I study technospheric safety in my home university, but took economy courses in Alta: entrepreneurship, innovation and project management.

It was the best four months of my life. I arrived in August. The bright sun was shining and the sea was as blue as the sky, and my mood as bright. I went back in December and the polar night reflected well my feelings.

UiT has a very good program for newcomers. A Russian-speaking student met me and helped to solve my problems with luggage. I had two days off and immediately went to get acquainted with the city. Alta is a very cozy and beautiful place. The residential area changes smoothly to the woods, and the mountains rise proudly above the sea.

Education in Norway is very different from ours. We had classes about three times a week for three hours. In Russia, we learn three, four times more. We also handed over all the work in electronic format. We had Germans, Russians, Finns, Norwegians, Sami and Turks in our group. Even the teacher could not always understand our dialects. We had a lot of group tasks in the process of learning; Norwegian education teaches you team work. The examination system in Norway is also different from the Russian. I studied four subjects and had four types of exam: oral, in writing, homework and group work. All exams are evaluated by an independent observer from another university.

Vladimir Mamaev 2

We had an interesting cultural program as well. Many excursions were organized by students from the Erasmus association. We went to Kautokeino Sami Museum and the Cape Nordkapp. We looked at cave drawings, and also went for a week in Murmansk as part of the curriculum.

The language was the biggest problem for me. I had excellent grades in school, and at the Institute of English, but I understood only 25% of the material in Norway when I started. I came home at 2 pm and read books until 2 am. It was very hard!

I have become interested in Norwegian culture after my trip. I often watch Norwegian movies and listen to Norwegian songs. I want to continue with northern research in the future. The Russian government plans to develop northern tourism, and I want to work in this area. My dream is to work for a Norwegian-Russian tourist company in Svalbard.