Faculty of Law
Semester start 2012

Studying abroad changes you

– When you return to your country, you will be a new person. Studying abroad changes you, Professor Sunde tells the new international students at the Faculty of Law.

Ingrid E. Tøsdal

Main content

Tuesday 14 August marked the semester start for new international students at the Faculty of Law. Coming from a total of 21 countries and 65 universities worldwide, the 115 new law exchange students start a new study period away from home for one or two semesters, and will be exploring a new legal system.


A new start

The day began with an information meeting where the Dean, Asbjørn Strandbakken, wished them a warm welcome and introduced them to the faculty.

– Your main purpose here is to study law, but you will also get a cultural experience from your stay in Bergen, he said.

The Dean continued by saying how pleased he was to see so many students at the information meeting and emphasised how important internationalisation is.

A third of the Bergen law students go abroad every year to study law. The number of incoming exchange students keeps increasing every year and he underlined how important it was to maintain good relations with the Faculty of Law's partner universities worldwide.


Various courses on offer

The meeting continued with a presentation of some of the law courses offered by the faculty.

– Energy is important, energy is everything! Making sure we use the natural resources in a good manner requires legal regulations and a legal system, said Professor Ernst Nordtveit, who teaches the Energy Law course and presented it to an audience of interested newcomers.

New students can choose from 9 of the courses taught in English during the autumn semester at the Faculty of Law. Fields students can choose from include Criminal Law, Human Rights Law, Commercial Law and Company Law.

In addition to those courses, an introduction course is offered to the new international students: Exploring the Norwegian Legal Culture.

– When you return to your country, you will be a new person. Studying abroad changes you, said Professor Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde, who teaches this introductory course. Professor Sunde went on to explain the content of his course, and how it would give students a new perspective on the legal system in their respective home countries. 


New horizons

After the information meeting, the new students enjoyed the faculty’s cafeteria with a view of the fjord, and spent time mingling.

Heleen, Ester and Isabelle from Belgium, and Pavel and Jan from the Czech Republic arrived in Bergen last week and are getting to know each other. All agreed on the reasons for choosing Bergen as the destination for their exchange study period.

Heleen was attracted by the faculty’s interesting courses and study programme, and Isabelle had a special interest for the Nordic countries.

– My home university encourages us to choose Scandinavian countries as they have a good reputation, added Ester.

Beyond the choice of courses, which had an important role in making them choose the University of Bergen, they all agreed that nature and Norway’s outdoor activities influenced them in their decision too. Jan and Pavel are looking forward to experiencing what Norway has to offer. They have already explored Bergen and its surrounding mountains since their arrival.

All of them are now part of the mentor week, arranged by ELSA (the European Law Students’ Association). New social activities await them every day, but studying is also just around the corner as some students will be having their first lecture today already.