Near and Dear in Volda

Tekst: Vilde Moltudal Igland , Foto: HVO

Feeling seen, proximity, security and a leisure filled with enjoyable activities are things students highly value. They get that in addition to a solid education and friends for life here at Volda University College.

Free breakfast and evening meals during exam periods, conversations covering everything from heartbreak to study techniques, courses, stress-relief yoga, and borrowing a librarian at the library are just a few examples. The offerings for students in Volda go well beyond academics.

– "The student years are about the entire student life, not just the studies," says the dedicated Student Welfare Group at Volda University College (VUC). "Here, we care for each other!"

Volda has its own Welfare Group

Student welfare group
Student Welfare Group. Photo: Sunniva Krøvel-Velle

The Welfare Group at VUC is composed of representatives from various services that aim to make the student experience easier, safer and more enjoyable. The group includes counselors, a student chaplain, a student humanist, library staff, and the leader of the Student Parliament. They have a hotline to both the health station and psychologists. What they all have in common is a desire to make the student years magical.

It's something special about Volda. We care for each other here

Eli Anne Løksa

Eli Anne Løksa is a student counselor at the Student Welfare Organization in Volda (Sivolda).

Student humanist Lone Ellingvåg Knutsen (the first student humanist in Norway!) adds,

–"And everything is set up to make it easy to show students love. There are short distances between people, literally. The doors are open; we don't operate with waiting tickets," she smiles.

It's also worth noting that the student town in Sunnmøre has a variety of student organizations, and you can engage in everything from e-sports to ball sports, climbing in the brand-new Volda Campus Arena, surfing, scaling the Sunnmøre Alps for skiing or hiking, and student politics. Not to forget all the festivals in the town, many of which are student-run.

Popular Programs

Those who teach at Volda University College can attest to what Knutsen says. Their office doors are almost always open - the teachers are closely connected to the students, and vice versa. This is made possible when classes are not typically very large, and the study environment is close-knit both inside and outside of school.

At the same time, there is a long tradition of higher education in Volda. For over 150 years, competent teachers have been trained at the teacher education institution in the student town, and since then, numerous other study programs have emerged and become popular.

Kvinne har oversikt over medieproduksjon på skjerm

Perhaps the most well-known are the media programs, where many of the country's best-known and most-watched media professionals have graduated. In addition to the journalism program, which is known to many, the university college also offers several other exciting bachelor's degrees in media studies: PR, communication, and media, media production, and animation. On top of it all, you can pursue a Master in Media Practices —the first master's degree in Norway where students from various professions come together.

Short distance from classroom to the professional world

A common feature of most programs in Volda is their practical orientation—there should be a short distance from the classroom to the professional world. Most programs include external internships where students can apply the knowledge and experience they've gained at school in real work settings. This way, many students also gain valuable work experience and perhaps a foothold in a workplace that could lead to more job opportunities upon graduation.

In addition, there is also a significant amount of practical work and internships within the university college. Just like in the media programs, which moved into the brand-new and well-equipped media house in the fall of 2021, named the Sivert Aarflot House.

Study media in our new media building

I was told Volda has the best media education i Norway

Maria Pedko Lindbäck

– "I've had the pleasure of experiencing both the old and the new media building. In the old premises for media studies, I was told that Volda has the best media education in Norway. And now, standing in the new Sivert Aarflot House, I feel that we can finally see that Volda has the best media education in Norway," said journalism student and program host Maria Pedko Lindbäck, opening the ceremony when the Sivert Aarflot House was officially handed over from Statsbygg to Volda University College (HVO) in October 2021.

With its stunning and distinctive architecture, 4,000 square meters filled with television studios, radio studios, photography studios, "future labs," meeting rooms, group rooms, editorial rooms, and workspaces for staff, the house is not only a new landmark in Volda but also a state-of-the-art facility, primarily serving the media programs at HVO, designed to accommodate much more.

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