Blake Mills: Norway, Short Term Program, 2012

Who: Blake Mills
Studying: 3rd Year Bachelor of Behavioural Science, management (hons)
Where: BI Norwegian Business School
How Long: 1 month

Blake Mills Norway

1. Why did you choose your host university and to go on student exchange?

It was located in Oslo, Norway the most developed country in the world with a good hospital system and everything being reasonably close, especially with their excellent rail network. Also their state of the art campus and its high reputation.

2.    What were the major differences between the culture in your host country and Australia?

I actually found us fairly similar but the main difference is there nationalism and care for their each other. This is evident from their use of a monarchy but in saying that the king has no governing power, he is just advised of the government’s decisions. Also Norwegians as a whole are more physically active always going outside on walks, skiing, biking, boating ect.

3.    Did you have any fears before going on exchange? Were you able to overcome these?

Yes, I have a disability so I made contact with the host university prior to departing to make them aware of this. As a result they made some alternations to housing and study. I sat my exam in another room with a computer and they ensured I had a single apartment.

4.    What difficulties did you encounter (e.g. homesickness, finances, communication)?

Not many, they speak English as well as Norwegian and I could contact home using emails, sykpe or facebook if I needed.

5.    Tell me about a typical day at your host university:

It began with approximately a 3 hour interactive lecture with a 15 minute coffee and toilet breaks about every 45 minutes. We would there break off work a groups to complete exercises and work on producing our 2 group presentations. Following this we would have some free time to get some lunch and see the city if we desired. Twice a week in the afternoon we went to another university for around a 2 hour lecture on Norwegian culture.

6.    What was the highlight of the program for you?

Socially: travelling to the western side of Norway with 3 friends I made from France to experience traditional Norwegian culture. Academically: interacting in a team from diverse cultural backgrounds to produce two successful presentations.

7.    What aspect of the exchange experience did you feel was most rewarding, either personally or academically?

Stepping outside my comfort zone and proving to myself that I can be successful in whatever I choose to pursue.

8.    What tips and advice would you give to someone who’s going on a student exchange?

Research your destination, eg. country, university, culture, public services ect., and following this if you do not feel comfortable or want more information get in contact with the host university. Regardless I advise you to make contact your host university and do everything you feel necessary so you can depart with confidence knowing it will be a successful and fulfilling experience.

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