What were your main reason(s) for choosing Norway for your studies?
I decided to apply for a Master’s program in Norway because I had worked in the education sphere in Russia collaborating with Norwegian universities a lot, so I knew many details about the Norwegian education system. Therefore, I knew about high-quality education Norwegian universities offer, multicultural groups of students from different backgrounds, and a mixture of a thriving academic and social life.
What did you choose to study in Bodø?
I chose Bodø as my study destination because it has a mild climate, which is important for me. Also, it has very good transport connections with the rest of Norway, which makes it very convenient to travel by train, ferry and plane.
How has your impression of Norway changed since you came to Norway?
My impression has only improved after being immersed in the Norwegian culture. Moreover, I live with a Norwegian family here in Bodø. As a result, I had the opportunity to experience Norwegian traditional food, customs on different public holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.) as well as the Norwegian way of life.
What are the main differences between Norway and your home country when it comes to a student’s academic, cultural and social life?
First and foremost, the learning environment is much more informal in Norway than in Russia. Teachers tend to get involved not only on an academic-level with students, but also on a personal one. For instance, they express concern when a student faces problems.
Secondly, the learning environment is much more multicultural than in Russia. Lastly, the social life is also of great importance for students studying in Norway.
In your opinion, what is the best aspect with Norwegian education?
It has to be the informal approach to students, the blind evaluation methods, and the free education for international students. This last point is really important because living standards in Norway are high. Having a free education makes it possible for international students to come and study, somewhat affordably.
In what way do you think your stay here will influence your career opportunities?
International experience plays an important role in today’s labour market. Many employers emphasize that international experience and education are an advantage. Thus, I do believe that my experience in both Norway and Russia, as well as my knowledge of the Norwegian language, will enhance my opportunities to secure a good job in the future.
During your time in Norway, what surprised you the most?
Norwegians, in most cases, prefer it when foreigners speak Norwegian, even though they have very good English skills. Hence, I do believe that foreigners need to learn Norwegian if they want to stay in the country in order to feel included in the society.
During your time in Norway, what have you appreciated the most?
I really appreciated the fact that Norwegians are really helpful, polite and open-minded.
What will you miss the most when you leave?
The great people, the stunning nature, and the calmness.