask me: firstname.lastname@example.org