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Training at the Nord University in Norway with the Erasmus+ program

Vladimir Zakusov a master’s degree student, who majors in “Management” at Ukhta State Technical University participated in the academic mobility program Erasmus+, Global mobility and training at the Nord University in the city of Bodø (Norway). USTU and Nord signed an agreement, which enables students of our university to have the opportunity to study on the exchange. The training took place from January to June 2018.

Upon his return, Vladimir shared his impressions and experience: my spring semester began in the Northern part of Norway in Buda. The first month we mastered the new place, met with Nord University, its teachers, students. Classes were held in groups three times a week. Since the lectures were delivered exclusively in English and required home preparation before each lesson, at first there were problems with the language barrier, but after a month and a half of active study and communication with foreigners became much easier.

Our training program consisted of the following subjects: research methods; determining the effectiveness of accounting in the public sector of the economy; the public sector and financial reporting in accordance with international standards of accounting in the public sector; international business prospects and public administration. For each subject there were three group works, including various studies, interviews, analysis of books, journal articles. The most important thing in the group work was to distribute responsibilities among the group members, with which we have successfully coped, always met up with the deadline on time and received good results.

Nord University has provided a conducive study environment. Round-the-clock access to the campus with a well-equipped library, with all necessary equipment, work areas for group and single classes. Thanks to all this, we have never had problems with learning.

The busiest month was April, In addition to the submission of projects/assignments, we participated in the largest event at Nord University - the annual international conference High-North dialogue. We were not only participants, but also part of the organizational level responsible for the registration of participants. The conference lasted for a week and was held in three places: Nord University, Scandic hotel and the Central city library. The main topics of the conference were such issues as the development of the cities of the far North, environmental care and involvement of young people in such cities. The guests and participants of the conference were well-known politicians from Norway, the EU countries, ambassadors of the USA, Russia, EU and China, owners of the largest companies and many others.

Students from different countries, universities were divided into 10 groups, each group had 10 people. We had to go through a "Workshop“: each group wrote its own development script on the theme” Smart cities in the High-North in 2035" (smart cities in the far North in 2035), then made it all in the form of a presentation and spoke the next day at the conference. We came in the third position at the conference. This experience was unforgettable for me. Our group consisted of guys from Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. We broke into sub-groups, and each sub-group worked on its point: the guys who study climate change, took on this issue; economists - the economic component, and so on. A lot of work has been done to bring it all together and bring it to mind. We worked on it for 10 hours, but despite this, the time flew by quickly and fascinatingly, the idea came out very creative, as everyone was interested in success. That day I got a great experience of working in a big international team.

The following days of after the event were no less useful and informative: on the last day for all groups of participants were guest at the office of the center of emergency situations in the city of Bodø. There I learned about the Barents cooperation and its tasks. For example, if A Russian ship in the Barents sea is caught in a severe storm and our helicopters cannot fly to the rescue due to bad weather, the Norwegian side of the Barents region will do it, and Vice versa. High-North dialogue was one of the most memorable events during our stay in Norway, as we met a lot of interesting people, gained new knowledge and did a good job.

After the conference, my friends and I went on a short trip to the famous Norwegian Lofoten Islands. We planned the trip in advance, booked accommodation and a car. The Lofoten can only be reached by ferry, through the port town of Bognes. We spent three days there, exploring the sights and nature. It is impressive that the Norwegians are very careful about nature, everything is very clean, you will never see garbage scattered on the ground. Around the mountains, fjords, stunning views, no fuss. Wild untouched nature combined with modernity.

The beginning of May was the examination period. We had one written exam. Exams are very strictly organized, if a student is caught cheating, he is isn’t allowed to retake the exam for a year. The rest of the month was absolutely free, we toured the city, went to the mountains and fishing, and took part in the celebration of the day of the Norwegian Constitution. On this day, Norwegians are more Patriotic than ever, they dress up in their folk costumes and decorate every house with flags. After a morning of celebrating everybody's going to watch the parade in the center of the city and having fun all day. Usually Norwegians are very calm and shy, but during such celebrations they become very cheerful and open. So we got to know their culture even better.

We embarked on our journey back home in early June, the University organized a farewell party for all visiting students, where we had dinner, took some pictures and said warmest goodbyes.