Could you tell us the main reasons for choosing Norway as your study destination?

"I have a different approach to Norway. I am very interested in art, and Scandinavian art and design are very popular in Japan. A few years back I had an internship in Elle Décor in Japan. One of my responsibilities was to translate English articles about art and design into Japanese. Some of these articles were about Scandinavian furniture. Ever since I have been fascinated by Scandinavian art and design. As my university in Japan could not offer any courses in Scandinavian art and design, I decided to apply for Scandinavian universities."

Why did you choose the institution you are at?

"I did not know a lot about Tromsø either, but when I learned where I was accepted, I realised that I had to take advantage of the northern area. This is the reason for choosing Indigenous Art and Artic Norwegian Culture as my subjects."

What was your idea about Norway before you arrived?

"I knew that Norway is a country of fjords, because my brother likes to look online for pictures from the World Heritage List (UNESCO). When we learned that we were going to Norway, we both looked online for images of Norway. We were happy to discover that it’s possible to see Northern Lights here."

How did you proceed in order to actually get to study in Norway?

"I got a scholarship from my Japanese university. The money comes handy, because the cost of living is very high in Norway." 

In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome as an international student in Norway?

"I hope that studying art and design will lead me to my dream job. I would love to import Norwegian and Scandinavian art and design to Japan."

Are there any personal experiences as a foreign student in Norway that you would highlight?

"I am looking forward to try skiing, skating, ice fishing and dogsledding – if I can afford it. I also hope to see the Northern Lights."

What would you tell students from your country about university life in Norway?

"As a student you have more spare time in Norway than in Japan. Also, Tromsø is not as big as Tokyo. Naturally there are not as many coffee places, game centres, bingos and karaoke bars as in Tokyo."

What did you miss the most when you where away from your country?

"I miss Japanese food and sweets, and a 24 hours open convenient store."

In your opinion, what is the most important outcome of being an international student?

"Yes, you get to see different perspectives. I do not think that it is healthy to stay in one place the whole time."

Which are the main differences from your country when it comes to your life as a student?

"I think that the Norwegians party more than us. In Japan we barely have time to hang out with friends. We are too busy studying or working part time."

All in all: The best thing about living and studying in Norway?

"The environment is very relaxed. Maybe it is because of the surrounding mountains of Tromsø."

What are your future plans?

"When I return to Japan I will take classes in business. Hopefully this will lead to a job within importing and promoting Scandinavian art and design in Japan."

23 March 2015