Exchange Education in Norway Under the Barents Plus Program
Danil Matveev (the 2nd year student of the specialty “Technological Machines and Equipment”):
“I was lucky to become a member of the Barents Plus Program and study one spring semester in the Norwegian city of Tromso. I am very grateful to our university for that opportunity. At the beginning, I could not believe that the international academic exchange was real.
Firstly everything seemed unaccustomed in Tromso — different weather, surroundings, people. The city is located beyond the Arctic Circle, so the sun does not rise in winter, and, on the contrary, it does not descend to the horizon in summer.
Nord-University education provides an adaptation week for international students. This week helps us to integrate into all areas of university and city life. An important role is given to events dedicated to team building, social adaptation and the acquisition of new acquaintances.
Studying in the most northern university of the World surprises with the possibility of a wide choice of educational directions. The student, who meets the requirements, can study any courses from different scientific fields. Each basic direction (medicine, social sciences, IT, etc.) has its own building in the university complex, fully equipped with everything necessary: libraries, printing and computer halls, learning spaces, rooms for leisure activities.
The duration of the lesson is 1 hour 45 minutes with an informal “coffee break” in the middle. The university has convenient electronic systems that allow extracurricular discussions between teachers and students, intermediate assessments of knowledge and exams. The university has many student organizations engaged in science, the protection of rights, art, etc. Anyone can easily find a fellow of interest.
Tromso is called the "northern Paris", it is located on a small island. Getting around the city is good by bus or bicycle; by the way, you can drive around the whole island in two or three hours by bike. As for communication, the island has good Wi-Fi coverage, including the network available to university buildings and dormitories. It is easy to find an occupation in the city: there are museums, ski trails with springboards, a deer park, beautiful bays, cruise liners. In addition, the university does a weekly newsletter with an overview of the main events for the coming week. There are places where you can master the guitar, drawing, photos, vocals, try yourself as a DJ, etc. Often there are certain privileges for students. For example, in the center of the city a student can borrow any sports or tourist equipment for free, which is good news for those who like hiking. By the way, local laws allow you to put a tent anywhere (not close to buildings, of course).
The weather is quite comfortable, usually the winter temperature does not fall below -15. On the polar night you can often see the Northern Lights - incredibly beautiful, although for local residents it is already in the order of things. By the way, if there is not enough sun during the winter, the university has rooms equipped with special lamps, so you can compensate for this deficiency. You can get lost in time due to the lack of daylight in winter and, on the contrary, the polar day in summer.
I note that although many Norwegians seem to be rather closed people who value their comfort zone, in general, the people are friendly here. The mate atmosphere, the abundance of events and their accessibility create a free and relaxing ambience, even for those who come from abroad. Thanks to the opportunity given to me by the exchange program, I have significantly improved my English, gained relevant knowledge and found new friends all over the world. ”