What We Do
Throughout the year, the American Women's Club of Oslo's activities focus on fundraising events. The term "fundraising" in our club is usually applied to efforts to raise money for the American Women's Club of Oslo Scholarship, our primary philanthropic activity. The scholarship began in 1947 when Josephine Bay, wife of U.S. Ambassador Charles Ulrich Bay, suggested that the American Women's Club (then primarily a social club) begin to raise funds for a scholarship to be awarded to a Norwegian student for advanced studies in the United States. She supported the fund-raising activities and generously matched the amount raised that year. The first AWC Scholarship of $1,000 was granted in 1949 to Erland Frisvold for study in International Relations.
The club began to award the scholarship every two years and a scholarship committee was formed to publicize the scholarship, receive applications, screen and interview candidates, conduct all correspondence, and award the grants. The preferred field of study is "advanced education in care and treatment of handicapped children and adolescents," but also includes public health, geriatric care and preventive medicine.
Since its beginning, we have awarded dozens of scholarships, including one to former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Bruntland. The 1955-56 scholarship recipient, Bjørg Herdal, received advanced training in speech therapy at the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Missouri. Read the story of how she went on to help an AWC member and mother of a non-verbal child, only one of many that could be told about the far-reaching benefit of the AWC Scholarship program. Click here to view the complete list of previous scholarship recipients.
The AWC is very proud of its scholarship program. It strengthens our ties with our host country and contributes to the well-being of children and adults who benefit from the specific training the Norwegian professionals receive in America. We contribute toward our scholarship fund throughout the year with income from monthly raffles, percentages of proceeds from sales at our meetings, a bake sale at the 4th of July Picnic, and special fund-raising events. Our standing goal is to award a grant of NOK 100,000 every two years, for which we budget annual earnings of NOK 30,000 from fund-raising activities.
To find out more information about the next scholarship to be awarded, visit our Scholarship Announcement page.
If you would like to make a donation to our scholarship, you may do so via the Donate button below.
The American Women's Club of Oslo meets from September through June on the second Tuesday of the month. Evening meetings start at 6:30 p.m. for socializing, 7:00 p.m. for business, in Hanson Hall at the American Lutheran Church located at Fritzners gate 15 in Oslo. Light refreshments are typically served. The November, February, and June meetings usually take place during the day, where a full meal is served. Meeting times are subject to change, however, so it is important that you verify details in the club's newsletter and on the website.
Meetings include activities or a guest speaker.
It is not required for members to attend every monthly meeting, but it is encouraged.
The American Women's Club of Oslo hosts or helps organize several different special events throughout the year. These events both help us meet our fund-raising goals and provide an opportunity for our members to socialize and enjoy themselves.
Some of our traditional annual events include:
- Breast cancer "heart pillow" project
- Halloween pumpkin carving at CC Vest
- Thanksgiving Day luncheon
- Easter egg decorating at CC Vest
- Independence Day Picnic (in conjunction with the ACCN)
The American Women's Club of Oslo is a diverse group of women with equally diverse interests. The Club has several different special interest groups that meet outside of regular Club meetings, as determined by its group members. Membership in a special interest group is voluntary, and most members attend the group activities as their schedule permits. Some of our special interest groups, past and present, have included:
- Wine Appreciation -- A group for oenophiles and other wine enthusiasts who get together to host and attend wine tasting and wine education events.
- Moms & Tots -- A group for members with young children.
- I Miss America -- A group for members in their 20s and 30s.
- Book Lovers -- A book-loving group of women who all read a book a month for discussion.
- Fireside Forum -- A group for our more mature members that typically gets together during the day.
- Writers -- A group for members to share, critique, and discuss writing.
- Pins and Needles -- A group for members interested in fabric crafts, such as knitting, crocheting, etc.
- Doggie Walking Group -- A group for dog lovers who meet up for walks around Oslo. No dog required!
- Architecture & Design -- A group for members interested in--you guessed it--architecture and design.
Special interest groups are formed whenever there is a group of members who desire to regularly engage in a new activity together. Do you have an idea for a special interest group or would like to revive one? Let us know!
One of the long-standing purposes of American Women's Club of Oslo has been to maintain an English-language library for its members. Our library contains over 2,500 books, and is constantly being updated with new materials.
All members are issued library cards and are permitted to check out up to five books at a time. The loan period for checked-out books is two months, but items can be renewed by emailing the librarian. Unfortunately, we do charge late fees for overdue books, but these fees are then applied to the purchase of new books!
The library also contains a selection of used books for sale, mostly paperbacks, which can be purchased for NOK 10 each. There is also selection of used magazines that can be borrowed, swapped, or taken.
The library is open before and after all monthly member meetings and sometimes for a few hours once a month. Refer to the events calendar for monthly member meeting and library open hours times.
The American Women's Club of Oslo has two publications: the monthly newsletter, titled The Fjord Flyer, and the website, awcoslo.org.
The Fjord Flyer is issued for the months of September through May, with an extra summer issue. Previously our newsletter was sent to our members as a black and white mailer via post, but beginning in 2010, members were given the option to receive it as a full-color e-magazine!
The website is a combination of public and "members only" content that provides an online resource for the club. The website's features include an events calendar with event RSVP capabilities, member contact directories, FAQ, the membership application workflow, our English-language library catalog, discussion forums, and a photo gallery.