International day 2019 – an event to remember
The 6th of February was a big day at Høgskulen I Volda. The international office have had to prepare one of the most important events of the year, the international day. A day which students from more than 40 different countries have its own stand and the chance to show local students a little bit of its culture, its country and universities.
“The goal is that locals can get closer with internationals and encourage them to study abroad too” says Pepe who works at Pangaia (an organization for international students).
Music, special guests, a little taste of food from all around the world and a few surprises made the event a successful one with lots of Norwegian students going around and discovering more about the universities partners the college has in order to offer them a good opportunity to study elsewhere.
From Hungary to Norway
Kitti Fodi is from Hungary, she’s 24 years old and studied a journalism degree back at home. Now she’s taking part of her media master at VUC. When she was told about the event she became happy with the idea, it was something new for her and a good occasion to meet new people and, why not, learning things from other cultures too.
At ten o’clock internationals started to show up at Berte Kanutte Huset, the main building where the event took place. All stands had the name of the country with the flag at the top of the board and every year it’s decorated by students showing their cities, typical food, monuments or just whatever they want related to it. Another thing they might do is to cook something from its area or country, and for Kitti that was a struggle at first “we were just two people, we decided to make some Hungarian pastry and they got too dry so I was thinking all the time would it be good, would not? Will people like it?” but later her nerves went away when students started appearing. “They were so nice, I talked with them about my university and culture, and they seemed to like the food we had. It was fantastic”. Later, she decided to attend the special guests lecture. This year, Kristofer Hivju and Gry Molvær Hivju were the main guests. It was an inspirational and emotive lecture about failure and success and not to be afraid of following your dreams.
“I did enjoy a lot but I was always in a rush” remembers Kitti while talking about that day. “I also participated in the flash mob so I had to practice before doing it” and suddenly, music got louder and an empty space in the middle of the cafeteria was fully occupied by a group of internationals dancing to the rhythm of DJ Snakke and Selena’s Gomez new song Taki Taki. “It was fun, a lot of people came to me after the dance saying that it was so good”.
Finally, she had a walk around the different stands; Poland, Australia, USA, Russia, Germany, Spain… trying some food like pretzels or Spanish omelet and getting to know different habits. “It was good not only meeting more and new international but seeing Norwegians interested in knowing about us too”.
According to the Research Council of Norway and its Indicator Report published in 2018, the number of international students in Norway had quadrupled since 2000 and is almost the same number of Norwegians studying abroad, which are around 25.000. With this good news, hopefully the number of both incoming and outgoing students will keep rising and rising.
Text: Sonia Gonzalvez Juan (student in work training)