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I am passionate about travelling and meeting people from different cultures

The initial reception from the International Office and the efforts taken by them will always have a special place in my heart.


from India

Tell us about you

I am Sumedh, an exchange student from SJMSoM, IIT Bombay. My hometown is in Kolkata, which is known for its cultural and arts heritage. I did my Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and then worked for two years in Larsen and Toubro Limited. Currently, I am in the final year of Master of Management and the subjects in which I am interested are marketing, supply chain, and human resources. I am passionate about traveling, meeting people from different cultures and reading books on diverse subjects. I am an ardent Manchester United fan.

Why did you choose Norway?

I wanted to have an international exposure during my master’s course, as I believed it would increase my understanding of the dynamics of business in a global world. I have also always been fascinated by the culture in Scandinavian countries and intrigued by the fact that Norway has one of the highest indices of happiness in the world. This is one of the countries at the forefront of championing sustainable business practices, responsible global citizenship and respecting individual privacy. The scholarship provided to us by the university was also a big factor in our decision-making. An added bonus were the beautiful landscapes in the country. All this made Norway as the choice of destination for me to have an international experience.

How was your arrival?

It was the 1st of January when our flight landed in Oslo. We reached late in the afternoon and our bus to Kristiansand was going to depart late in the evening. A new country, a new culture; thousands of miles away from my home. We reached Kristiansand late at night and as promised a representative from international office came to pick us up. Madam helped us load our luggage, gave us keys to our accommodation and drove us to our new abode. Such a warm welcome from someone in a foreign land touched my heart. We spent the next two days exploring this quaint town which was going to be our abode for the next five months. I had always read that people in Norway are humble, helpful and happy. Slowly we could witness that from our own experience. Then the day came for our orientation. Early morning, we found a representative from ESN Agder waiting downstairs at our accommodation. She was super welcoming and told us a lot about the place. When all of us were together, she took us through a short cut to the university; a short cut which became our daily route. Our ESN buddies took us around the campus to show us our classes, places to study and a place to party.

How is the quality of education of the University?

The quality of education in this university is good, as we have learned a lot from the courses we took. Prof. Stein explained to us the new institutional economics, and how it plays a big role in the development of the emerging nations across the globe. The classes, which were a mixture of theory and key insights from his own experience, enhanced our understanding of various facets of business in the emerging markets. Prof. Stina introduced us to the topics of culture, ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, which has helped me realized the answers to various questions which I had in mind before coming to Norway. Prof. Jochen’s subject was demanding but it’s taught in a way which has helped me understand various econometrics models in a simplified manner. Prof.  Ilan’s course has helped us fill the gaps in our understanding of marketing in an international context. Prof. Stine’s course on revenue management especially regarding the cases in tourism and restaurant industry and Prof. Tanushri’s course on e-marketing especially the strategic framework interested me a lot. It was a wonderful and enriching experience for me to learn from the distinguished faculties. The only issue we faced is the course structure especially the course content for all the subjects put together is extensive and became overwhelming for us at times.

What’s your favourite place in Kristiansand and why?

My favourite place in the university is where Coffee hour takes place. I have a lot of fun making waffles with my new friends and discussing stories ranging from travels to culture, movies and so more. Whenever I get time, I like to go to the island of Odderøya. There is a place on the eastern part of the island where you can sit calmly on one of the seats, soak in the sun and look towards the sea. It’s a soothing experience and a place for me to relax.

Have you planned any trips?

I have visited a lot of places since I arrived in Norway. I went to the islands nearby, hiking in the woods, and I am planning to listen to a concert in the beautifully designed Kilden Performing Arts Centre. I have visited Tromsø to see the northern lights and snowshoeing in the arctic mountains. I also went to Oslo and liked the Norwegian Folks Arts Museum, Drøbak harbour and a play at the Nationaltheatret, Oslo. I plan to travel to Bergen and Lofoten Islands during the spring season. Overall, travelling in Norway has been an enriching experience.