The first academic year of the merged Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences started Monday August 14.
At the Lillehammer campus, The Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen congratulated the new institution, noting its strength as the product of two established university colleges in the region.
Don't be afraid to dumb yourself down
He welcomed the new students, reminding them to strike a balance between academic excellence and enjoying the social aspect of the student experience. 12 Million NOK, a "wedding present" as Røe Isaksen put it, have been awarded to the new institution.
INN University's Rector Kathrine Skretting advised the 1800 new students – among them 86 international students – to venture into their new academic journey untimidly.
- Don't be afraid to dumb yourself down, was one whimsical remark by Skretting, urging the students to embrace curiosity and the sharing of knowledge.
INN University operates from six campuses: Elverum, Hamar, Lillehammer, Blæstad, Evenstad and Rena, and is home to over 13,300 students.
86 international students in Lillehammer
Among the 86 international students starting their studies this semester at the Lillehammer campus are Ruud Hollenberg (31) from the Netherlands, Benedict Licht (21) a German studying in The Netherlands, and Nadine Krings (22) from Germany.
They arrived in Norway last week – a first time visit for all three.
Hollenberg, who studies tourism in The Netherlands, is taking video production and visual sociology courses at Lillehammer. Licht studies business management and is taking related courses the coming semester. Krings is a graduate student studying digital management, taking innovation and management courses as part of her exchange.
The three are enrolled in the Norwegian language course offered to foreign students, as well. They noted being interested in the culture as well as the Norwegian language, and that obtaining a basic proficiency would enhance their experience and help them feel more included.
Smaller, but more multicultural than expected
Hollenberg decided to study in Norway after falling in love with the wild beauty of Svalbard and becoming interested in Norway itself. Licht has been interested in Scandinavia and the Norwegian standard of living and enjoys skiing. Krigs followed a friend who’d decided to come to Lillehammer as an exchange student.
- Lillehammer is smaller, but more multicultural than I expected, a great middle-ground between city and quiet atmosphere, according to Hollenberg. - I’m quite impressed with Norway, added Licht.
- I love the landscape, said Krings, I come from a small town, so it feels a bit like home.
All three plan on staying in Norway for some time after their study period in order to travel.
- Who wouldn’t want to travel here? is the unanimous opinion.
Norway feels safe
When asked what they hope to take from their Norwegian study experience they all note the acquisition of a new language, personal growth, new experiences, as well as meeting new people of diverse international background.
This semester, the 86 international students at the Lillehammer campus have come from 16 different countries, 55 percent of which are women.
- It feels very safe here, remarks Hollenberg.
- Everyone is helpful, and it seems like the institution is very happy to welcome international students, it’s a good feeling, says Licht.
- I was told in advance that Norwegian culture is very different, but it doesn’t really feel that way. People have been much more welcoming than I expected, says Krings. The only downside here is the low speed limit ...