Verena is a student at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science. Here you can read more about her student experience in Norway.
"It has been kind of a childhood dream for me to go to Scandinavia. I have read all of Astrid Lindgren’s books. The climate in the far north is very special. I liked the feeling of living under extreme conditions".
What was your idea of Norway before you arrived?
"My impression was that the winter in Scandinavia is very cold and people light lots of candles".
Which are the main differences from Austria when it comes to your life as a student?
"There is a lot of communication between teachers and students. Many students are surprised by this kind of personal approach. At home, we have many more obligatory courses than at HiOA".
In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome as an international student in Norway?
"I think I have learned a lot. I learned to switch positions in conflicts and situations where there are many different opinions. I did a term paper and got really into the material. I couldn’t have imagined myself as a war and conflict journalist before, but because of the perspectives of people from different parts of the world, it brought the subject closer to me. It became very interesting to look at the academic material from a different point of view".
What would you highlight from your stay in Norway?
"I think the group that I spent most time with. Some of us lived together in a student house and we grew into a family. Everybody took care of each other. I became more tolerant and even more open-minded. We went on a trip together, and there was nothing there except for the cabin. We talked a lot and learned so much more about each other. I think you develop close relationships when you are really honest with each other".
Do you have an advice to other students who want to go to Norway?
"Do not put too much emphasis on the contents of the courses. As soon as you start to study abroad, there is always something you can learn around you. Some courses might seem challenging, but all you have to do is to use your gut feeling and go for it".
What are you doing now?
"There is one year left until I finish my bachelor's degree. I'm going on a research trip to Romania in the spring semester and doing an internship this summer".
What are your future plans?
"I think I'm done with academic education for now. I would like to work for a couple of years first and then maybe come back to HiOA to do a master's degree".