Velkommen, bienvenue, bem vindo, welcome!

This week thousands of international students are getting ready to start their studies in a new country, writes Christine Adriane Svendsrud, officer of International Affairs, NSO.

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Like the rest of the new student population, I think it is safe to say that the international students experience some extra butterflies in their stomach. Not only have they arrived to a new country, but also some of them are experiencing a completely new culture and a new language. All of these new impressions can be incredibly exciting, but it can also be scary at first. Remember you have already taken a couple of big steps from the idea of coming to Norway, and now you actually got on a plane and finally arrived.

If I were to give you some advice it would be: be an active participant in the professional and social events around campus. It is an excellent opportunity to meet other international and Norwegian students. I would also advise you to keep this engagement throughout the year, join an association and meet like-minded students who share your interests. Remember that you should take an active part in making your time here in Norway unforgettable. It is possible to demand high quality education and build a social network outside of the classroom. A university with international students does not make an international university. Welcoming students from abroad and making them feel part of the Norwegian cultural structure is the key to achieve real internationalization.

I hope everyone, regardless of where you come from or if it is your first or last year at your institution, remember that we all have a collective responsibility for each other and that no one is left out. In addition, who knows, maybe you will get a friend for life? To give you all a challenge for the first week I hope that all international students get to know at least one Norwegian student and vice versa. Again, welcome to Norway and I hope your stay will be wonderful!

(Portrettfoto: Skjalg Bøhmer Vold)

Like the rest of the new student population, I think it is safe to say that the international students experience some extra butterflies in their stomach.

Christine Adriane Svendsrud

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