After numerous requests from international HiMolde students, the administration responded to the high demand and set up a free Norwegian language course for MSc students that begins on January 14th.
By UMID MIRZAEV (text & photo)
It is known that language is the key to getting into working life and being integrated into Norwegian society. From the beginning of the autumn semester, fresh master’s students expressed concerns about Norwegian class: other universities (Oslo, Trondheim) offer different courses depending on level, while Molde University held it only for the Erasmus+ exchange students.
Very soon, foreign students attending the Logistics and Sports management MSc programs will get the opportunity to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the Norwegian language and become more competitive in the labor market. In the meantime, we spoke with people who made it possible to organize this course.
“The international MSc students asked us for many years to establish a Norwegian course because the exchange students had this language course as a part of their study plan. The international students wanted to have a Norwegian course because many of them work part-time, some of them want to work in Norway after finishing their studies. Another argument was that it’s difficult for them to be here for 2 years without understanding any Norwegian. They argued that exchange students were there for a short time and asked why exchange students were the top priority instead of international students. This autumn we got the information that the teacher agreed to have two classes in the spring semester: one for exchange students and one for MSc students. The classes will be different: MSc students will not have any exams upon completing the course, while exchange students will get credit points in the end. I have to mention that there will be first-year master students from Logistics, Sports Management, and Petroleum Logistics,” says Ragnhild Brakstad, international coordinator of MSc students at HiMolde.
We also asked Berit Svendsvik, Head of Office at the Business Administration and Social Sciences department, and Tove Orheim, Head of Office at the Logistics department, to share their opinions about the upcoming language class.
“We started receiving more and more questions regarding the Norwegian course from international students. We thought that we need to do something about it. Marit Viken, the teacher of Norwegian, contacted us and offered her help because she also delivers language courses at the bachelor’s level. We had a meeting and decided to open this course. She is a very experienced teacher, she works at Molde voksenopplæringssenter (Molde Adult Education Center). We are very glad to offer this course for our master students,” says Berit.
“The goal of this course is to teach students about Norwegian culture and create a network between them. Students had to take the Norwegian course at Molde voksenopplæringssenter in the past, but our course is free, so it’s a win-win situation. The class is fully booked, we had only 25 seats, but we decided to take all 26 applicants,” says Tove.
Marit Viken, the teacher of the upcoming Norwegian course says: “I have in total 12 years of teaching experience, 5 years of them teaching at HiMolde. I used to teach Erasmus students, but this semester we will have two classes. We have only less than 40 hours of teaching, but this course will give a good start for further learning. The students will obtain the level A1. This level will allow them to communicate at the very basic level of the Norwegian language. I also would recommend to students use more Norwegian in daily life, because I know that many of them use only English. I hope that students will continue to study by themselves after completing this course”