Postcard scenery and great facilities, but it’s hard to befriend Norwegians, Erasmus exchange students says.
By FRASER STURGESS
Before they go home, five Earsmus students shared their feelings and experiences about their time studying and living in Molde.
Lorenzo Scarica (21) from Parma, Italy:
I’m studying economics in Italy and I have found the teaching very interesting, especially because here I was able to deepen my knowledge in subjects such as transport and supply chain management. My favourite trip here in Norway was hiking to Trolltunga, where the weather was perfect and the view from the end of the rock is unforgettable. I suggest to everyone to go there. At the beginning, interaction with Norwegians was not easy, however after the first period I discovered many of them love Italy, and it become easier. Overall, I have enjoyed my semester in Molde, the city is small, but the nature is beautiful, and it offers the opportunity to participate in lots of sports.
Camille Debourdeau (21) from Villemoisson-sur-Org, France:
The teaching is different compared to France, where we have lectures for 10-12 weeks and 1 week at the end for exams. Similarly, the scheduling is different to in Norway, as in Norway we have 45 minutes of lectures and then a 15 minute break in classes, which is new. Here, I had the chance to meet famous teachers in sport management, such as Andre Richelieu and Bettina Cornwell. The academic facilities are great, and it’s really nice to have access to the university to study at any time. For now, my favourite trip was a cabin trip to Geiranger organised by ESN Molde. For a few days, I was able to canoe on the fjord, go on a boat trip and hike under a waterfall. However, I have an upcoming trip to Lapland which I think will be most beautiful, before I return to Paris for Christmas!
At the beginning, I had to get used to the habits of the locals, because it’s really different than in France, where you would kiss to say hello and greet everyone even if you had just met them one time the night before. However, when you start to know them, they are really nice and attentive! Norway is an amazing country with beautiful nature and a relaxed lifestyle which is nice when you were born in a huge city such as Paris. It would be nice to come back another time to discover some spots where I did not have the time to go this time.
Julien Monson (22) from D’Huison, Longueville, France:
This is the first time in my life that I’m studying in English, so it’s harder for me than in France. Also, the expectations are higher here and the assignments are very different. In France, you have all your exams at the end of the semester. Nevertheless, the academic facilities are amazing here compared to my university next to Paris, and being allowed to access the school 24/7 is something new. I took a cabin trip to a mountaintop named Skåla. It was hard to get there, but once I arrived at the top it was all worth it. The Geirangerfjord was also something impressive, and I particularly enjoyed the kayak excursion there.
Norwegian students are quite nice, but I found it harder than in other European countries to build relationships with the locals. Also, the Norwegian bureaucracy is difficult and it was hard to get into the system. For example, I had many difficulties with the tax office and administrative applications. However, Molde is a peaceful city with amazing landscapes, and I feel lucky to live here on a fjord shore surrounded by mountains, it’s like a postcard. People seem to care a lot about the environment, and the place is very clean compared to other European cities I have been to
Daniel Schempp (22) from Augsburg, Germany:
The university is in really good shape and the facilities are great – I have seen many worse buildings up to now. The school is very well equipped and tries to help with anything you need. For me, the hike to Romsdalseggen was the best – the view was amazing, and the school should definitely offer this every semester to internationals. Additionally, the ESN trips to Bergen and Geiranger were really amazing.
For me, interacting with Norwegians was easy, and the opening week is a great opportunity to make contacts. Being able to DJ in Kompaignet sometimes made it easier because many people talked to me about that, however I think if you are open person it is possible to build good relationships here.
Molde is a very nice, but small place, and I have already said to myself that I want to come and see this place again. The people are very friendly and there are many nice spots around the area. Due to the nice people and being able to DJ, I will never forget this time.
Pavel Brlica (24) from Brno, Czechia:
The teaching and academic facilities are different to my experience at my home university, but it has been interesting and motivating. Personally, I am enjoying every piece of Norwegian nature, but Trolltunga, Trollkirka and Kjerag were awesome. Additionally, cabin trips around Molde or even Moldemarka where I can go for runs are beautiful places. Interacting with Norwegians was possible through parties or in class, and after four months, I have learned a little bit about the Norwegian mentality and life-style. Molde is a beautiful place and the surrounding nature is just awesome! Definitely I will come back for some more weeks!