Anna Julie la Cour Vågen chose Stavanger as her destination when she was going on exchange in her fourth semester. The student enjoyed herself so much that she already has plans for another stay at UiS in the sixth semester.
“I enjoyed myself so much in Stavanger that I want to move here in the future. I therefore hope that I can return to practice again in the sixth semester, get more time in the city and learn more about the health system. I also like that UiS has many opportunities for further education after completing the bachelor's degree in nursing,” says Vågen.
The stay has also improved her Norwegian language skills. She grew up with a Norwegian father and therefore has a lot of family in Norway. In Denmark, the exchange student lives in Klitmøller, which is a small coastal town. The largest town nearby is Thisted, which is also the town where she studies and where the hospital she is affiliated with is located. Vågen is originally from Copenhagen, but has also lived in California for four years.
Impressed by the variety of leisure activities
She loves surfing, hiking and skiing, which also contributed to her choice of Stavanger. The information provided by UiS before she arrived was good, and it was also possible to live in a dormitory near the university. However, Vågen chose to live with a Norwegian couple whom she did not know beforehand.
“A friend from Stavanger whom I met in connection with surfing in Denmark knew them and put me in touch. We became very good friends, and they will visit me in Denmark this summer,” she says.
Which tourist activities have you participated in during your exchange stay?
“I have been in the center of Stavanger and went for walks, shopped and ate in restaurants. I have been out surfing on the coast of Jæren on beautiful beaches. I have gone on many mountain hikes: Ramnstoknuten, Dalsnuten, Skjørestadfjellet, Bjørndalsfjellet and several others. I have skied at Ådneram with many nice and funny Norwegians who were very good at skiing and snowboarding. I have eaten fresh salmon that an acquaintance had caught this summer and frozen, I have met new friends, gone for walks at Ølberg, been to the surfing festival at Boretunet, been to the cinema and have mostly enjoyed everything Stavanger and its surroundings have to offer,” answers Vågen.
Instructive and motivating internship period
On the first day of the internship, the exchange student was given a tour of the university and then went to her internship location - Sola Hjemmesykepleie. Her supervisor was pleasant and good at teaching her knowledge.
“It was a pleasure to be with her during my internship. I was very inspired by her compassion and her patience with the residents that we visited. I also had the opportunity to be independent and try many different tasks. Examples of this are giving insulin, measuring blood sugar and helping residents in the morning or evening. I also managed to have a good relationship with many of the people I was at home with,” says Vågen.
What are the most significant differences between being a nurse in Norway and Denmark?
“There are many similarities, but I did see that the nurses I met in Norway are more satisfied with their work. I saw better working conditions, better pay and better time. All in all, something I hope Denmark also gets one day. At many internships in Denmark, I have met nurses who often talk about how they do not enjoy their job, are stressed and are not satisfied with pay and working hours. It is sad to hear that they feel this way, and also demotivating when you are in practice as a nursing student. That is why it was pleasant, refreshing and inspiring to meet nurses here in Norway who seemed satisfied with their work,” says Vågen in conclusion.
Text: Eigil Kloster Osmundsen
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