From Russia to Norway

Name: Ekaterina Naydenova

Degree programme: Master of Science in Business, Major in Leadership and Change

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Management, Major in International Management

Undergraduate University: Plekhanov University of Economics

Hometown: Moscow, Russia

Citizenship: Russian


I first heard about BI Norwegian Business School while I was walking along Akerselva in Oslo for the first time. At those times I was in my third year of getting bachelor’s degree (Bachelor study consists of 4 years in Russia) and was looking for new opportunities for my personal growth. I was interested in international management and leadership knowledge which universities abroad had more expertise in.

I decided to go to BI because BI is the perfect combination of being one of the top business universities and being located in Scandinavia, where I feel comfortable, belong, challenging and safe at the same time.

I believe this will help my career by getting some knowledge from inside. I want to study the Norwegian way of leading, facing problems and changing the world to become a better place since Norway has already shown that they are good at managing resources, norms, and values. I want to use that experience to make further improvement for our future.

Academic Experience

The best piece of advice I can give to a new student about my programme is to enjoy that you chose exactly this direction. It is a lot of work but a lot of fun if you are where your interests lie.

I have been challenged by differences in educational requirements as for writing papers, it is a much more data-driven approach. Be ready to google a lot and search for facts!

International Experience

The biggest culture shock for me moving here was that Norwegians are not that cold personality types! I think Russians require even more private space than cold Scandinavians.

The most remarkable experience I have had so far is that during one course we were challenged to find the innovative company and film the interview about how the process of innovation was managed. I was amazed at the work of my fellow students, it was truly inspiring to cooperate with my group, the company we chose and my classmates.

The one thing you absolutely must do while living here is go hiking or sign up for the gym. Norway is a very sporty country, everyone from little to big improves their strength.

The scariest thing about moving away from home was not to see my family and nephew growing up so fast for these 2 years. But thank development of our times to be able to spend only 2 hours on the plane in order to see my family (where I am currently typing my Journey to BI ^^)


The most remarkable/interesting thing I learned about myself at BI so far is that I have so much to learn in front of me, but I am thankful for being outside of my comfort zone right now because it is the fastest way to grow.

My career goal is to establish my own business one day that will have a positive footprint for the future. 

Do not miss your chance, GO NORTH!

Ekaterina Naydenova started the MSc in Business, major in Leadership and Change in August 2018. To find out more about the programme, go to or email

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