“As a student in Norway, you have more freedom to do what you are interested in", says Luka.
Here you can read more about her life as an exchange student in Norway.
"My teacher encouraged me to be the first student from my home institution to go on exchange to HiOA. I think the educational system in Scandinavia is better than that in many other European countries."
What was your idea of Norway before you arrived?
"I always wanted to go to Norway because the nature there is fascinating. I was a little bit scared at the prospect of the dark and cold, and I wondered what it would be like. It was late night in January when I arrived in Norway. It was dark and there was a lot of snow, just as what I expected."
Which are the main differences from Belgium when it comes to your life as a student?
"As a student in Norway, you have more freedom to do what you are interested in. You can also go deeper into the subjects that interest you. In this way, you can really learn something and make it your own. In Belgium, students just have to learn everything. There are also more written exams. The problem is that you spend one week preparing for it and after two days you don't remember what you studied."
In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome as an international student in Norway?
"Students in the classroom come from all over the world. It is interesting to hear about what kindergarten is like in other countries. The perspectives on kindergartens in Belgium, in Hong Kong or in Seoul are different. It is even different within Europe. You have to look at the history and society of each country. Thanks to that, I feel I also have built an international network now."
What would you highlight from your stay in Norway?
"For me personally, I have never been a great student. I just passed the exams and that's it. In Norway, I became more interested in my studies and I learned that I actually like to study."
Do you have an advice to other students who want to go to Norway?
"Do as much as possible. Enjoy every second you have there. Hike up to that cabin, sledge down that road, visit that museum, go to that concert, participate in the weekly quiz, go to that student house party and connect with all these beautiful people you meet along the way!"
What are your future plans?
"I have thought about studying more, but I feel I need to get some practical experience first. I plan to work for five or six years and see what I need in my job. I would also like to find out first hand where the problems with kindergartens lie, and what we face in reality."