What´s your name and what do you study?
My name is Barbora Klocová and I study Norwegian language for foreign students in campus Bø. It is my second time to study at this faculty, first time was about 4 years ago when I was an exchange student here and I studied Alpine ecology and environmental management.
Why did you apply to USN?
When I was deciding where to go for Erasmus 4 years ago, I didn´t have any clear vision where should it be. I just knew I wanted to experience a life in another country and to see how is it to study at a foreign university in a foreign language. I went through the offers of my faculty and I instantly knew where I had to go. I wanted to study things that were not taught at my university and simply try new things, which is what I found at HSN. The program Alpine ecology and environmental management was focused more on natural sciences and fields of study that were not covered in my study program, like tourism and environment or georesources and groundwater. Part of the program was also a several multi-day fieldtrips, which is also something not so common at my home faculty.
What did you hope to get from an exchange stay at USN?
With my exchange stay at HSN I was hoping to expand my knowledge about the environment, experience different teaching methods and be closer to the nature. I also hoped to gain more practical experience dealing with environmental issues and meet new people with different opinions and approaches to the environment.
Has it lived up to expectations?
My expectations were definitely fulfilled; the study program delivered what had been promised and because of my good experience I decided to come back and study Norwegian language at the same faculty.
Can you point out a few things that you think has been the best with your stay here at USN ?
The best things with my stay at USN were meeting many interesting people, living close to the nature, experiencing new things, gaining new friends and hobbies and becoming more independent and confident person. I also improved my language skills, including basics of totally new language – Norwegian.
Can you say something about the environment in the class and the surroundings / student life in or around the campus?
I like how relations between students and teachers are much less formal than in my country. There was always a friendly atmosphere during the lectures and we got really close with the classmates, especially during the school field trips. But probably the best part of the social life here was at the student housing. I was living in a house together with 5 other people and we soon became a family. We were going for trips together, eating together and celebrating our birthdays together. For these reasons I decided to go back to the same housing and I must admit that nothing has changed. This place has it´s own special atmosphere and spirit, which brings people closer to each other.
Being a foreign student at USN means, that you will always have your calendar full. There is always something happening. Excursions, conferences, carrier day, international day… But also many social events like open scene in a student club, quizzes, birthday parties of your roommates, and trips with your friends…
How can the experience and expertise you gained through your stay assist you in your further study program?
After I finished my Erasmus program and my bachelor degree, I started my master studies, and when there was time to choose the topic for my master thesis, I went back to what I learnt during my stay at HSN and used some of the knowledge as an inspiration for my topic. At the end I successfully defended my thesis with the highest grade.
Do you recommend others to come here to USN on exchange? Why?
Many classmates, who were thinking about going on Erasmus program, were asking me about my experience here and if I would recommend this program to them. I always answered, that I was really happy that I decided to come here and that it was probably one of the best decisions in my life.
Norway attracts active and nature-minded people and being around them can be really inspiring and can give you many new experiences, or even skills like climbing or freeriding, if you are willing to learn new things. My suggestion? Don´t let these opportunities go away, you will regret it later!