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International Day inspires students to study abroad

Published: 2017-02-14 15:30 av Per Straume

Anne Nordengen, a BA Social Work student at VUC, did her traineeship abroad last semester and was one of many presenting her experience abroad at the International Day 2017 at VUC. Anne and fellow students at VUC, together with more than 20 international guests, represented countries and partner universities at the fair to inspire new students to do a semester abroad.

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Musical performances, a colourful fair, tasty culinary treats from many countries, a large number of international displays and an inspiring lecture from the man who has visited all the countries of the world – the International Day 2017 at VUC offered all this and more.

– We are fortunate to have students willing to help us create such a great fair, both local students who have studied abroad and international students currently in Volda. In addition to the students, we also hosted more than 20 guests from partner universities abroad, and together this makes up a great display of global partnerships and possibilities for study abroad for our students, says Head of the VUC International Office, Arne Humberset.

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Many of the international guests were impressed of the level of activity and student turnout at the fair and the amount of international activity at VUC in general. Even though the guests represented large universities, they may not be used to the amount of interest in study abroad and international affairs at their home institutions.

idag4_620.jpgThe Indian stand with a creative and colourful display had many visitors during the fair.

The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SiU) has recently published a report on the number of university/college graduates in 2015 who had taken a semester abroad as a part of their studies. In this report, VUC was listed top-five in the country with 23% of the graduates having done a semester abroad. VUC scored similar to the large universities in Norway and approximately twice as high as the average for university colleges.

– We are of course very happy to end up high on such lists. However, we have a general suspicion towards this kind of statistics since they focus only on numbers and not the quality and the outcome of the student mobility. So we are happy about the result, but not satisfied. We can always do better in terms of quality, for example in providing better information to students and/or establish even more relevant exchange agreements with universities abroad, says Humberset.

 idag5_620.jpgArne Humberset (right) with special guest lecturer Gunnar Garfors – the man who has visited all countries in the world.

The International Office at VUC already has ongoing projects to increase the quality of international activity and student mobility. A new database of partner universities has just been published, providing more information about VUC’s partner universities abroad. At present, VUC has more than 100 international exchange agreements with partners in over 40 countries.