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"I am very interested in social issues"

Haeyeon Oh (photo)

Development Studies is the perfect course to learn international relations. During the course, lectures throw topics that lead students to consider deeply and comprehend the curriculum through elaborate group works. Fieldworks will offer a practical learning environment for studying.

Haeyeon Oh from South Korea

Bachelor in Global Development Studies

Please introduce yourself

My name is Haeyeon Oh from South Korea. I am currently enrolled in the bachelor's program of Development Studies in Kristiansand and hold a BA in Journalism from my home country. Studying journalism had led me to become more interested in social issues, relationships, and how societies are intertwined. Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to participate in the publication of a coloring book. This project's objective was to diverge the people’s perception of African nations: from poverty-stricken societies to culturally lush and aesthetically attractive cultures. This experience has been one of the push factors for further my knowledge and education in the development studies sector.

Why did you choose Norway?

Norway has established social welfare systems to protect its people. Even though Korea and Norway have different circumstances and economic capabilities, I believe that this country's direct experience will widen the eyes to see the world. Moreover, Norway is the last country within the Nordic countries, that still offers free education, including the international students.

When applying for universities, what stood out to you about UiA?

The syllabus focused not only on theoretical studies but also practical studies, specifically field works. The balanced study plans led me to UiA. Moreover, the course was conducted in English, which was significant for a non-native speaker of Norwegian like me. Also, I believe that this would open opportunities for networking with students from various backgrounds.  

What were your first impressions upon arrival?

Kristiansand has a very different atmosphere from my country. I lived in Seoul, which is the capital city of South Korea. The streets are crowded with people, surrounded by skyscrapers, and the shops are lightened up all night long. Kristiansand, however, is a residential area, surrounded by nature. It feels safe and peaceful despite the uneasy situation we are faced with today.

What do you think about your course in particular?

Overall, Development Studies is the journey of finding the answer to "What is development?". However, there is no single and straightforward answer to the question. I have lived in Korea for my entire life before moving to Norway. Thus, I expect my study to share various opinions of the same topic, based on different cultures, interests, or religions. Also, I would like to understand the intertwined relationships between countries and what attitude I should take in each situation. Development Studies is the perfect course to learn international relations. During the course, lectures throw topics that lead students to consider deeply and comprehend the curriculum through elaborate group works. Fieldworks will offer a practical learning environment for studying.

What do you like about Kristiansand and why? 

So far, I have enjoyed the friendly company of the people, beautiful weather, and incredible nature. Houses with peaky roofs and bridges across the river are all fascinating. It is also interesting that Kristiansand is the only city with a lot of churches in Norway.

I am looking forward to discovering the town and other cities once I am more settled in Norway.

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

I can enjoy the same benefits as any other Norwegian student during my stay here on my residence permit, even as an international student.

What would you like to share about UiA/the study programme to your home country?

Studying in Norway is different from the Korean education and curriculum I was accustomed to. The programs offered in Norway, allow students to actively participate in their studies through various coursework, reading materials, and group discussion sessions. Diverse learning materials build a good foundation for understanding and experience for your career and future endeavours.

Do you think UiA has given you any unique opportunities?

To decide to join a BA program again was a big decision. I had to alter my career path and have to devote a reasonable time to complete my studies. However, I am thankful for UiA for allowing me to embark on a new career journey.