Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your name? How old are you? Where do you come from?
My name is Emily Hill and I'm 23. I am from Stourbridge, England. I love travelling and if I can make studying an excuse to travel, then even better!
What is the name of your university, study programme, which discipline? When did you start studying?
I attend the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. I study an M.Sc. in Environmental Toxicology, which I started in August 2016. At the moment, I'm taking courses at the University Centre in Svalbard as part of my Master’s, and I'll soon be starting my field work here on Svalbard.
What made you choose this programme? How did you decide?
During my Bachelor studies, I did an exchange semester at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). I realised I loved Norway and came across my current Master’s programme through one of my lecturers. My main focus is Arctic environmental toxicology and in doing this Master’s, I was able to go back to Svalbard to take more courses. It was an easy decision for me to take this Master’s.
Did you find your study programme on Studyportals? If so, how then did Studyportals help you in your decision process?
I used Mastersportal to confirm I was making the right decision. I compared similar Master’s degrees and looked through all the courses of interest to me. I also used Studyportals to help find scholarships that could fund my studies abroad.
What were the main challenges you had to face before being accepted to your university?
There were a lot of documents that needed to be uploaded like a scan of my passport and a transcript from my previous university, as well as a letter of motivation and an academic reference. The required documents were pretty much the same as when I applied to university the first time, but the application systems can be different and it took time to work it all out.
Did you take a language test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS) when applying for the programme? If yes, which one did you choose, why and how was your experience with it?
What are three things you like most about the university? Why?
It's extremely international, there are many clubs and societies and there is always something happening around campus. The university grounds are also really beautiful.
If you could improve anything about the university, what would it be?
I've found it really difficult to know who to go to when I need assistance with something. Because the university is so huge, there are hundreds of staff members who all have a different job. That can be frustrating as an international student because you have so many questions.
What are three things you like the most about the city?
It's a small city but it has character. It's also right next to a river and a fjord so it's easy to get out in nature. There is a beautiful cathedral in Trondheim, which is what the city is most famous for.
What was the biggest surprise in your study adventure?
The biggest surprise was when I arrived at my accommodation at 3 am and found out I had no curtains or bed sheets. Always take more than you think you will need! And take some home comforts, even if it's just the brand of coffee you like!
How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 – It is/was a total disaster, 10 – I have/had the time of my life)? Why?
10 – it was the best decision I have ever made. This Master's was totally the right choice for me and I love Norway. Hopefully, I will stay after I have finished my studies as well. The pace of the Master’s is just right and my thesis project is exactly what I wanted and I couldn't have done it anywhere else.
What would be your advice for students from your country that consider studying abroad?
I would say just go for it. If you don't like it, you can always come back. But I assure you if you make the most of every opportunity that comes your way, you won't regret it and you'll make friends for life and memories you'll never forget.
What are your future plans after graduation?
I am considering taking a PhD in Norway when I graduate, but that's a big decision I have to make. I hope I will stay in Norway, regardless of what I decide.
Share your favourite spot, at the university and the city with us!
My favourite spot is probably on the main campus, Gløshaugen, right in front of the old main building that is lovingly known as Hogwarts. On a nice sunny day, that's the best place to be.
Were you inspired by Emily's story?