Semester Abroad

I was ready! - Exchange semester in Norway

International Event-Point interviewed a BMS-student about her experience in Norway. Lea Stork is doing her semester abroad at The University of Agder in Kristiansand.

Why did you choose Norway?
IAccording to BMS Curriculum, students have to learn a second foreign language and the choice was between Swedish, Norwegian, Russian or Polish. By that time it had become clear that I wanted to do my exchange semester in a Scandinavian country, besides, I chose Norwegian because my parents have friends in Norway.

Do you speak fluent Norwegian?
I would prefer to say that I understand almost everything, but Norwegians speak quite fast, thus I usually ask them to speak slowly and then I can communicate with them. At the beginning, Norwegians switched to English, but now they continue speaking to me in Norwegian.

Were you ready for the semester abroad or did you have to do it because of the scarce time?
I was ready! I had been planning it for a long time. I already wanted to go in the third semester, but there was a problem with the courses

What would you say about Norway?
Norway is different from Germany - the landscape, language, and also people. Obviously, it is colder in Norway than in Germany. Many rules are similar to the German ones but Norwegian rules are more strict about alcohol. Also, people like being on their own, and almost every woman works here.

Do you work in Norway?
Foreigners have to register as citizens if they want to work, as well as they have to apply for a registration number. I am here only for 6 months - it is not worth to register, but I worked as a tourist guide once. Otherwise, if I stayed longer I would have definitely worked.

What are similarities and differences between the University of Stralsund and the University of Agder?
The University of Agder is much bigger, the education system is more American than in Germany, Norwegians are faster to go for something new, so during my studying here I learn a lot about how to set up a business.
Before going to Norway it was difficult to select courses because one course is 7.5 ECTS in Norway but it is only 5 in Germany. It led to changing some courses and adding one more course, so I will have enough ECTS in the end.
Besides, I am Erasmus student, the attitude is different, which means a lot of traveling and partying, but broadly speaking the student life is similar.

Can you imagine living and working in Norway?
If it happens I would like to live in Oslo than in Kristiansand because people are more open-minded in Oslo, as well as the city is more international. Norwegians are really Nordic, so foreigners have to get used to it.

What are you going to do after the exchange semester?
I will go back to Stralsund for one more semester, and after that, I will probably do my internship

Thank you for the interview and hopefully see you soon!
You are welcome.