– Could you tell us the main reasons for choosing Norway as your study destination?
Firstly, I chose Norway because of the English level of Norwegians and because I knew that I could improve my own English by staying there. Another reason was the Norwegian way of life – I was very interested in all the outdoor activities. In the course of one year, I did more outdoor activities than I have during my whole life in France: Hiking in Lofoten, skiing in Blåfjell, spending Easter holidays with a Norwegian family, going to cabins etc.
– Why did you choose the institution you were at?
UMB has a partnership with my home University in France. Being at UMB was nice because we were close to the international airports and to Oslo, so it was quite easy to travel all over Norway from there!
– What was your idea of Norway before you arrived?
For me Norway was the country of cross-country skiing, which was a good reason for me to go there!
– Which are the main differences from your country when it comes to your life as a student?
I think the first difference that I noticed was the accommodation, I was quite surprised by the quality. At University we had a lot fewer hours of lessons than in France, but I think that impression might have been true only for the Erasmus students and not for the Norwegian students. The cost of living was also a big difference. Life is much more expensive in Norway than in France and food is especially expensive.
– In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome as an international student in Norway?
I think that the level of English is very interesting for international students. I also liked the lack of hierarchy between students and professors. The professors were very open-minded and always asked for our opinion in order to know how they should teach their courses.
– Are there any personal experiences as a foreign student in Norway you would highlight?
I think that the most interesting experiences were during the Easter holidays that I spent with a Norwegian family in their cabin. I am very grateful to them for welcoming me. Hiking in Lofoten and observing the midnight sun was also a great experience! I think that the most important thing you can do is to build relationships with Norwegian people. That way you can really experience Norway!
– What would you tell students from your country about university life in Norway?
In Norway, professors give more responsibilities to their students. You will have to give oral presentations and to work in teams. There are a lot of associations as well, and it’s quite easy to become a part of them. This is one way to get really integrated at university.
– What did you miss the most when you were away from your country?
The good food, I really missed it. I missed my family as well, and social places like bars, clubs, restaurants and bakeries. But on the other hand, I found other things in Norway that balanced out the things that I missed from home.
– In your opinion, what is the most important outcome of being an international student?
I really improved my skills in English. I also gained knowledge about how to read a scientific paper, which is quite important in my studies. I also opened my mind to another culture. I thought I was open-minded, but it appears only when you are living with people with a different culture.
– What are you doing now?
Now I am studying at my home university in France.
– What are your future plans?
Next semester I will be in Norway (again) for six months to do my master thesis in a lab in Ås!