What are the main reasons for choosing Norway as your study destination?
I’d chosen Norway because I was interested in Scandinavian countries and I’d heard that Norway was the most beautiful of them. I’m a hiking and skiing lover, so Norway was the best place to enjoy my hobbies to the full. Moreover I would like an university where courses were taught in a good English level.
Where do/did you study and why did you choose this institution?
I studied in NHH (Norges Handelshøyskole) in Bergen. First of all I’d chosen this university because it’s the best economics school in Norway. Teachers and courses are high quality. Then, Bergen is a very student friendly and attractive city at the door of the fjords, which I wanted to discover.
What was your idea about Norway before you arrived and did you find the impression to be true?
I imagined Norway as a snowy country but actually Bergen is more rainy than snowy, unfortunately. However, I experienced snow in June so my expectations about Norway were not that wrong.
I believed everyone was blond, tall and a little bit unfriendly. But my prejudices disappeared as soon as I met brown, small and friendly Norwegians. Seriously, I had great and friendly relationship with Norwegians, who easily adapt to foreigners thanks to their great English level. I appreciated their efforts to make me integrated.
I discovered that Norwegians are crazy about outdoor activities even when the weather is awful. I adapted myself to fit with this new life style and start hiking in spite of snow, rain or wind.
Compared to your country, what are the main differences when it comes to student life in Norway?
The main difference is the climate of trust. In Norway, I have never been afraid to walk home alone during night. I could leave my bag in a corner while going somewhere else. People are kind, they help you if you are lost, and they never try to cheat or to steal from you. It’s so peaceful, completely different from Paris where you have to take care to your stuffs constantly.
Important as well for exchange students in Norway, EVERYONE speaks English (even children). In France NOBODY makes any effort to speak English with foreigners.
What is the most important academic outcome of your time as a student in Norway?
I came to Norway mainly to improve my English level. I attended to high quality classes and noticed my progress day after day. In Norway, compared to the French education system, theories have a large place in syllabus. I’ve learnt lots of theories that I now can apply during my group work in France.
Are there any personal experiences as a student in Norway you would highlight?
I experienced the typical Norwegian cabin trip, which consists in going in a lonely small (or large) cabin lost in the mountain for few days. There I tried the sauna then jumping in the snow for my first time. It was amazing and such a funny time even if we got sick the day after.
Would you recommend studying in Norway to students at your home university? Why/why not?
Absolutely! If you have the opportunity to study in Norway, don’t question yourself, just go!
You will be part of one of the best education system, you will see the most beautiful places in the world, you will experience the craziest times in your life: Northern lights, sauna then jumping in the snow, dogsledding, Trolltunga, Preikestolen, midnight sun... However Norway is an expensive country, be prepared to pay twice as much as anywhere else in Europe. Save money before leaving to live life to the fullest during your exchange period.
What are you doing now and what are your plans for the future?
I went back to my home university to finish my master. Later I would like to find a VIE abroad (short period job abroad for European citizens) because my exchange in Norway makes me want to keep travelling as long as I'm young.