How are you? Tell us a bit about yourself: where are you from, what’s your academic background and what programme have you been studying at USN?
"I was born and raised in Tudela de Duero, a small village close to Valladolid, in the North of Spain. There I studied Science and Technology. I have always loved scientific subjects, so I decided to continue studying in a technical area. Therefore, I moved to Valladolid to study a Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Valladolid. In Spain, the bachelor’s degree goes over four years and in my third year, I applied for an Erasmus Exchange with the University College of South-Eastern Norway, to do my bachelor project".
- Why did you apply for a programme at USN, Norway?
"I chose Norway not only for its academic quality, but also for the amazing nature in this country. I was offered a project in Kongsberg, which I rejected because it didn’t suit my profile. Then I was offered another project much more related to my studies - so I accepted it".
- What was your expectations before coming to Norway/USN?
"At my University in Spain there was nothing really related to systematic approaches for engineering design, but after reading the descriptions of the subjects at USN, I expected a design-oriented programme in which I could apply all the knowledge I had acquired in my degree. I also expected getting to know the Norwegian culture and nature, because an academic exchange should be much more than an academic experience".
- Have your experiences answered to your expectations?
"Definitely. Although my expectations about the content didn’t match, because it was more about philosophy of design, rather than the technical approach I was used to at my University. I really learnt a lot and enjoyed studying here. I have also made Norwegian friends who have shown me the country and its culture, by travelling around Norway".
- Describe a few of the highlights of your experiences studying at USN/Norway.
"In the subject Systems Design and Engineering, I joined a group with the task of designing a solution related to the Car Free Oslo. We designed a public transportation system in which we got more and more in depth applying the subject theory. We all did a great job and acquired the best grade creating the main design of, in my opinion, a system with a lot of potential. In my bachelor project I joined a group with three other Norwegian students. The approach of this design was emphasised in the style of the University, which, throughout the process has lead us to a great performance. We acquired very good grades and the prize of the “Best technical solution 2018”.
- How's the student environment in your study programme and on Campus?
"The University in Spain offer a lot more programmes than here, and it has a greater body of students. Yet they don’t work as collaboratively as I experienced here in Norway. At USN, the group work is encouraged, especially in the bachelor project. It really surprised me that the bachelor project is an interdisciplinary subject, something I have never encountered at my University - some of what I think is the best part with this school. Another main difference, related to the former point, is the time spent by students in university. In Valladolid, students seemed to only stay at at the university during lectures and then went home to work there. Here, the students can book rooms for working in projects or studying in the same building, allowing them to work in a good environment and collaboratively".
- What's your plans for summer? And for autumn? Where do you go next? And what's your future dreams?
"I have spent part of this summer here, visiting places of Norway which I couldn’t do during the semester. I went to Tromsø and Bergen. In a few days I am going back to my hometown to spend July and August there. In September I am going to Aalborg, Denmark, where I will do a Master’s programme in Design of Mechanical Systems. I was very influenced by all the experienced I have had in Norway and I would really like to keep doing any type of engineering job in the future".
- Do you recommend other international students coming to Norway to study at USN? If yes, why?
"Without any doubt. I would especially recommend it to my peers in Spain. As we have a very theoretical approach, which involves many advantages. I think a lot of people can benefit from the complementing knowledge I acquired here, which has given a unique and very interesting combination of knowledge and expertise. This will definitely help me in my career".