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Beyond my expectations

The cultural shock hasn’t stopped since the first day I arrived here.

Name: Xue Ying
Age: 21
Home University: China University of Political Science and Law
Nationality: China
Exchange programme: Bilateral agreement
Duration of your stay: One semester

-    Why did you choose to study at the University of Bergen?

From an objective perspective, it is because UiB and my home university established an exchange programme in 2011. This programme went into effect this year and I was nominated by my university to participate. From a subjective perspective, I know that the University of Bergen is quite a famous university in Norway, especially with many International students pursuing their academic studies here, and it could offer me wider and deeper insight into law and other aspects. Moreover, I am drawn to the beautiful scenery of the fjords and the nice humanistic environment here.

-    What is your impression of Bergen compared to what you expected?

It is totally beyond my expectations. First of all, people here are very nice and helpful. Whenever I have a problem and ask a Norwegian or anyone else, they are so friendly and help me. I never feel lonely or homesick. Besides, the professors in my classes, like Introduction to Copyright law, are so nice and knowledgeable, and they usually inspire me to think differently and more deeply. And also, the natural surroundings are amazing.

-    Which are the main differences between your home country and Norway in terms of being a student?


The cultural shock hasn’t stopped since the first day I arrived here. For one thing the faculties of the university are scatted around in the city, mingled with residence areas, shopping zones, restaurants and so on. This provides students a comfortable and free environment to study. In China, we have university-specific zones, as there are also shopping areas, residence districts, and so on. This intense structure with a vast number of university buildings together has its advantages, such as intensifying the academic atmosphere and increasing the opportunities to communicate between schools, but it also puts more study pressure on students and reduces their opportunities for entertainment and real social life.

Also, without a doubt, the living standard here is much higher than in China, especially in the areas of food, service and public transit.
The Norwegian government obviously puts great emphasis on education because tuition is practically free here. But in China, although the government underscores the importance of education, students are still required to pay tuition fees to study beyond the nine-year compulsory education.
The forms of entertainment here are mainly parties, skiing, travelling. In China, partying is not included in our forms of entertainment, even though some people might occasionally do that. We tend to sing in the karaoke bars, go to the amusement parks, visit places in other provinces and so on.

-    In your opinion, what is the most important academic outcome you have gained from your time in Bergen?

The English language skills. To have the opportunity to speak English in daily life with other international students.

-    What are your future plans?

I will pursue my master’s degree in UCL specializing in International Economical
Law.