Here you can study Cosplay, esports and more for a year!
In Norway you can study Cosplay & e-Sports and more for a year!
(In Collab/Ad with these three schools)
I’ve been wanting to share this with you all for a good while, and MANY of you seem to be curious about the Norwegian Folk high schools. In Norwegian we call them “Folkehøgskole”, and it’s a year of school where you can study just about anything you’re interested in before moving on to work or pursue other higher learning.
They offer many courses such as art, music, video editing, cartoons, and in recent years Cosplay and e-Sports courses have been added to the schools. The majority of these courses are actually preparatory to continuing your studies in a certain field – studying music, for example, will give you a year of professional guidance before attempting entrance exams.
On the other hand, you may want to study something just because you’re passionate about it, even though you’re planning a career in another field.
I went to a Folk high school myself, back then there were sadly no cosplay courses, so I studied art.
It was a very important year for me, this is where I really found myself, grew as a person and reflected on many things, including where my future would head. It also made me into a much more social person.
These schools are very focused on the social aspect, they arrange various ice-breaker activities for the students, and you generally get to know most people over the course of the year. There are also no exams and no grades – the main aim is socialization and to study out of passion.
Folk high schools are boarding schools. You live in a dormitory at the school with the other students. You usually get a roommate living with you, depending on the size of the room, and your own preferences, and get 4 courses of meals every day at the school. You can also pick different “seminars” of your interest, the offers vary from school to school – they are usually special lectures or courses that range over a limited period time (for example a cosplay course by your local Tine!)
The schools usually go on different trips, which may be relevant to the school or the different courses, and are included in the fee/tuition for the year you go there.
The school I attended brought everyone (80ish students + an assortment of teachers) to Cuba for a week.
Most cosplay courses usually attend several local conventions, and I know one of them has taken a week-long trip to China, to experience the culture and buy fabric.
Of course due to the corona situation now it’s limited, so they try to do things within Norway.
There are also schools that offer eSport as a major subject. The students in these classes will receive professional coaching in specific games, including team work and more. Some also teach their students how to handle the economic side of being in a professional eSports team; what contract clauses are usual and so on. They will usually hold in-house tournaments and facilitate their students joining larger tournaments.
The eSport classes I know of also have physical exercise and panels on correct nutrients, to stay healthy and alert!
They also love taking in international students! You will attain at least a basic understanding of the Norwegian language throughout your year at the Folk high school, and most of them offer elective norwegian classes. Most norwegians are fairly proficient in english, so communication will not be a problem while you’re learning.
If your country offers student loans, many of them will support you attending a norwegian Folk high school.
I am a guest teacher at some of these schools – mostly those that offer cosplay as a major subject. Buskerud Folk High School (Creative Gaming as a major subject with Cosplay seminars), Lundheim Folk High School (Cosplay as a major subject) and Bjerkely Folk High School (Cosplay as a major subject).
Buskerud Folk School
Offers major subjects: Creative Gaming with Cosplay Seminars, eSports, Rock & Metal, Author, Cartoon & Illustrations and Film Making.
I have held workshops here since 2014, and their whole staff is very helpful and solution oriented. One of the only Folk high schools in Norway which offers “Creative Gaming” – video game design. I hold two workshops a year for the Creative Gaming Class.
We start with a “bracer workshop” in the first semester where I guide the students through making a bracer of their own choosing, and they get to know most of the materials and tools used in cosplay crafting. In the second semester I hold a “Prop workshop” where the students get to make more complex things/props of their own choosing, with help and tips from me.
At the end of the year the students hold an exhibit at the school where they get to display their pieces, and they can bring the pieces home with them.
I also hold a cosplay seminar which anyone in the entire school can choose to join if they sign up for it.
The school allows students to work on their pieces in their spare time in the workshop. Their workshop has a lot of tools and sewing machines which you are allowed to use if you ask the teachers. Their groundskeeper is also very helpful and has an assortment of tools that may be borrowed.
You can read more about the class and what Buskerud Folk School offers HERE!
Bjerkely Folk School
Offers major subjects: Cosplay & Photo, eSports, Comics/Manga, Game Development and Creative Life Studies.
I first visited Bjerkely around 2016/2017 and I was very excited to see what their Cosplay class had to offer. The teachers are very helpful, knowledgeable, and full of positivity.
I have held several different workshops here, depending on what the class most wanted help with: bracer workshops, LED and resin casting workshops, and prop workshops – and it’s always such fun returning to Bjerkely.
I’ve also held an “introduction to cosplay and what it’s like having it as a job” panel for the whole school.
The cosplay class has several rooms in which to work, sew and paint, as well as dedicated spray painting booths where you can safely spray paint and glue your cosplay parts. Not to mention a big foto studio with lots of advanced equipment that the students are taught to use.
They also have a very well equipped workshop with different sanding and sewing machines, as well as larger machines such as a bandsaw, woodturner and drill press. They even have an actual blacksmith’s forge, left over from a course that has been taught earlier – to my knowledge, there are no blacksmiths there now. In short: they have everything you need!
You can read more about the class and Bjerkely Folk School offers HERE!
Lundheim Folk School
Offers major subjects: Cosplay, eSports, Creative Data, Film & Foto, Global, Allround Active and Fotball.
I visited Lundheim for the first time around 2017, and I’ve since held bracer workshops, prop workshops, and resin and casting workshops.
On top of that they also hired me to hold a cosplay panel for the entire school, where I talk more in depth about what cosplay is and how it’s growing. I also talk about my experiences and what my cosplay career has been like over the years.
The cosplay class has several rooms at their disposal; a common room with sewing machines and deskspace to work with patterns and such, a workshop with several power tools such as belt sander, drill press and dremels, and a chemical room where one can paint and glue in a well-ventilated area. They are constantly working to build and expand their facilities.
Lundheim invites students with and without learning- and physical disabilities to study at their school, and the entire campus is built without stairs and to generally be accessible to anyone.
The teachers are wonderful, they truly want the best for you and they have the knowledge and curiosity to constantly seek out better solutions and help their students.
You can read more about the class and Lundheim Folk school offers HERE!
I’ve gotten lots of good feedback from the students over the years. I started going to Buskerud Folk High School back in 2014, and they were the first ones who hired me to hold Cosplay seminars. Followed by both Bjerkely Folk High School and Lundheim Folk High School who have their own Cosplay major subject classes.
Cosplay is bringing people together through passion, creativity and love.
Folk high schools are very important to many people, for me it was the most important year of my life. You both learn and develop so much!
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