Matt Hempe, third-year kinesiology major and School of Kinesiology administrative intern, has returned to the U of M from Northern Europe. Over the fall 2019 semester, he spent four months studying and living in Bergen, Norway.
While taking courses such as “Introduction to Norweigan” and “19th Century Norweigan Literature,” Hempe also had the opportunity to experience Norway’s scenic outdoor parks and hiking routes just outside of the west coast city. Bergen is completely surrounded by mountains, and aptly called the “city of seven mountains,” with seemingly endless treks and adventures for residents.
“The local government puts extensive resources into the nature reserves and centers, and the hiking trails were really well maintained,” said Hempe. “Norwegians truly care about health and fitness, and stay very active outside. In August, my friends and I explored an area by getting lost and taking a 10-hour hike. It was incredible!”
He also took part in activities such as surfing along the Norweigan west coast, ferry rides, and self-service cabin weekend trips. With a free ice-rink available to the public just off the nearest light-rail stop, Hempe and his flatmates spent many evenings skating with their new Norweigan friends. Aside from visiting Norway’s hidden gems, Hempe also traveled to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, France, Poland, and the United Kingdom. “In London, I toured the Wimbledon Stadium, and I’m a huge tennis fan,” said Hempe.
Now that he is back in Minnesota, Hempe is enrolled in KIN 3385: Human Physiology with Dr. George Biltz, KIN 3126W: Sport and Exercise Psychology taught by doctoral student, Sarah Espinoza, and KIN 3982: Research Methods in Kinesiology with Dr. Katie Schuver. On top of this, Hempe conducts research with Dr. Daheia Barr-Anderson as part of KIN 3993: Directed Study in Kinesiology. While balancing academic and professional priorities, he is a member of the UMN ski club and coaches Maple Grove Senior High School’s ski team as well. As a member of “KINHelp,” the School’s administrative intern team, Hempe assists with data entry and analysis, facilities support and room requests, and much more. “I’m always happy to help whenever needed,” smiles Hempe. “It feels good to be back!” The School of Kinesiology community is happy to have you back, Matt Hempe!