My Journey to BI: From Canada to Norway

Name: Cassandra Stead

Degree programme: BBA

Hometown: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Citizenship: Canadian

Motivation

I first heard about BI Norwegian Business School through various different ranking systems available online. For example, the Financial Times and QS World University Rankings. I then went on to view their website in search of more details.

I decided to go to BI because I found the university administration was very organized, responsive, and helpful. Moving away for the first time and at such a young age, I believe it is important to make sure you can get help if you need it. You are going to be a long way away from home and there are many new and different things that you are not used to, so knowing that the university will help you have a smooth transition is comforting.

I believe this will help my career by allowing me to stand out among other applicants in the future. It is not every day that you meet people who have studied abroad and specifically in Norway. More and more, companies desire applicants with an international perspective and the best way to gain this is through embarking on a truly international experience.

Academic Experience

The best piece of advice I can give to new students about my programme is make sure you are organized and stay on top of things. Seek help if you need it instead of trying to muddle through. Additionally, it is really important that you join student associations. By joining student associations not only are you able to learn more information about a subject (or a sport) of interest, but additionally it gives you the opportunity to meet new people. Furthermore, it is important to enroll in some basic Norwegian classes. Although everyone in Norway speaks English well, if you are planning on staying here for more than one semester you should learn the basics. This will allow you to get around more easily and impress your Norwegian friends when you can introduce yourself in their language. Above all, strive to do the best of your ability.

I have been challenged by the idea of the final exam being worth 100% of your grade. It can make it very stressful on the day of your exam. In Canadian universities there are always assignments, midterms and papers completed throughout the semester which make up a portion of your grade alongside the final exam. However, as long as you begin studying for finals well in advance then you will be more than fine.

International Experience

The biggest culture shock for me moving to Norway was the fact that practically nothing is open on Sundays. For me I have always had Sunday as my day to go to town, so it took a while trying to get used to the fact that only cafes and restaurants are open on Sundays.

The most remarkable experience I have had so far was being able to participate at the Nordic Trading Competition in Copenhagen on behalf of BI. I gained a lot of useful and applicable knowledge regarding the stock market which could aid me in a future career in Finance.

The one thing you absolutely must do while living here is see the Northern Lights. Although I myself have not yet had the chance to do so, I do not plan on leaving until I have. I’ve seen pictures from friends of mine who have seen them and it looks like such an amazing experience.

The scariest thing about moving away from home was not knowing anybody initially and never having visited the country previous to my move. When I stepped off the plane in the summer it was my very first time entering the country that would serve as my home for the next three years. Although I can now say that there is absolutely nothing to worry about if you decide to move to Oslo and after the first week of school you will meet so many new people and gain many lasting friendships.

Reflections

The most remarkable/interesting thing I learned about myself at BI so far is that I was able to adapt and excel quickly coming from a Canadian high school to a Norwegian University. Not only was I moving half way across the world, but I was also going from high school to university which is a big change all on its own. However, after a few weeks you adjust to workload and have a schedule set that allows you to balance your studies with your life.

My career goal is to become a corporate lawyer specializing in international financial law.

Do not miss your chance, GO NORTH!

Cassandra Stead started the Bachelor of Business Administration programme in August 2018. To find out more about the programme, go towww.bi.edu or email myfuture@bi.no.

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