Never before have incoming exchange students at UiA been met with more activities on their first week than this year. The goal is to integrate them in the academic and student environment as much as possible from day one.
"We know from experience that the first few days are extremely important for the new exchange students who come to us. We also know that we are good at this. At the same time, there is room for improvement: we want to be better at it," says international coordinator Mette Høgbråt Pedersen (photo) from the Division of Student and Academic Affairs.
In total, there are 143 international exchange students enrolled in bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes at UiA. 111 are new students – 15 in Grimstad and 96 in Kristiansand – while 32 of them came last autumn and will stay for this semester. All of them came to UiA via international exchange programmes that the University of Agder is involved in.
The largest group of incoming exchange students come from Germany. A total of 35 German students have chosen UiA this spring, followed by France (24), Italy (9) and The Netherlands (9). There are also six students from India.
“Norway is exotic. It is one of the world’s most peaceful and safe countries. It is very exciting to be here. This is why we chose Norway as an exchange country and UiA as an exchange university,” says Shweta, Ruchika, Sumedh and Sandeep, four of the six students from India. All of them are students at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mombay. At UiA, they will be attending lectures at the School of Business and Law.
Like all incoming exchange students, the Indian students will be busy during their first week following a practical programme designed to introduce them to the Agder region and help them make the most out of their stay. See their complete program here. In Kristiansand, they have been invited by the mayor to Byhallen where they will be able to watch a film about the Southern Norway, among other things.
Key players in following up the exchange students are the “buddies”, fellow students in purple t-shirts that can be spotted on both campuses during this period. They are here to ensure that the exchange students are being taken care of. This year, the Buddy scheme, which is part of the international Erasmus student network, is cooperating with UiA’s own buddy arrangement: the Fadder scheme. This is the first time that the two organisations are collaborating this closely to welcome new exchange students.
111 new exchange students arrived at UiA last week. They come from the following countries (15 are staying in Grimstad, while the rest will be in Kristiansand):
Country / Number of students:
There are also 32 exchange students who arrived last year and are continuing their studies for another semester at UiA: