Study and work in Norway. History of Nikita Sinyansky
Study and work in Norway. History of Nikita Sinyansky



Study and work in Norway. History of Nikita Sinyansky


In December, Nikita Sinyansky, who came from the Global Ambassador abroad, gave us an interview about living and studying in Norway. We included the basic information in the video, but it still did not include many interesting facts. Therefore, we decided to publish the full interview as a text.  

"Hello, my name is Nikita Sinyansky, I'm 34 years old. I studied English for six months in England and after that I entered the Norwegian Technical University for a 2-year master's degree in English in Project Management, or Project Management. I studied for two years and I have been living and working in Norway for two years now.

Background of receipt

I was born in Yekaterinburg, graduated from 110 school. After that I entered the Radio faculty at that time UPI, now it is UrFU. He graduated in 2005, after which he studied for about a year at the graduate school of Radio faculty, but somehow the academic life did not work out. I did a little work and the idea came up to change my life a bit and study abroad. But for this it was necessary to master the English language, which at that time was below average for me. Several times I tried to learn English at many points in the city of Yekaterinburg, but since there is no talent for this (and here is work, study, friends, etc.), so the result was almost zero. Well, we gradually came to the point of trying to go abroad on a sufficiently long program to reach my English language to a level sufficient for passing TOEFL / IELTS and entering a foreign university.

And then the case brought me to the Global Ambassador. We selected programs for a long time and as a result, after several weeks of searching and negotiating, we found a super-optimal program. I studied in England, in the city of New Castle, it is practically the border with Scotland in the North. There I studied English for about 5 months at a language school and lived in a family. This time has not passed in vain - I pulled my tongue well enough, passed the necessary exams at the end of the year, and after that I returned to Yekaterinburg and we have already begun to prepare for entering a foreign university.

How did the admission process go?

It was also a rather long process of choosing a country, program, direction and other things. But if you answer the question why Norway, then focus on Scandinavia - it was such a childhood dream. I spent the entire student time at skiing, practicing them at a fairly professional level and became a master of sports. Well, and of course, from childhood, Norway was something so unattainable and dreamy to me, and when the question arose of where it studies, it was my priority. I also considered other countries of Scandinavia and Northern Europe. An important factor was that in Norway there is a free higher education. And, of course, the attractiveness of Norway and all other Scandinavian countries is a fairly high standard of living and other top positions in the world ratings of countries. So we came together in Norway. In parallel, so that with possible unsuccessful admission there would be some additional options, we were still exploring admission to Finland. That is, I entered simultaneously in two universities: in Norway for a master's degree, and in Finland for a bachelor's degree. Well, we started filing documents and all the procedures. Here, in fact, the Global Ambassador played an important role again: all the guys have a fairly wide experience.

First, I’ll tell you about the magistracy. No entrance exams were required for the magistracy. All that had to be done, the first was to achieve the required level of English for this master's program, the second condition, since it was a master's program, was a completed bachelor's degree, in which I was credited with 5 years of Russian education at the Radio Faculty. The selection of students by the selection committee was carried out mainly on motivation letters (why the student needs training, what background (experience) the candidate has in the field of training and work, and most importantly why he needs this program and how it will be useful to him in the future). Global Ambassador and I did everything in order: we wrote all the motivation letters, edited, cut, enlarged several times, and then sent the documents. Submission of documents was carried out in several stages. The first stage was quite formal - you just had to register on the site and fill out a short form. The second - within a few weeks to provide documents confirming the language, recommendations, motivation letters, certificates of study at the undergraduate. After that there was a weary expectation: in January we all filed, and the answer came only in early May.
In parallel, I entered the undergraduate program in Finland. It was a little harder - I had to go to the exams. But I was lucky, because these exams could be taken in St. Petersburg. I went and additionally took, in my opinion, three or four exams. It was interesting enough, because at the exams there were not enough visitors like me, but on the other hand, whole classes, entire schools, came to them from St. Petersburg schoolchildren with teachers.

Studying in Norway and differences from Russian education

I will make a reservation right away that I graduated from a Russian university in 2005, and started studying in 2011, so my ideas about Russian education may not be up-to-date. Nevertheless, I will tell you about the main differences in my opinion.

In general, the master's program is divided into two years, that is, 4 semesters, the last of which you write Master Thesis graduation thesis. In the first semester there are more mandatory programs, well, several to choose from, each subsequent semester more and more programs are added to choose from. What I really liked about studying at the master's program is that there are only 4-5 courses per semester, each of which ends with an exam.

Another interesting difference is that the training takes place in the most electronic form - all the information on the course is concentrated in the electronic environment: all lectures in writing, presentation slides, links to documents. That is, it was possible, in principle, not to attend a lecture, but to look at everything on the information portal. It was necessary to attend only colloquiums, laboratory work, practical exercises and, of course, to come to the exam. This gave freedom of travel and movement throughout Norway and Europe. The courses ended with an exam - for me they were mostly written. I liked the fact that when you write an exam, you do not sign with your name, you are simply randomly assigned a serial number, and in the process of checking the teacher does not know whose work he is checking. Thus, they try to exclude the subjective aspects of assessment - that which is probably present in Russian universities.

My training was not technical (and not humanitarian, and not technical), say Project Management - this is not a practical specialty. We had rather few practical tasks than, for example, in engineering and other technical specialties. Accordingly, there were more lectures, more conversations, more theory. Well, the exams were theoretical, and not for solving any practical problems.

How was the accommodation organized

As a foreign student, I got a dorm room. The hostels are quite comfortable. We had 4 private rooms per floor and a shared kitchen with toilet, in the basement there was a laundry room and a gym. In principle, training takes place in a fairly comfortable environment (at least for international students). I studied in an international program, and we were all international students. We were all in about the same conditions, since we were all newcomers. In general, it was always fun, provocatively, well, and the learning process is quite interesting.

Life in Norway after graduation

When students enter, basically few people think about what to do next. A rather big problem, at least in Norway and most likely throughout Europe, is that it is rather difficult to find a job for a foreign student from Russia, if this is not some demanded technical specialty. 

For example, I left to find a job and work in Norway or in neighboring countries. From the very first courses, all students of very active courses began to look for work, a job fair was held and a lot of activities were aimed at this. But, unfortunately, in practice, most often these activities were aimed either at engineering and technical specialties, or at local students. That is, competition in the labor market is quite high. Firstly, the Norwegians naturally prefer to hire their citizens, if there are none, then they come from nearby Sweden and Denmark (because the culture, language are similar and, in principle, it's easier), then the countries of Western Europe (Germany, Holland) come, then the countries Eastern Europe, then the Baltic countries, of which there are also quite a lot of people, and then we (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians). Again, if we look at a student who came from Yekaterinburg, naturally he has a lot of competition with the guys from St. Petersburg and Moscow, because they are a little stronger and know Europe firsthand.

For a long time I could not find a job. I was already running out of a student visa, under which students could be in Norway and look for work when I was a little lucky, and I found a great option for me. But again, on the condition that it was necessary to move far to the north of Norway, almost to the northernmost point, beyond the Arctic Circle. There are severe climatic conditions, little competition, and so it turned out to find this job. Now I have been working in the same place for more than three years. I was engaged in the fact that we opened a crab factory in the north of Norway, at the moment I am its manager. 

Tips for future applicants and those who are studying abroad

The first advice is that you must answer for yourself why you are going there. Here you need to be extremely scrupulous in choosing a country, city, or university. If possible, I would still advise you to go to the proposed country, city, and even visitors to this university campus and university before entering there. There is such an absentee impression of the country in beautiful tourist videos and other things, which often does not coincide with reality. For example, your personal feelings within this country may not coincide: someone may feel good, but someone may not. That is, it is better to spend relatively little money and time and go there than then, upon arrival, two or three years to feel discomfort and regret that you have not chosen another option.

The second, most important thing, is probably still to be a little information literate. You must always find the source. If you select a university and a program with the help of some educational centers, you should always go to the source, you need to go to the university’s website and view the current parameters.

Third, if you still return to the question for what purpose are you going. I’ll omit the options a little if you are traveling with the goal of simply knowing the world, enjoying international life and other things, because I didn’t go for this and have little to say about it. And also the option when many, especially girls, go to create a personal life abroad, here I can not help much either. If you still consider the option of finding work and life in this country on an ongoing basis, you need to understand that any country of high quality and with super-duper parameters (take Canada and the USA, Norway, Switzerland, Australia), whatever country attractive, you need to understand that heaven does not exist on earth, that everything will be there, including fierce competition with other people and other nations. And in this regard, the most important thing from the moment of arrival in the country is to understand that the local language is a paramount thing. That is, for example, if this is not an English-speaking country, and you are studying in English, you need to understand that the entire population of the country, perhaps, does not speak English. In Scandinavia, this is simpler: almost everyone understands the English language and speaks it well enough. Well, for example, countries such as France, Germany, even Holland are quite conservative in their language. But even in Norway, as soon as you begin to speak a non-local language, naturally, immediately the attitude towards you is a little different. My advice: if you are going on a permanent basis to the country, from the first day you need to focus more on learning the local language than, for example, on academic success, because personal contact and personal acquaintance in employment will actually play a big role, than your ideal grades and achievements in academic life. Well, this is if you do not want to build a career on an academic basis.

And another observation is, if we return again to the competition, which is quite high, then perhaps a reasonable option is to look for work, place of residence and even a university not in the capital, but in the periphery. That is, the smaller the city, the farther it is from the capital, the less attractive it is for its own students or its own employers, and accordingly there is less competition, more personal contact, it’s easier to get settled, people are more humane and much easier to solve all the bureaucratic difficulties. For example, when I lived in Trondheim, updating a student visa took about six months (while you take a turn, until you receive), when I moved already to the north, it became much easier: you just come in a live queue and within a week or two all bureaucratic issues are resolved . This is also important.

Well, the last tip: you need to calculate your financial education. If you plan to go for 2-3 years plus from six months to two years to look for work, then you need to understand that these two, three, four years need to live on something and somehow exist. Most often on university sites or on national portals (e.g. Study in norwayStudy in Finland), there are direct calculations on how much a student should have with him for a year, for a semester, or for a month. If you take Norway, then this is even a prerequisite: you must show that you have this money in your account and in reality this money goes. Perhaps this is all the advice.
Thank you for your attention and wish you good luck in comprehending foreign life! "


Nikita Sinyansky

graduate of the master's program Project Management 
at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology

  ← Read more about going abroad  View other stories →  

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