• The Norwegian troll and I!

  • Skiing in not that difficult for a Chinese.

  • Partying with other international students.

FORMER STUDENT
OF NORWAY:

- Could you tell us the main reasons for choosing Norway as your study destination?
 I was intrigued by Norway for many reasons, such as its culture, beautiful Arctic nature, and the well-being of its residents. It was NORAD fellowship that made studying in Norway possible. I was financially supported by NORAD fellowship programme to pursue a master’s degree in 2002-2004.

- Why did you choose this particular institution?
 Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen developed a good relationship with my home university in China. After I learned from a Norwegian professor during his visit in China that the University of Bergen had been offering very good courses on sustainable development, I decided to apply for it.

- What did you know about Norway before you arrived?

When I thought of Norway before I arrived, I first thought of fjords, forestry, mountains, scenic alpine tundra, and winter sports. I pictured Norway as a beautiful and peaceful country. I was right. The landscape of Norway is spectacular. Especially, the scenery in northern Norway is breathtaking! The Norwegian people are very kind, friendly, and accommodating. I enjoyed my life in Norway very much.

- Which main differences are there between your home country and Norway as regards being a a student?

When I was a student in China, I was educated to believe what teachers told me. However, I learned to question and challenge seemingly obvious truths in Norway. I have benefitted tremendously from the ability of critical thinking as a researcher in social science.

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

As a student majoring in anthropology, the ability of learning from other cultures is essential. When I studied in Norway, I had classmates and friends from various countries. The cross-cultural discussion allowed me to learn new things in daily life and broadened my view through exchanging ideas. During this period of time, I decided to further pursue a Ph.D. study in anthropology.

- Is there any personal experience as a foreign student in Norway you would highlight?

For me, as a foreign student, studying in Norway was not just about studying at the university. The learning experience was not only through books and academic staff but also from social activities and friends.

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

I would tell them that the language barrier is not as difficult as they think. Studying in Norway will improve their English and most Norwegian people speak pretty good English. Moreover, I would tell them that the university life in Norway is full of fun and I would encourage them to actively engage in various outdoor activities and make friends all over the world.

- What do you miss the most when you are away from your country?

My family and spicy food!

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

The experience of being an international student greatly broadened my view on different cultures and also enhanced my skills in communication.

- What are you doing now?

I am currently working as a consultant for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) China. I mainly provide technical assistance, quality assurance, and coordination to Men and Gender Equality Research in China, a research project funded by UNFPA China as a part of Asia-Pacific wide initiative by 4 UN agencies through Partners for Prevention to engage men in eliminating violence against women.

- What are your future plans?

I would like to continuously work for international agencies and NGOs in the field of social development, especially promoting gender equality.

25 January 2012
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