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Stronger international focus

August 30, International centre UiB was officially opened. The centre will strenghten the international effort at the University of Bergen.

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Internasjonalt senter
Sonja Irene Dyrkorn (HR), Christen Soleim (SA) og Heidi A. Espedal (FA) cut the ribbon at the official opening of International centre UiB.
Photo:
Emil Weatherhead Breistein

The official opening of International centre UiB was August 30. However, because of the semester start August 15, the centre has been open for new students since early August. The aim of the centre is to strengthen the administrative effort in the university's international activity, and improve international cooperation and mobility at the University of Bergen.

- International centre will facilitate this important work at the University of Bergen, pro-rector Margareth Hagen said at the opening. 

Cooperation

It’s been two years since the university director initiated an effort to establish a centre across the central administrative divisions.

The staff will, amongst other things, provide advice and support to faculties and departments, advice researchers on research stays in other countries and help international students at semester start, as well as being a resource for students going abroad, in collaboration with faculties and departments.

 “It is great that the centre is finally up and running”, says centre leader Nina Gry Stein and Elin Berge Flo at the UiB Division of Student Affairs.

They believe it is important that the university has now gathered employees with expertise in the fields of international relations and collaboration in research and education from the HR Division, the Division of Research Administration, Estate and Facilities Management Division and the Division of Student Affairs under the same roof.

“Gathering expertise from different fields will give synergy effects, and strengthen the university’s international focus”, Stein and Flo says.

International experience

They believe it is a great benefit for students to gain international experience.  

“Learning a new language, experiencing other cultures, building international networks. These are great experiences, and also strengths that potential employers will appreciate later”, they say.

They advise students from UiB to go abroad, and welcome the international students coming to Bergen.

 “International students makes the student environment at our university richer”, says Stein and Flo.

High hopes

At the opening of the centre, student parliament-leder Håkon Randgaard Mikalsen said that international cooperation is a vital part in creating good education. For example, 28 percent of the students at UiB take exchange studies as part of their degree, and the aim of UiB is to increase that number to 40 pecent by year 2022. Mikalsen also pointed to the many international students in Bergen.

- I have high hopes for this new center, he said on behalf of the students.

University director Kjell Bernstrøm is convinced that the centre will have positive effects on the administrative effort of the international activities.

He also said that International centre elevates the Student Centre as a meeting place.

Students

Law-student Francesco Schmidt from Italy and marine biology-student Cian Kelly from Ireland are both new students in Bergen. They have already visited International centre. Schmidt will be in Bergen for six months, taking parts of a degree from Toronto University, whilst Kelly will be a student in Bergen for the next two years.

Except for the rain and high prices, both have a great first impression of Bergen, the scenery, and the university.

“We like the idea of studying with people from all around the world and different cultures. But we also want to get to know the locals during our stay here”, they say.