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"Everything that is being offered here is of a great level"

This Master's degree is very interesting, specially due to the fact that we have such a wide variety of nationalities taking part in it.

Maira Padilla from Mexico

Master in Global Development and Planning

Please introduce yourself. 

My name is Maira Dávila Padilla, I'm 31 years old and I am from Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City). My Bachelor's degree is in Cultural Studies and Management. My Bachelor had two main branches, one of them was related to cultural studies (a relatively new field that combines anthropology, sociology and history) and the other one was cultural management (a field that dealt with administrative topics within culture and the creation of cultural projects). My Master's degree here in UiA is Global Development and Planning. My hobbies are going to concerts, chatting about music, going to the woods and being in nature.

Why did you choose Norway?

For some time I've had an interest in nordic countries. I visited Finland, but the language seemed to difficult for me to learn in a short time. Afterwards, I visited Norway and I really liked it, and that's why I decided to apply for university here. One of the things that stood out to me the most was the nature that surrounded the country and the connection that Norwegian people have with it. I also really like the peacefulness.

When looking/applying at universities, what stood out to you about UiA?

The courses offered and also the area at the university is located at. I was familiar with Southern Norway and also with the content available for international students, such as the Master's degree I selected.

What were your first impressions upon arrival?

I had really good first impressions. I think the university is very organised and modern. I also noticed that the university cares a lot about the students and their overall health and wellbeing. Everything that is being offered here is of a great level.

What do you think about the course in particular?

I think this Master's degree is very interesting, specially due to the fact that we have such a wide variety of nationalities taking part in it. Thanks to that, we are exposed to more diverse perspectives and views in the topics we discuss. The content is very interesting, but I have noticed that the workload is intense. 

What do you like about Kristiansand and why? 

I don't really know Kristiansand, I currently live in Arendal. Generally, Norwegian cities have a lot of nature spaces and I really like that. They are also very tidy. It's easy to go from one place to another, as each city has lots of connections, making it easy to travel.

What was one thing you discovered about Norway that was unexpected?

I think it's very strange that nothing is opened on Sundays! I also think that the shops close early here too.

What would you like to share about UiA / the study programme to your home country?

I would like to share everything I have learnt with people that are interested in the subject. I would like to share it as I think it would be beneficial for us, for the community. I would also like to share my experience! Maybe I can help people that wish to do the same thing as I'm doing right now. 

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities? 

This is such a unique opportunity... I can live here full time. For me, this experience forms part of one of the best chapters of my life. I am very satisfied with the plans I have had. I have been able to accomplish something I had envisioned a long time ago: to live here and live the culture.