Could you tell us the main reasons for choosing Norway as your study destination?
“It was kind of a coincidence that I ended up studying in Norway. My Master’s program is based in Berlin, Germany but with opportunities to take courses abroad. Two of the advanced modules that were of interest to me were offered in Norway. Additionally, some of my classmates from Berlin were already studying there and recommended it as a location.
Why did you choose the institution you are at?
“The Center for International Health at The University of Bergen offered two courses which I wanted to take, and the school was highly recommended by my classmates.”
What was your idea about Norway before you arrived?
“To be honest, my knowledge of Norway was previously quite limited. I had heard that it was a very expensive country to live in, that it boasts an incredibly beautiful and mountainous landscape, and that the climate is rather cold. (However, being Canadian the threat of a very cold Norwegian winter did not scare me too much!)”
Which are the main differences from your country when it comes to your life as a student?
“I was pleased that we were not overloaded with lectures, and that we were allotted sufficient time in class to complete group work, assignments and for independent learning.”
In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome as an international student in Norway?
“In one of the advanced modules I took, our outcome was a letter grade. In my University studies, I had never received a non-numerical grade before. I found the concept to be unique and forward thinking. This removes some of the pressure in a way, freeing the mind from some stress and hence enhancing the ability of information to be absorbed and retained.
Are there any personal experiences as a foreign student in Norway you would highlight?
“I think the Norwegians can speak English even better than me! People in Bergen and staff at the university were always friendly and helpful. As a foreign student, feeling welcome and accepted in your new country makes a world of a difference in the transition process. Norway is a very welcoming country.”
What would you tell students from your country about university life in Norway?
“I found the University of Bergen to be very accommodating to students and the city is very student friendly. I rented an apartment at Fantoft while I was there which was both affordable and fun. There is a student center there with different activities each night. The Akademiske Kvarter also was a very lively center hosting a variety of academic, social and cultural events. Norway is an absolute paradise for nature enthusiasts. Bergen is surrounded by mountains, perfect for hiking, and the Fjords are only a short distance away; they are truly breathtaking and spectacular.”
What did you miss the most when you where away from your country?
“Of course, friends and family. And perhaps initially I missed the hustle and bustle of life in Berlin However, I quickly adapted to the slower pace of Bergen. Norway is a very relaxing and peaceful country.”
In your opinion, what is the most important outcome of being an international student?
“Tolerance and respect. As an international student you are no longer a tourist in a country; you should integrate into the society. You enhance your world views, and learn about a different style of living from another perspective. I think the greatest gift one can obtain from such an experience is to respect a different way of life, and to learn how to be tolerant and respectful towards other individuals.”
What are you doing now?
“I am currently working towards completing my Master’s degree. I am obligated to work in a low or middle income country for one year as a prerequisite for my program, so I am searching for opportunities at the moment.”
What are your future plans?
“The initial goal is to finish my Master’s! After which, I will see which opportunity this wonderful world has to offer me…”