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"I like that one can take as many courses as one wants, and even choose courses across faculties"

The lecturers transform the lectures into a proper debate, meaning that we get the chance to brainstorm together and share ideas.

Gleb Khromov from Russia

Bachelor in Global Development Studies

Please introduce yourself 

My name is Gleb Khromov, am I a student at the University of Agder. I am 25 years old and I am from Moscow, Russia. My hobbies are producing electronic music, trading, and doing research on the energy sector.

Why did you choose Norway?

Two years ago, I came to Norway (Bodø) as an exchange student. I became fascinated with the Norwegian academic approach, the lifestyle, and the opportunities. That made me want to come back, so I decided to apply for my third degree at a Norwegian university. I then applied to the Bachelor in Global Development Studies at UiA, a programme that was very foreign to me, as it is not related to my previous degrees. 

I also chose Norway because it is a country that gives second chances. Here, people trust each other more and will try to do everything to make you thrive and prosper.

When looking at universities, what stood out to you about the University of Agder?

First of all, having experienced the north, I wanted a taste of the south. I had also heard from my Norwegian friends that Kristiansand was the Norwegian California (laughs). So, I wanted to see it for myself!

I had heard also that this university was a young university. I wanted to experience something different: a young university environment with lots of young faces. I wanted to discover something new that I had never encountered in the other universities I studied in.  

What were your first impressions upon arrival?

My girlfriend and I had a tough trip with the COVID-19 regulations: we had a two journey with a layover in Istanbul. When we arrived in Kristiansand, we were so exhausted, as we had not slept much. However, we were so happy to see that the sun was shining – it was 25 degrees, and the weather was amazing! The people were so open and smiley. The memory of it makes me smile and it made me and my girlfriend feel safe and sound.   

What do you think about your courses?

The courses are nicely compact, they offer good feedback, and the lecturers transform the lectures into a proper debate, meaning that we get the chance to brainstorm together and share ideas. 

The courses are quite flexible, so I am able to have a comfortable schedule, which makes me more productive and have a better academic performance.

The Norwegian course was a lot of fun. The professor (Roy) had a very individual approach. He managed to make the classes fun, and he really helped me to understand the language and the culture. It sparked a fire inside me and encouraged me to proceed with the language and learning. 

What do you like about Kristiansand and why?

I like the climate. I also think that everything is in balance. The city has so much to offer! It is compact and small, but it always has opportunities and things to do. The locals are very friendly and always smile.

I think the summer will be great – I am looking forward to experiencing Kristiansand in the summer. The city has also had some trees during the summer with pink and red flowers, and for me, those are the signature sight of the city, as I had never seen these before. 

The university campus is a shelter, you can meet your friends there and have nice talks.  

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

I thought that Norwegians were very strict and cold. That is what I had seen in Bodø. People here in the south are more social and very chill. They have a more relaxed outlook on life.

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

The flexibility and the opportunity to choose to change or rearrange your courses. I like that one can take as many courses as one wants, and even choose courses across faculties. For instance, I chose some economy courses from another faculty. I had no previous background, and I was fine! I got an A in this course. 

Thanks to this, you can make yourself an expert in the areas of your choice. I really love this university.

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities? 

I must say once again – the unique opportunity to choose the courses that I want, and the flexibility I have. I am also happy to have lecturers that are international (from the US and UK), that deliver excellent quality when teaching and they make your study process into a journey. 

I am also looking forward to going on exchange via the Erasmus programme, this is going to open doors for me. The Erasmus + programme helps you with the financial burden, and you are supported throughout your journey abroad. UiA has a big advantage by being connected with all the other universities across the EU.