Welcome, international students

International Students’ Union of Norway welcome the international students arrived to Norway this August, and will work for the social, academical and political inclusion.

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August is when the «Norwegian experience» starts. August is the month when most new international students arrive to Norway, and a very important moment to help on their inclusion to a new student environment and Norwegian society. Anxiety, culture shock, a new language and culture are challenges for them, but also they bring new ideas and perspectives to Norway.

The first two weeks are crucial, as new friendships when the “Norwegian experience starts” are built and official information provided by Norwegian higher education institutions, about issues such as residence permit registration and meet their study coordinators to discuss their study program. However, we cannot forget that after those introductory days, comes “Fadderuke” where international and Norwegian students meet in different social events.

ISU Norway considers August a very important time to meet new students, and the 25 Local Branches organize several events and presentations in different campuses in order to help inclusion of international students. Moreover, ISU Norway Executive Board has been present at several campuses in Norway to meet and talk directly to the international students as NMBU, HiOA, HsN and ViD.

Social inclusion helps to cope with culture shock when coming to a new country, especially in the first two weeks because it helps to show the study potential from international students once they are included in the country. On the other hand, academic inclusion should allow for an opportunity to take Norwegian language courses that are credit bearing. This helps to break language barriers and enhances the study experience. Nevertheless, in ISU Norway we believe is very important to co-ordinate and follow the individual initiatives to include refugees in academia as the examples of UiO and HiOA, and in cooperation with Nokut offer an opportunity for the whole country on a more coordinated work to include refugees in academia.

ISU Norway works also to protect international students’ rights as it helps their social inclusion in Norway, and the most important right we defend, is the principle of free education. Students should have equal opportunities to access education regardless of financial background, while tuition fees create social inequality. We will work to oppose all organizations that intend to affect this principle, the most recent of which was Senterpartiet in their working document «Ta hele Norge i bruk! Program 2017 –2021». International Students’ Union of Norway (ISU Norway) requests that Senterpartiet discuss with us how to actually improve internationalization of education, and drop their unfounded suggestion to introduce tuition fees for international students in Norway.

It is important that the voice of international students are heard in Norwegian

Daniel Hernández Iniesta

International Students contribute to improve internationalization of education in Norway, because besides working to protect our rights, is important that the voice of international students is heard in Norwegian politics so we include the ideas of 25000 students in Norway. For instance, we can discuss how to establish a full degree program for students coming from developing countries, and that we as international students can bring our inputs to improve internationalization of education in Norway.

With that purpose we have formed a group to discuss Norwegian state budget to be released in October, arranged meetings with SiU and other Norwegian organizations to discuss how can be included the new perspectives and ideas international students bring to Norway. A very sensible case has been the situation of Turkish students´ in Norway, and as a result of the information received directly from students, we have informed the Ministry of Education (KD).

Cooperation is crucial, as it brings a better inclusion for international students and improve internationalization of education. ISU Norway is very glad that NSO and SAIH were present in our first National Board meeting last July and gave us great inputs, besides our job becomes even more transparent. ISU Norway we want to take the initiative and break a “comfort zone” and we are meeting other Norwegian organizations as SiU, Norad, Changemaker, Spire or ANSA where ISU Norway was invited and had the opportunity to talk about internationalization of education, besides discuss a better inclusion for international students.

International students bring new opportunities for all students. ISU Norway project to cooperate with Embassies in Norway has brought already several internship opportunities, that helps on a future career development for students in Norway. The next Embassy cooperation meeting on 3rd of October, will include at least 25 embassies and SiU presence, where we shall discuss Panorama and Norpart educational programs, future career and internships development and an opportunity for the embassies to present their cultural, educational and trade projects for all students.

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