Studying in Norway has been a great experience. Before applying, I didn’t know anyone who had studied abroad and never really considered it. Now here I am, completing a two-year Master’s program at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen.
Why did I choose Norway? The combination of international colleagues, a free education system and the happiest country in the world made it easy. Bergen is home to 250,000 people, about 10% of which are students at various universities. My school only has 3,000 students but receives hundreds of exchange students each semester and 100 international full-program Master’s students. I had no idea that studying abroad was so popular in Europe and even funded through the Erasmus program. Over 90% of European students graduate having completed at least one semester abroad. It is still amazing to me that the students here are being paid to attend a free school.
Diverse opportunities, diverse perspectives
As part of my program I am also participating in an exchange program at the National University of Singapore. The opportunities are seemingly endless with so many quality internships, partner schools, double degree options and the international CEMS program. How unique it will be to have experienced the North American, European and Asian school systems! Almost all of my teachers are international giving unique perspectives from very diverse backgrounds. And the learning extends beyond the classroom. My favourite aspect of the whole experience has been socializing with people from so many different countries.
When I reminisce about my decision to study abroad, my initial worries seem so irrelevant now. It is beneficial to get out of your comfort zone and you will always become a better person at the end. With the increasing interconnectedness of business, these international experiences will become more common and more of a competitive advantage as we progress through our careers. Every society, culture and educational system is different and I think you realize when living abroad that there is more than one right way to do things. Studying in Norway has been such a positive decision for me, especially with the excessive costs of education elsewhere. I only wish I had thought of it a few years earlier!
Scott Brown is a Master’s student at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, Norway.