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"The support of my professors and staff here has been phenomenal"

In this current crisis, UiA has given me the opportunity to live a normal life for a few months.

Victor Silvestrin-Racine

from Canada

Please introduce yourself 

I am Victor, I am 30 years old, I am half French and a half from Quebec, I live in Montreal. I study the Management of Public Administration at a Masters level, after working for 8 years in the Energy sector. 

Why did you choose Norway?

Norway was not a choice, it was an integral part of my degree. My degree is sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers, hence every semester, we move to a different university in the Nordic countries. I started my degree in Tampere, Finland, and in the winter of 2020, I had the chance to come to Kristiansand for the first time. I chose to complete my degree here instead of going back to Finland because of the support that the university grants and the student life here. 

What were your first impressions upon arrival?

In the winter of 2020, during my first arrival, I was automatically amazed by the generosity of nature here and the seamless connection between the sea, the mountains and the city. Also since I was living in Kvadraturen, the old neighbourhood, I was struck by the houses and the distinct architecture. 

In the winter of 2021, the organisation of our arrival was planned very carefully with the international office and that made our arrival experience much easier and the quarantine period went smoothly. 

What do you think about your courses?

For now, I am writing my thesis which is looking at the transition of the Nordic countries’ ambassadors. The support of my professors and staff here has been phenomenal. 

What do you like about Kristiansand and why?

I don’t think there is another city of 100,000 inhabitants with this quality of life and with that many international connections. Moreover, the Kilden Theatre and the Odderøya island are sights that should not be missed. 

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

The bunad dresses and outfits are a testimony to the link between modern Norway and its tradition. I think that is a beautiful aspect of the culture. 

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

I would like to recommend exploring and getting out of your comfort zone. Living here in Norway and experiencing university life at UiA has taught me much more than I expected. To my own country, I would also say: we are sometimes focusing too much on North America and we should also explore what the Nordic countries have to offer.  

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities? 

In this current crisis, UiA has given me the opportunity to live a normal life for a few months. It has allowed me to discover the Norwegian culture much further than I thought I would with all the activities and events organised.