University of Oslo. preparation

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1 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

2 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

3 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

4 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

5 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 e mails. 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 e mail 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.

6 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 e mails, 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.

7 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 exchange/placement application process My third choice was Oslo. In the spring of 2012 I received an that I was selected for Oslo. counselling/support at home university There were useful information meetings about studying abroad and destinations. After I applied and was selected there was some trouble with my home university. I guess the International Office was understaffed, because it took a while for questions to be answered or papers to be signed. Also there was a lot of unclearity about the Erasmus grant, when to apply, deadlines and when you would receive the grant. I thought this was very annoying however it all worked out fine in the end. When I was abroad and need the International Office in Utrecht they were most helpful and problems got sorted out very quickly. academic preparation I did not do any academic prepartion, except for passing my exams. language preparation

8 I did follow a LEAP course (legal english for academic purposes). I thought it was very useful. I did not use it that much in my studies as I had expected, but I learned a lot from it, especially about the common law system. I can definitely recommend a course, also for your general knowledge. finances I worked the summer before I left, but i didn t had that much money. It was just wait and see. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) The university of Oslo offers a lot of courses and you choose them before you leave or right on the spot in the introduction week. You can also change 2 weeks after the courses have started so you can try a few. I thought it was an excellent system and the University of Oslo was very organised and well prepared. academic quality of education/placement activities The teaching differs from Utrecht, since you only have lectures, no seminars. These lectures are mostly given by professors who all have very interesting stories to tell, but sometimes get carried away by their stories and not stick to the point. It was difficult for me to adjust, but at the end I passed my exams so I guess I stressed out for nothing. These exams cover a lot of subjects (a whole book for example) and sometimes you have to write essay and not (how it is done in Utrecht) apply your knowledge to a case. However, it was nice to experience a different method of studying and teaching and it helped me a lot in how to study. counselling/support at host institution/organisation In my opinion, excellent. Everything was very well organised and the staff was very helpful and friendly/ transfer of credits I have no idea yet.

9 student life welcome/orientation programme At the beginning there is a buddy week, which is awesome. It is a sort of KEI week, but then Norwegian style. You will be placed in a buddy group (constisting of around 25 international students, all studying law) with 4 buddies (who are Norwegian), there are also groups with new Norwegian law students and sometimes you have events together, so you can get to know Norwegians a bit (although they are a bit shy when there is no alcohol involved). With this buddy group you go to events (like the Stat Oil compagny, a boat trip, the courthouse), information meetings and nice parties. The buddies will show you around the faculty and go to parties with the whole group. I still have contact with them and we ve become friends. My buddy group became my friends as well for the rest of the semester. You should not miss the buddy week. accommodation The university arranged my room for me in one of the student villages (Sogn, can definitely recommend it). My room was excellent and the company who maintained the houses does this very well. I shared my room with 4 Norwegians (which was rare, but so much fun). All my other (international) friends lived in the houses next to me so there was never a dull moment. If you choose Sogn, choose buildings 10, 12 or 14, these are the nicest and you will have the biggest change to live with Norwegians. leisure/culture Oslo is a nice city. However, it is very very very very expensive. So watch out for free events. There are loads of them in the city, like concerts and markets. Or go for a hike around Sognsvann, absolutely beautiful. suggestions/tips

10 In the buddy week make sure you sign up for one of the student organisations. I signed up for the weirdest things (like the girls choir although i cannot sing) but in the end I choose for the student newspaper, Stud.Jur. Together with another girl we were the only international students, but it was the most awesome experience. The Norwegians are shy but very very friendly and they will welcome you! Prepare to listen to a lot of Norwegian though. We did a lot of things with this newspaper, like cabin trips and beer tastings, Farikal feasts and other Norwegian things. It was great and we ve become good friends. conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain If you want a European destination without much of a culture shock, go to Oslo. Everything is organised for you and the culture and the people are almost the same as the Dutch. It isn t much of a party destination (although, that depends on you and your new norwegian friends), but offered courses are very interesting and the country is beautiful do you have any additional advice or comments? The next time more information about the Erasmus grant is very welcome 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

11 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 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 e mails 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 e mail 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!

12 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 preparation exchange/placement application process In order to apply for a University abroad, you need to make sure that you took all necessary steps. Most important is to make sure that you are aware of all deadlines. The University of Utrecht provides some information about all the steps you need to take in order to apply for a certain host institution. Take your time to prepare for the application process, because that is of great importance. 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 counselling/support at home university If you have questions, you can allways e mail the people at the international office at University of Utrecht. Do not hesitate to ask questions. The international office is always open to help you during you application etc. academic preparation language preparation 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. If your English is fine, it is not necessary to follow a language preparation programme. finances Always keep in mind that is it of great importance to make sure that you have saved enough

13 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/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) 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 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. academic quality of education/placement activities University of Oslo is known as a big, old and very good institution. However, they 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 e mails or even call them during the week. I experienced this as a comfortable atmosphere! counselling/support at host institution/organisation It is important to know that you do not have to hesitate to send s. Norwegians are great users of English. You will receive answers to your questions within a few days! transfer of credits In the end of your semester abroad, you will receive a transcript of records, including all the marks (ECTS) you have received during your stay. You need to transfer these to the 'Examen Commissie', in order to let them count in your study programma in Utrecht. student life

14 welcome/orientation programme 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. accommodation 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! leisure/culture 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. suggestions/tips conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain 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. do you have any additional advice or comments? As I mentioned before, keep in mind that Norwegian life is expensive! Save money before

15 you leave and be prepared for this. University of Oslo Placement application process Knowing that I had to do an extra semester to get my bachelor degree, I decided to sign up for an Erasmus semster, so I could do an extra year of bachelor. I wanted to go to Scandinavia, as I had always been interested in the Nordic area and their innovative lifestyle. I also considered the high level of education and the average capability of Scandinavians to speak English. The University of Oslo was my second choice, because of its outstanding academic records. In addition to that, I'd always wanted to go to Oslo Counseling/Support at home university Counseling and support at my home university could have been better. Obviously, you have to arrange a lot of things yourself, but I think, and I know a lot of other students think this too, that the international office was not easily reached. For example, a student from another Dutch university had to tell me that we had to hand in a statement of host institution. Luckily, I was still in Oslo, but I heard other students are having difficulties arranging this statement, as they were already home when they received the containing information about this statement. Academic preparation I took master level courses, so they were a bit more intensive than my regular courses at home. But considering the amount of spare time you have during your Erasmus semester, this will not be a problem. I did not take any kind of preparation courses or whatsoever. Language preparation I took no language preparation courses for my stay in Norway. I knew that all the courses would be taught in English, and I already passed a considerable amount of English taught courses in Utrecht. Finances Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so you have to be prepared. For a beer in a café you'll pay approximately 10 euros. Going out for dinner, clubbing and alcohol are the most expensive things to do in Oslo. But, normal groceries are not that bad, and if you go to the market in Grönland (an urb in Oslo) they offer you fruit and vegetables for 'normal' prices. Study programme I took 3 master level courses, each worth 10 ECTS. My courses were: EU Competition Law, International Environmental Law and Torture, Terror and Rights. For every course I had a lecture once a week and that was it. Academic quality of education

16 You're expected to keep up with the readings and the level of the courses is quite high. For the Norwegian students it is completely normal to go studying at the university every weekday from till and this is also reflected in the way lectures are given. Counseling/support at host institution The university of Oslo is very, very well organized and people are pleased to help. We had a lot of information lectures and were always allowed to walk in to or get in contact with the international office. Transfer of records Via student web (the Osiris of the university of Oslo) I could request my transcript of records and a week later I received the transcript in my mailbox. Welcome and orientation program The day I arrived there was a special pick up service organized by ESN. They explained how to get to your students residence and arranged a public traffic card for you. The university organized the buddy week. I was placed in a buddy group with approximately 20 other exchange law students, and we had 3 mentors. During this week, they showed us around the city and the university and we had a lot of parties. An example is the barbeque we had at one of the islands in the Oslo fjord. Accommodation During my stay I lived at a special students residence in St. Hanshaugen. The neighborhood was beautiful, and only a ten minute walk from the law faculty and the citycenter. But, all my friends were living at Kringsja students village, which was a 20 minutes metro ride away from the faculty. Every time I wanted to go see my friend at Kringsja, it took me about 45 minutes to get there. So therefore, I would recommend people to apply to housing in Kringsja, as almost all the other international students live there. Leisure/Culture Oslo is a beautiful city and the Norwegians are really friendly and open people. The city has a nice and safe atmosphere. Norwegians love to go outside. So in your spare time, you can go for a walk at Sognsvann or Holmenkollen. During the winter you can go (cross country) skiing. There are also several interesting musea you could visit. You can also go outside Oslo and visit other Norwegian places. I went to Bergen by train, which I could recommend to everybody, and I also went up north, to Tromso. Additionally, I also travelled to Stockholm and to Copenhagen. Tips As an Erasmus student you have a lot of leisure time. Therefore I would recommend everybody to travel to other cities in Scandinavia. Would you recommend your host institution to other students?

17 I would certainly recommend the university of Oslo to other students, because of the beautiful city and country, the friendly and helpful people and the well organized and good university. But, if you're not able to save up about 2000 euro's for your stay, I would highly recommend you not to go to Scandinavia, as everything is more expensive than back home. Do you have any additional advice or comments? Enjoy your time abroad it's over before you know it

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