Intensive kickoff for master’s students to break ice and form friendships

The Norwegian Hotel School’s master’s students were welcomed to UiS with a three-day kickoff at Viste Strand Hotel.

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Tre personer sitter ved et bord og ser på noe på en laptop. Foto.
Students engaged in activites at the kickoff at Viste Strand Hotel. Foto: Terje Ingerbrigt Våland.

– We believe this is a great way to create great interaction from the start amongst the students, student program coordinator and professor Terje Ingebrigt Våland says.

Encouraged enthusiasm

32 new master’s students were taken by bus to the beachside hotel in Randaberg, were they had the entire hotel to themselves. Throughout the three-days-event, the students were given tasks which demanded active participation, such as playing given roles in a simulated trial and engaging in a business simulator game, where their businesses competed against each other.

– This way, they learn how to work together and get to know each other in a less moralizing way than us lecturers just welcoming them with speeches and encouraging them to read more. Our mission was not to give them advice on how to study well, but to break the ice and encourage enthusiasm, Våland says.

Tre studenter i rollespill bak et skrivebord. En ung mann sittende til venstre med caps og blå t-skjorte, en ung kvinne stående i midten, snakkende med et ark i hånden og en ung kvinne sittende til høyre. Foto.
Students taking part in a simulated trial. Photo: Terje Ingebrigt Våland.

– Beneficial for both students and program

The goal of the event was to allow the students to get to know each other and the staff before the lectures starts.

– This is essential for the learning process in the various courses, including the master thesis. It is important that the students establish a dialogue with the lecturers early on, so that it feels easy to contact them throughout the studies. Getting to know each other in this type of setting, makes that easier, as opposed to just meeting each other in big auditoriums, where you don’t get that closeness, Våland says.

He hopes the kickoff becomes a tradition and believes it will have a positive effect, both for the individual students and the master’s program as a whole:

– I think it will lead to greater participation in the classroom, a higher attendance and more active student participation. In the long run, I believe this kickoff will contribute to making it easier for students to graduate and finish their studies.

Smilende mann med blå og hvitstripete skjorte foran en hvit tavle. Foto.
Professor Terje Ingebrigt Våland believes the kickoff is a great way to create great interaction from the start amongst the students. Foto: Asbjørn Jensen.