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Cracking the Norwegian code

A successful seminar with Julien Bourelle on understanding Norwegians and Norwegian culture

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Julien Bourelle holds entertaining lectures on cultural particularities in Norway

A project team working with the strategic area "Global Mindset" at the University of Agder has organized August 15 a successful seminar with rocket scientist Julien Bourelle on understanding Norwegians and Norwegian culture. This is one initiative among many as part of a strategy project that aims at increasing cultural awareness at the University of Agder.

The seminar had remarkable high attendance. Both Norwegian and international students and employees enjoyed Bourelle’s stories as a French Canadian on his experiences in Norway as a foreigner and laughed at many of the funny situations he has gone through during the few years living in the Scandinavian country.

Explaining social behaviours with humour

In Norway, good enough is enough

Julien Bourelle's eye-opening lecture draws a clear picture of Norwegian social behaviors and their meaning.  Bourelle, in a humoristic tone, touched upon how to deal with Norwegians in a professional setting. He gave also advice on how to easy socialize with Norwegians through for example “dugnad” or becoming a member of an association or a club. These tips help foreigners to understand better the behavior patterns and reactions in daily life situations.

Through entertaining stories and visual examples, the audience learnt more about verbal and non-verbal communication, emotional feedback, social norms and Norwegian values that influence interpersonal interactions.

The workshop is initiated by a project group that works on both short-term and long-term cultural awareness strategies. «This has been a very successful event and will help us attain our goals in increasing cultural awareness among locals and international students. Bourelle provided funny and good insights into the particular Norwegian culture and explained elegantly how to connect with Norwegians. It is one step further towards a real multicultural environment where everyone feels included and valued,” says project manager Nora Clarke.

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