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"The community at UiA makes this place feel like home"

The lecturers here do their research on topics that are highly important in the world of science.

Besjona Shkurti from Albania

Master in Mathematics - Mathemathics Education

Please introduce yourself. 

My name is Besjona Shkurti, I am 21 years-old and I am from Albania. I completed my Bachelor’s in Mathematics at the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Tirana, Albania. I am currently in my second year of the Master’s programme in Mathematics - Mathematics Education at UiA. My hobbies include travelling, outdoor activities and going out with friends. 

Why did you choose Norway?

There are several reasons, but the main one is that I wanted to study in a country that had a different culture and nature from my home country. Norway seemed stunning with the northern lights, its deep fjords and snow-capped mountains. Other factors that influenced my decision were that Norway is one of the safest and happiest countries in the world with very high living standards.

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

One of my professors suggested UiA to me. He knew other Albanian math students who had studied at UiA and had had an amazing experience. 

What were your first impressions upon arrival?

At first, the idea of travelling and living abroad (far away from my family and friends) was a little bit scary for me. However, as soon as I arrived here, I discovered that the environment was welcoming and exciting. Everyone was willing to help me out if I had any problems. The community at UiA makes this place feel like home – especially to a foreign student like me.

What do you think about your course in particular?

My classes here have been very valuable and beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, alongside the theoretical part of the subject, we have a practice period that includes presentations. These presentations help us reflect on what we have really learnt from the area of study. I have also enjoyed the course’s group projects – via these, you can share and gain knowledge with the other students. Lastly, I also think that the relationship between the students and the professors is quite nice. 

What do you like about Kristiansand and why?

Kristiansand is a small city - but there are still so many beautiful places to see and so many activities you can do. Due to the small population, everyone seems to bond more with one another, especially exchange students on campus who can create long-lasting relationships. I think Kristiansand is a very interesting city. 

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

Norwegian people are very independent – it’s quite normal for Norwegians to move out and get a job at the earliest opportunity. I think this is really surprising.

What would you like to share about UiA to your home country?

The lecturers here do their research on topics that are highly important in the world of science. As a Master's student, I am conducting my research here, with the help and support of my supervisor and the Faculty. My research will be of great value to me as I am fascinated with research and science. 

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities?

Living in Norway and studying at UiA has been one the best experiences of my life. It has given me the opportunity to make friends from all around the world, and to get to know many different cultures. Now, I believe that everything has a solution and this has given me the confidence to constantly move forward and achieve great things. I have learnt to live independently and to assume my own responsibilities.