Could you tell us the main reasons for choosing Norway as your study destination?
“For me the main reason for studying in Norway has to be a desire to spend time in a country with stunning landscapes and a fantastically rich cultural history. The fact that it is a country whose environmental activities (fisheries management, etc.) make it highlyrelevant to my degree was an added bonus.”
Why did you choose the University of Bergen?
“As mentioned, an interest in the history, geography and marine industries meant that Bergen was already in a prime location for me to fulfil my expectations.”
What was your idea about Norway before you arrived?
“My impressions prior to arriving were that it was a very modern, progressive society that, while making so many advances in finance, social security and general quality of life, still manages to retain a very strong connection to nature and the outdoors.”
Which are the main differences from your country when it comes to your life as a student?
“It was bound to come up – Alcohol laws and prices! It was strange going from a country where I am allowed to purchase anything, to one where I am limited to beer because of my age (and sometimes refused all together). Yet it is the overall increased cost of living that I believe hits you hardest if you are from a country where it is averagely lower. My Swiss friends have no trouble!”
In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome as an international student in Norway?
“For academic outcomes, as a student studying a science degree, I believe making connections with both peers studying similar courses, and lecturers and professors if possible. These have the potential to last far longer than the exchange itself. Also, getting the most out of the exchange experience as a whole is key, not just the academic side!”
Are there any personal experiences as a foreign student in Norway you would highlight?
“Certainly the people you meet. It is a real eye-opener being around so many different cultures and people. A favourite personal experience would be when a group of us rented two cars and took a road trip up to Ålesund and the rest of the Western fjord area over 3 days. There are a lot of good memories.”
What would you tell students from your country about university life in Norway?
“Definitely that it is a lot more informal than we are used to in the UK. We could never get away with calling lecturers by their first names and it still sounds very weird to me when I hear this in classes!”
What do you miss the most when you are away from your country?
“I think it’s the same for everyone – Home cooking!”
In your opinion, what is the most important outcome of being an international student?
“Make the most of it by getting involved with the wide range of activities available. The exchange is not purely about your University work (though don’t actually forget about it!). Make sure you have a memorable time that you can be telling people about for many years to come.”
What are you doing now?
“Getting ready for my final two months in Bergen; exams!! But also looking forward to enjoying the Norwegian Summer.”
What are your future plans?
“I have 3 more years at Bangor University in North-Wales where I shall leave with a Masters Degree at the end of it all – after that who knows!”