“Without GLODE and the internship, I certainly would not be where I am now”
Mathias James Venning, who normally goes by the name Mats, and Kiri Elida Paulsen Brevik got exciting opportunities after their internship period during the UiB master's program in Global Development Theory and Practice (GLODE).
Kiri from Norway had been studying for three years at UiB before becoming a GLODE student one and half years ago.
“It sounded interesting to still live in Bergen, but at the same time study at an international master's program and get connections with people from all over the world,” she says.
Mats who graduated from the GLODE program last year, on the other hand, comes from the UK. He had been living in Canada for two years before moving to Bergen.
“The GLODE program sounded incredibly interesting when I was reading about it. Especially its breadth of modules, focus, and teaching style, which is progressive and a fun way to be active in the learning, as opposed to being passive. Also, Norway had a lifestyle I was interested in, in terms of the massive outdoors community,” Mats says.
Mats describes the transition to normal life and course life in Norway as seamless.
“UiB was helpful and student accommodation was easy. Also, every Norwegian I have meet along the way is fluent in English, and certainly happy to talk in English,” he says with a smile on his face.
The internship pathway
In the flexible GLODE program, students can choose their specialisation and whether they want to do an internship abroad or in Norway for one semester. Mats chose a specialisation in Health Promotion and to do an internship at the Norwegian Research Centre (Norce) – a decision he does not regret today.
“The internship pathway aligned nicely with my specialisation in Health Promotion, which is an active discipline. I wanted to put some of the theory into practice and get experience from the real world. Also, when it comes to getting employed after a program, it is often a case of who you know, your communication network, and your professional contacts,” he says.
Kiri, unlike Mats, chose a specialisation in Gender in Global Development and to do an internship at Hordaland Red Cross.
“Unfortunately, it is unusual that you can do an internship as a part of your study program. This is sad because I found it interesting to use what I had learned during my first year at GLODE in practice and to see how the organisation needed my knowledge. Especially all the group work we did during the first year of the program, where we learned to cooperate with people with different backgrounds, equipped me for the internship,” she says.
Mats and Kiri were offered exciting opportunities after their internship. Mats was first offered a part-time job after his internship, then a full-time job, and later a PhD scholarship at Norce.
“I never really applied for a job, but you could say my internship and the five–six months I carried on working for Norce were an extra-long job interview. Without GLODE and the internship, I certainly would not be where I am now,” Mats says.
Kiri got an extension of the internship at Hordaland Red Cross after her internship period and got accepted to the popular UiB SDG200 course. Among 400 applicants, she was selected as one of 90 successful candidates, which will get the opportunity to sail over the Pacific Ocean with Statsraad Lehmkuhl from May to August 2022. According to Kiri, her education from GLODE played an essential role in getting accepted to the course, which focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“I am looking forward to seeing how the things I have learned during GLODE, can be utilised during the SDG200,” she says.
Both Mats and Kiri emphasise the diversity of the student mass as one of the greatest strengths of the program and a reason to apply.
“The mix of students with different academic and societal backgrounds facilitates for dynamic and interesting discussions and conversations in class, where everybody is coming with their backgrounds and opinions. This is important within the field of development, because otherwise we risk continued dominant ideas within development that does not get challenged,” Mats says.
“I recommend applying. It is a highly relevant study program since there are many jobs looking for people with knowledge of the SDGs and sustainability. Also, it is interesting to learn about different countries and cultures from classmates from those places, and to befriend people from all over the world, which makes it possible to visit fun places because you will have friends who live there,” Kiri says.
Text by Sunniva Kvamsdal Sveen, GLODE student and journalist intern at Bistandsaktuelt, Norad. She is a Master student in Global Development and has a Bachelor's Degree in Comparative Politics (UiB).