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To acquire English and experience new cultures at the UO

 

The Post interviewed a Dongguk University (DU) student Yoo Hyun-jin, who attended the  University of Oslo (UO) as an exchange student. She majors in English Interpretation and Translation at Dongguk University and she’s continuing her study of English Literature in Norway. Ms. Yoo shared her unique experience with the Post, and here is what she said.

What kind of place is the University of Oslo?
The University of Oslo is located in Oslo, the capital city of Norway. It is the largest university in Norway and has a long history. Norwegian professors have a good command of English like native speakers. Their insightful explanations about English literature courses help students continue their study in depth. UO is conducting an exchange student program so students in UO can meet a lot of students from various countries. The atmosphere in class is casual with open communication between the professors and the students. Each class in UO is 10 credits unlike 3 credits per class in DU. Students normally take 3 classes and have seminars one or two times a week. Students get a chance to share their ideas and listen to other students’ thoughts through this seminar.

How did you apply to become an exchange student program of UO?
I focused on my TOEFL score, but it was hard to get a high TOEFL score in a short period of time. I would say the official English score, volunteer work, a good school record, and an interview are all important to be selected as an exchange student. If I had to choose one, it would be to get ready for the interview. Applying to UO was particularly competitive since students are exempt from paying tuition fees. I preferred to stay in a place where there were few Koreans in order to force myself to speak English.

What are the merits of UO?
It is good to have an environment where the school puts stress on students’ autonomy and responsibility. Professors let students find problems and answer questions themselves. So we carry out assignments daily, rather than completing assignments all at once. Since we only have a few classes it’s easier to complete work on a daily basis. Besides, we have plenty of chances to talk to people holding a variety of nationalities not only Norwegians. This is one of the good things about UO. We also learn from each other and share the lessons that we did not cover in class.

What are the demerits?
I don’t see any demerits of UO since I really like the school. But, if I should say one, it would be the four hour long examinations. Four hours for 1 exam seems like not enough time since foreign students can use an English dictionary and all take the exam at once.         

Money does matter
Exchange students receive a 10% tuition fee exemption. UO is exempt of tuition fee, so it does not cost a lot of money to attend UO. Living expenses are where your money will be spent instead.  
 
Tips and Advice
Norway sounds unfamiliar but it is a wonderful place. We can learn English and other things since it has many different cultures and a diverse environment. The things that I learned in Norway are that you should not be afraid of new experiences and events. You will experience fresh things and gain a lot from them. One year in Norway gave me unforgettable memories and gave me a chance to change myself. It is truly worthwhile to have a valuable experience such as this. I hope your hard work pays off and you get the same opportunity I had.     

Noh Yoo-ra  yoora829@hotmail.com

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