- A university that cares about its students
The German student Nadine came to Norway after an exchange stay at Svalbard, and now she does not want to leave.
- I find the people here in Bergen so relaxed and warm. I’m not used to mountains, but I love the scenery in this city, says Nadine Steiger.
She has just finished her master's degree at UiB in Meteorology and Oceanography.
Fell in love
- The University of Mainz in Germany, where I did my bachelor in meteorology, used to offer an Erasmus exchange to UNIS in Svalbard via the University of Bergen. When I saw pictures of Svalbard and heard former students talking about their experience there, I was sure that I also wanted to study at UNIS for a semester, says Nadine.
The 25 year old student, originally from a town close to Frankfurt in Germany, quickly learned to love the wild northern nature.
- In spring 2013 I travelled to Svalbard, where I was fascinated by the nature and I became very interested in polar research. I got many Norwegian friends, and I realized that Norway is a good country to study polar science. When I was done with my bachelor’s degree, I visited friends in Bergen and fell in love with the city, says Nadine.
Polar research in Bergen
- It was just perfect that in addition to me really enjoying the city of Bergen, the university here offers a master's programme in meteorology and oceanography with a very large variety in interesting courses and a deep focus on polar research. The Geophysical Institute that hosts all the meteorologists and oceanographers is a charming building. Of course, it was also a bonus to know that it is easy to move to Norway as a European and that Norway is known for a high standard of living.
We meet Nadine at Eidsvåg farm, just outside Bergen city centre. She has been working part time at the farm while studying at the University of Bergen, and she is glad that she has had this opportunity to become a part of society in Bergen in addition to campus life as a student.
- The master’s programme started off with an introductory programme for new international students. During this week we were informed about absolutely everything, including how to get a job and things to know about Norwegians. We didn’t have anything similar in the beginning of my bachelor’s degree and I appreciated it a lot. We got incredibly much help and could ask many questions at any time. Also at my study programme, the semester started with an introduction lecture for all the master’s students, in which I met all my fellow students and learned about all the different research groups and professors. It was very little that I had to think of myself. I was very grateful that I also got my own reading place in a room with all students on the same semester.
Decided to only talk Norwegian
When Nadine arrived in Bergen she decided to only have conversations in Norwegian with the other students. This decision made the first semester hard.
- The student bonds were tight and my vocabulary was limited, and I nearly had any real conversations during the first semester, she laughs.
The master’s student already had a Norwegian boyfriend, but worked hard to get to know her fellow students.
What did you do to get to know other students?
- Every semester, there is one day at which all student organisations have a stand at the Student Centre where they present themselves. I attended that day and I learned a lot about the possibilities on how to become an active student.
She got involved with voluntary work at the student place Kvarteret, and also joined the marching band at the university. Her big interest for the environment also led her to the environmental organisation “Fremtiden i våre hender”.
- The organisations made the campus life so much more fun and interesting.
Wants to stay
Nadine just finished her master's degree.
What are your plans now?
- I have completed my master and liked it so much at the Geophysical Institute that I want to continue working there. I think that UiB is great, at least for natural science studies, and I like that students actually get informed about all offers that the university has. The university actually cares about its students and continuously wants us to improve in both social and professional aspects. During my studies, the choice of courses was very flexible, so that I could include lectures and excursions from other departments or faculties as well.
- For the future, I would like to find a PhD position at the Geophysical Institute or another research institution in Bergen.
Name: Nadine Steiger
Home country: Germany
Master's programme: Meteorology and Oceanography with a specialisation in climate dynamics.
TOP FIVE SPOTS IN BERGEN
1. Nygårdsparken (For warm summer days or evenings, where it is possible to BBQ with friends, put up a slack lineor and just enjoy the nice flowers and atmosphere. Because it is just next to UiB, it’s easy to take a small study break there.)
2. Gamlehaugen: The summer residence of the royal family is also a nice spot for summer days, where you can lie in the beautiful garden and swim in the sea.
3. Løvstakken (The mountains are enjoyable at any time and offer many different routes to the top and change completely with every season, so that they never get boring and can always be used to escape the daily life. Løvstakken is my favourite one as it has a prefect height for a small trip, offers a great view and is not as crowded as Fløyen.)
4. Det lille kaffekompaniet (My favorite place to enjoy excellent coffee or a hot chocolate after a trip on Mount Fløyen.)
5. Festplassen/Lille Lungegårdsvannet (This is the heart of the city, where many events take place and where you can sit around the small lake with friends, just enjoying the beautiful flowers and the view on the mountains.)