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"Good food, friendly atmosphere, tons of activities for students"

Free education is a unique opportunity itself.

Alina Shibanova from Russia

Bachelor in English

Please introduce yourself. 

I am Alina Shibanova. I’m a first-year student from Russia, Murmansk region. I study at the Bachelor in English.

Why did you choose Norway? 

I heard a lot of nice things about Norway from my father. He used to work there in 90s. My first time in Norway was in 2016 as a tourist. Of course, I liked it, but I didn’t get a chance to meet and talk to people. Then, in 2018 I saw an advertisement about volunteering at Barents Spektakel in Kirkenes. It was such a cool experience. In one week, I met hundreds of interesting people, experienced wonderful atmosphere, and very good food. My second year at the festival was even better. It was in that moment that I decided to come and live in Norway. One year ago, I applied to three universities in the north, in the middle and south of Norway. I would have been happy to get to any part of Norway, but I was particularly interested in the south.

When looking at universities, what stood out about UiA? 

I always dreamt of living in the south since I am from north myself. I wanted new experience in my life! I was lucky to get accepted at the University of Agder.

What were your first impressions upon arrival? 

I was amazed by the hot weather and well organised set up for new students. 

What do you think about your course in particular? 

It is a well structured and versatile course that examines English language from different perspectives. But since it is my first semester it is hard to say too much about it still. 

What do you like about Kristiansand and why? 

It is extremely beautiful and cozy. It is way bigger than my home city, but I feel very comfortable. While participating in SiA activities I figured that the city has all kinds of leisure activities and easy access to wild nature. It even has palm trees and beaches! 

What was one thing you discovered about Norway that was unexpected? 

I didn’t expect Norway to have palm trees! Well, I knew what to expect since I have been in Norway before, but I think people are great here. They are open and friendly, and their English language skills are great. 

What would you like to share about UiA to your home country?

I would definitely mention the facilities, such as the nice and spacious classrooms, good food, friendly atmosphere, tons of activities for students and interesting lectures I had. 

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities?

Free education is a unique opportunity itself. Besides, I study English and here I can practice it every day outside the classroom as well since people are so good at it in Norway. There are also many exchange students here.

It is wonderful that the University gives us the opportunity to meet other students, to get to know people from other countries, and become good friends.