University of Oslo PREPARATION. Elisabeth Reien was really helpful and send me all the right information in time

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1 exchange application process PREPARATION Elisabeth Reien was really helpful and send me all the right information in time counselling & support at Utrecht University I could always the international office if I had questions academic preparation none language preparation none finances I saved up some money before I went to Norway because I heard it was really expensive study programme (content and organisational issues) STUDY ABROAD PERIOD At the University of Oslo I attended three master courses. Each course contained two lectures a week and my language course had 6 hours a week. For the law courses I didn't have to study that much, we only had to read in our books and we had one exam at the end of the semester. academic quality of education activities The teachers were of high academic quality and they spoke english really well. Some of them were actually native English speakers so it was easy to follow. counselling & support at receiving university abroad I didn't have any problems but If I had any questions I could always contact Elisabeth Reien. transfer of credits I passed three exams but I'm still waiting for response whether my credits can be transferred to my master programme. welcome & orientation programme STUDENT LIFE In the first week we had a buddy week. There were two buddy group leaders for about 20 students. They showed us around and organised a lot of parties and other activities like barbeques on the islands and citytours. In this week I met a lot of new friends whom I kept seeing the rest of the semester. accommodation I lived in Sogn, this was a student 'city' with a lot of buildings with appartments for around 5-7 people. I was really lucky to live here since all my friends also lived in Sogn and the location was perfect. With the t-bane it was only 10 minutes to the University and the city centre. I lived with 6 other girls and we always cooked dinner together so I never felt alone when I was at home because there was always someone to hang out with. leisure & culture I had a lot of spare time since I didn't have a lot of lectures during the week and we also had two weeks off. In

2 this time I made a lot of trips. From Norway it is really easy to take the bus, train or ferry to Goteborg, Copenhagen, Bergen and Stavanger. I did a lot of hikes since the nature is really beautiful and we don't have something like the Preikestolen, the most amazing hike I have ever done, in the Netherlands. The last week we also made a trip to Lappland with ESN, that was an amazing trip and we saw the northern lights, did the ice lake swimming and a husky tour. That was a really nice way to end the semester. I really liked the Norwegian culture. Although people say Norwegian people are really detached, I also met a lot of Norwegian people and everyone was always really helpful and nice to international students. suggestions/tips If you go to Norway make sure you save a lot of money before you go. The most fun of my exchange semester was making trips with your new friends. The nature is really beautiful so bring your hiking shoes and make a lot of hike trips. CONCLUSIONS would you recommend this university/destination abroad to others? please explain I would definitely recommend an exchange semester to Oslo. The city is really beautiful and has a lot of nice clubs and bars to go out, but also beautiful parks and museums. Norway has beautiful nature which I was glad to explore. I did things that I would have never experienced if I would have gone to Spain or Italy for an exchange and I met so many nice people whom I still speak to everyday! do you have any additional advice or comments? Attend the buddyweek, in this week you will make friends for the rest of the semester. Save up money before you go. Although it was really expensive you can manage to do groceries quite cheap if you go to Gronnland and if you skip going to restaurants for a few months.

3 preparation exchange/placement application process In January 2013 I submitted my application to go to Oslo. It was my first choice. In april 2013 I heard that I could go to Oslo, from January 2014 to June counselling/support at home university The international office at Utrecht is very very helpful. You can go with all your question to them and they will help you patiently. academic preparation I did not do any specific academic preparation. language preparation I did not have any language preparation. I thought my english was good enough afther I followed several english courses at Utrecht. finances I saved some money before I left to Oslo and of course you get an Erasmus grant and you DUO 'studiefinanciering'. Although a lot of people already told me that Norway is an expensive country, it was even more expensive than I thought. You really need to save a lot of money before you leave (or barely spend any money in Oslo). Just keep in mind that even food is incrdibly expensive! study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) I followed the courses International Criminal Law, International Climate Change & Engery Law and Women's law. I also started with the course Norwegian for International Students, but I dropped this course after a couple of weeks. You can still change your courses until a couple of weeks you arrive in Oslo and you can even drop them until your exam. So if you register for multiple courses you can still choose which ones you want to do exam in, after the courses started. academic quality of education/placement activities I think the educational level is quite high. The courses are interesting and the teachers are motivated. There are also a lot of guest lecturers, which makes it even more interesting. counselling/support at host institution/organisation I thought the support at Universitet i Oslo was not as good as in Utrecht. Even though they always wanted to help you and always answered your questions, it always took them quite a while. Also the signing of the forms I

4 needed for Erasmus took long. transfer of credits Even though I am still in Oslo now, I know that I already passed two courses of three. The last one I will get next week, so I did not begin the transfering of credits yet. But online (studentweb in oslo) you can order the transcript of records really easy. student life welcome/orientation programme The buddy week for the law students was arranged by ELSA Oslo. Overall this was very good and a lot of fun. I recommend you take part in it, because I met most of my friends during the Buddy week.i accommodation I lived at Sogn and paid around 380 a month. Most international people chose Sogn or Kringsja. I would recommend Sogn because it looks nicer and is a bit closer downtown and has better metro connections. leisure/culture Oslo is an awesome city. Norway has a lot of tradition (17 th of May, national constitutional day). In winter whole families go crosscountry skiing (langlaufen) and in summer everyone is outside having barbeques and doing sports. suggestions/tips Winters in Norway are tough, even in Oslo. Make sure you have REALLY WARM clothes, like skiing jacket/trousers etc. conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain Yes yes yes! I had an awesome time in Oslo. Nice people, nice university, good courses, beautiful country! do you have any additional advice or comments? preparation exchange/placement application process The process of exchange and placement was good to follow. Both institutions sent clear information about the conditions and deadlines. It was only a lot of work to fill in all the

5 required forms and my host university was not always the quickest to reply. counselling/support at home university If you had any questions you could go to the opening hours of the International Office or send them an . academic preparation I didn t do any special preperation concerning my stay abroad. language preparation The courses I took at the host university were all taught in English so I didn t do specific language preparation. When I arrived at the host university they offered Erasmus students a Norwegian language course. I can highly recommend that course. It is fun to do and you meet other Erasmus students. It is not necessary to take it though. Everybody in Oslo speaks perfect English. finances Norway is the most expansive country in Europe so be sure you have enough savings to have a nice time there. I saved some money and on top of that I had my "studiefincanciering" from the government and the Erasmus grant. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) The courses offered at the university are all 10 ECTS and last a whole semester. I took Refugee and Asylum Law, International Criminal Law (Master level), Criminoligical Perspective on Gender, Sexuality and Violence. academic quality of education/placement activities The courses International Criminal Law and Refugee and Asylum Law were both taught by very passionate teachers that could motivate you for their course. Both were of good acadimic standard. They knew a lot about their subject and were always open for discussion. It was always a pleasure to go to their lectures. I can not say the same for the course Criminological Perspective on Gender, Sexuality and Violence. Allthough the readings were

6 very interesting, the course overall was not. This could be because it was the first time it was taught. But the lectures were not on the same level as the other courses I took. It was nice though that for this course,the exam consited of one paper while the others were a 4 hour exam with a lot of writing. Not what we are used to in the Netherlands. counselling/support at host institution/organisation The support at the host university was good. Sometimes you could wait a while for a reply to an . But all important things were given on time so it didn t cause any problems. transfer of credits In Oslo they have the same ECTS as in Utrecht so that didn t cause any problems. Only the rating system is different. They have A-F system and therefore the marks will be transferred as a pass or fail in Utrecht. student life welcome/orientation programme I can highly recommend to participate in the buddy week in the beginning of the semester. It is the best way to get to know your follow exchange students and it is a fun way to explore Oslo. accommodation Accomodation was arranged by the university company SIO. Don t miss the deadline for applying for a room otherwise you will have a problem. But if you don t miss it as a Erasmus student you will have a gaurantee that you will get a room. I lived during my stay in Sogn. At that time it was the best place to stay. Most exchange students were living there. leisure/culture Norway is a very sporty country. Everybody jogs around the lake or when there is snow goes crosscountry skiing. Although almost everything is extremely exspensive this doesn t apply to fish. Fish is very cheap and absolutley delicious. During your stay you will eat this a lot. Especially try the fishcake (fishkakke). suggestions/tips

7 Get a membership at Chateau Neuf. This is THE student association in Oslo and try to work as a volunteer at Tapatarne, this is the team that works at the bars in Chateau Neuf. The best way to meet open Norwegians, because in general they are shy. conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain I had an amazing time during my stay in Oslo. Met so many nice people and got to know the different beauties Norway has to offer. It is an expensive country but to worth it! do you have any additional advice or comments? no Pre-departure I was selected for studying abroad in Oslo, and as soon as this was clear the university of Utrecht gave this paper. Before departure, it is very important to prepare already some things. For me, the Handboek voor Uitwisseling was therefor really helpful. The best thing about this paper is that it gives you a special checklist with all the useful things you have to do before you leave the Netherlands. One of the most important things is of course the fact that you have to search for housing. For me this was really easy because the university of Oslo gives you information about this by some s. They will sent you some (log-in) codes and with these information you can sign up for automatic housing. Really easy, if you sign in before the deadline! This is one of the most important things, dead-lines. Write them somewhere down, because you will easily forget something! Contacts and language If you have some troubles, don t feel sorry to send an to the university of Oslo. Norwegians are great users of English, so you can ask them whatever you like. I never had the feeling that there was any language barrier at all. The university of Oslo is very quick in response as well, so I guess there is no better university if it comes down on solving problems. Finances After all these positive things about Norway and especially Oslo, I want to point out one (maybe even the main problem) negative thing about this country: the finances. I thought everyone overstate about this topic when I left Utrecht, but believe me, Norway is incredible expensive. Make sure you have enough money before you leave.

8 Study abroad Programme/courses I was surprised by all the courses the university of Oslo offered. There is a lot to choose and in the end all the courses I took were really interesting as well. Some of them were a lot easier then the courses in Utrecht, but for example the course Marine Insurance, was pretty difficult. Quality of education As I mentioned before the quality of education really depends on the subject. Some courses were difficult (for me: Marine Insurance) others were pretty easy as compared to the courses in Utrecht. All by all I think the quality of education is mainly the same. Contact with lectures/students I had some really nice contact with other exchange students. Every exchange student who is new in Oslo is looking for new friends and that s why everyone is talking and meeting each other. In the end it s really cool to see that I have some friends from all over the world right now, because of my exchange period in Oslo. Counselling/support The university of Oslo gives you great support. They are quick in responding s, they have several offices and everyone is willing to help you. Transfer of credits You got 10 Credits if you pass a course, the only thing new for me was the special scoring system, namely A till F. You fail only with an F. Student life Welcome/orientation The university organised a special buddy week were ELSA Oslo shows you the city in a lot of different ways. They show you the city, the campus, the area around Oslo, the Parlement and of course all the pubs! The pub-crawl was maybe one of the most fun nights in Oslo. I met a lot of Norwegian, and international students and no one was afraid to talk to each other (after 5 beers). Try to be in Oslo already when the buddy week starts, it s awesome! Accommodation I lived in a studentvillage called Sogn. You have different buildings over there and the rooms differ from each other. Some are bigger, some have a nicer kitchen ect. It depends on how much money you want to spend for the accommodation. I shared my kitchen/living room, toilet and bathroom with three others (Norwegian, Russian and Japanese) but this was really special. A lot of friends of mine shared their stuff with 5 till 7 others (but they had more bathrooms ect). The buildings by their self were really nice, like the whole area of Sogn. There is a grocery store and a pub and there are always people busy with doing stuff.

9 Leisure/culture The Norwegian culture is really nice. The city and the people are really peaceful and helpful. It looks hard to get in contact with Norwegian people but if you know them a little bit better you will see that they are wonderful people. Suggestions/tips Make sure that you are in Oslo when the buddy week starts! I met a lot of people who are my friends right now, the first week. Conclusions Recommendable destination? Oslo is a wonderful city with some wonderful nature. If you take the T-Bane in the city centre you are within 45 minutes on the top of a mountain where you can ski. Norway is awesome and really special in the world. I got a wonderful time over there with some amazing experiences. If you have the money to study in Oslo for some time, you really have to do it! Preparation Before departure, it is very important to take all necessary steps that have to be taken and to take the importance of these steps into consideration. First of all, University of Utrecht provides you with a so-called Handboek voor Uitwisseling, this paper gives you a brief summary of every important activity that you have to deal with. It even contains a checklist you so can make sure that you prepared everything properly before departure. During your preparation, you will receive some s from the host University that provide you some contact addresses. It is always possible to send s with questions, documents et cetera to the address that you have received and the host University will try to answer all your questions as soon as possible. It is important to know that you do not have to hesitate to send s. Norwegians are great users of English, so there is no language barrier at all. The use of English at the University of Oslo is excellent! This goes for students as well as teachers or other University staff members. Always keep in mind that is it of great importance to make sure that you have saved enough money before you depart. Especially the first weeks will be expensive because you need to pay for your room, for books, activities during the orientation week et cetera. Norway is a very expensive country, so be prepared for high costs! Study abroad When you re going abroad to study, you will eventually have to choose (at least?) three subjects. It is important to think carefully about your choice. Try to pick subjects that are connected with your studies in Utrecht and/or subjects of which your think they are really interesting. The University of Oslo provides course

10 descriptions on their website which specifically explain the content of the course, the number of ECTS you can receive, what specific knowledge is expected of you and which literature is recommended. The course description made it easier for me to make my final decision. University of Oslo is known as a big, old and very good institution. However, the way of teaching is very different from the way that we know it in Utrecht. Lectures are given in small groups (about 30 persons) in small classrooms. Some lectures are even interactive. Of course, the above mentioned can be different for different courses. As a result of the (more) interactive way of teaching, the relationship between students and teachers becomes more informal. Teachers are open to answer any question, you can always send them s or even call them during the week. I experienced this as a comfortable atmosphere! When you have finished all your exams, you ll have to wait for about three weeks before you receive the results. In my case, I was already back in Holland when I received my results. It is then best to send an to the International Office in Oslo and to ask them to send you your transcript of records. Student life It is possible to participate in an orientation week/buddy week at University of Oslo. I would strongly recommend you to sign up for this week. This is the best opportunities to get to know other exchange students, to see some nice parts of the city, to go to some cozy bars. Since every exchange student is new, everyone is open to meet new people and to make friends. Actually, I spent the whole semester with the students I got to know during the buddy week. Even though your buddies already take you to a few nice places around the city, Oslo has plenty of other cultural places to visit. However, I experienced the actual city centre as quite small. The city centre contains a lot of bars, pubs and clubs. But, don t forget that Norwegian life is really expensive. A beer in a random bar will cost you around 8 or 9! Also, there are quite a lot places where the bars maintain an age-limit of 21, 22 or even 24. Finally, the University offers a great opportunity to find accommodation. I would recommend you to sign up for a room in one of the student villages in Oslo. The prices of the rooms vary. Make sure you sign up before the deadline has passed! Conclusion As a conclusion, University of Oslo is a great University although it is in many ways different from University of Utrecht. Oslo is a beautiful city with modern and authentic buildings, plenty of parks, a nice harbor and fjords. But as I mentioned before, keep in mind that Norwegian life is expensive! Save money before you leave and be prepared for this.

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