In this post, we introduce you some of the new Hedda master students at the University of Oslo. Welcome to Oslo!
The start of the new semester has brought us as well a new beginning in the Hedda program. As an international Master’s program, the origin of the new student cohort is as varied as Higher Education systems around the world, being the new group an excellent example of how the field of Higher Education is diverse and complex, and on how the different contexts of each country interacts with their development. We have students from Africa, Asia, Europe and America, what makes us very proud, reason why we decided to ask some of them to tell us a little bit more about their motivations, their lives and, also, their first impressions of the life is Oslo.
We started with Nayer Shahedifar. She’s from Iran, the cradle of the Persian Empire and one of the biggest countries in Middle East. She has been living in Oslo already for three years. “I’m not a fan of the weather –she argues- but I really like that here, in Norway, rules are followed and are explicit, nothing is hidden behind curtains”, she added. She admires the vision Norway has on education and how that is reflected on the opportunities the country offers in that matter and also on how they support their citizens in failure scenarios. “The concept of poverty is different here”, she says. Regarding her motivations for entering the Master’s program in Higher Education, her background as a literature teacher, both English and French, and as a Journalist, has a lot to do, but her real motives comes from her time at university in Iran. “I was part of a talent program in which they allow certain students to take two degrees at the same time. Only one out of ten succeed. That can’t be right. How can that kind of policies help the country and the students explode their potential? I was the only one who succeeded”, she told us. She would like to go back and help Iran in their path towards development, but the when is not clear, and the where is not clear either. When ask about her expectations on the degree, she explained that she looks forward to obtain a better understanding of the education system as a whole and to gain the ability to detect problems and deliver solutions regarding this matter.
Célio Mindo, from Mozambique, was our next interviewed. He arrived one month ago, more or less, and his background is very different from Nayers’. He is a Bachelor in Finances and has work as an assistant manager for ECOBOM, a water company back in his country. About his motivations to enter the Master’s program in Higher Education, he is very clear. “I looking for a different learning environment, a different society from which I can learn. Besides, I intend to mix my academic background and experience with education, because that way I can help Mozambique become a better country in my own way”, he declared. He seeks to contribute to create a better educational system form Mozambique with new perspectives, and he knows that studying in Norway is a challenge, but an even bigger one because “I’m not in my field”, he argued, “but if I can manage, everything is possible”, he added. He expects the program to help him learn new technics, to gain new experiences and to access to more information. “I expect to learn how to apply the new concepts, to that way face the reality of my own country from there, with new basic and complex tools with the challenge of applying them”, he said. Regarding his new life in the city of Oslo, he has a very positive opinion. “Besides the weather, it is very nice. People is kind and helpful, it is a good surprise for me, I didn’t really knew what to expect”, he said. The city itself has also been a surprise for him. “It is an interesting city, lot to see and to explore, I expect to see more. The best of it is how it is divided in different atmospheres. You have fun, calm, everything, like a lot of cities in mixed into one.
Andrés Araos, from Chile, was our third interviewed student. He studied Industrial Engineering and afterwards worked in entrepreneurship for two years. “I believe education and innovation are the keys for a more equal and sustainable society”, he argues as his main motivation to enter the program. His expectations are high, but he believes it’s just a matter of focus. “I would like to become a researcher and to that way set a new framework for the management of innovation in Higher Education. Entrepreneurship and Universities are almost divorced, even though most of the times they seek similar goals”, he added. He wants to help his own country, but he believes that what the world requires now is a more global, humble and generous vision on problem resolution and that education plays a very important role not just in the generation of knowledge, but also in the ideas that can change the way we relate between each other. About the city, he was also positively surprised. “I love the city and the people from Oslo. They can be a bit shy, but they only want respect for their space. The mix between nature and urbanization is perfect, I could easily live here for a long time”, he said.
Finally, we approach to Aikaterini Drakoulaki, from Greece. She has a bachelor in primary education, and a passion for languages. She has mastered French, Spanish and English, all with proficiency certification, and Norwegian is her next challenge. Regarding her motives to enter the Master’s program in Higher Education, she is very clear and concise. “I’m keen about teaching in Higher Education and, as well, I intend to learn about how universities are administrated, something in Greece is impossible to learn in an academic context”. She expects to go deeper into the field of Higher Education and to really learn what it actually means. “I see myself as a PhD candidate in a few years”, she confessed. About Oslo, she was here a few years ago as an Erasmus student. “I felt in love of the city, it’s calm and alive at the same time. I like the people, I admire that university is free for everyone, everything is well organized. I really want to live here in the future”, she said to finish.
We enjoyed talking to our new students, their lives and experiences are a reflex of the spirit of our program. We wish the best for them in their new start at the Master’s degree in Higher Education and in their new life in Oslo.