«Like a scene from the universe of Harry Potter»

«We heard a lot of great things about the university and Scandinavia in general, but we didn’t expect the semester to be this amazing», Mathilde Kneit, student in Comparative Educational Studies says.

The picture shows students in Comparative Educational Studies during music class. Students in Comparative Educational Studies during music class.

Mathilde Kneit from Belgium and David Losada from Spain are both exchange students, and have just finished their semester at the Comparative Educational Studies at the University of Stavanger. From January to June they have been studying in Stavanger together with international students from all over Europe. 

Learn about the Norwegian schools

Comparative Educational Studies is an exchange programme taught at the Faculty of Arts and Education at the University of Stavanger. 

The programme includes the two courses «Inclusive Education» and «Music Crossing Borders», which are compulsory, and the students can choose one of the two optional modules «Migration and Intercultural Relations» or «Drama in Early Childhood Education».

The students can also choose to take the course «Extension Module: School Experience» which includes a period of four weeks of practice in a local school where the students will learn a lot about Norwegian culture and the Norwegian school system. 

Strong connection

Mathilde Kneit and David Losada are teacher students in their home countries, but this last semester they have been studying Comparative Educational Studies in Stavanger, Norway. They both chose the subjects «Music Crossing Borders» and the «Extension Module: School Experience». They had heard a lot of great things about Stavanger and especially about the pedagogy taught in the Scandinavian countries. David Losada spent his practice period in a local school and says he learned a lot from it. 

«It was a great experience to be able to witness how the pupils interact with their teacher. They seem to have a strong connection that I am not familiar with from Spain. The pupils here are also more respectful and they know not to overstep the boundaries», says David Losada.

He thinks it is a really good idea to have cooking courses in school from an early age so the pupils can learn more about healthy food and get familiar with making their own meals. 

«And who knows? Maybe some of the pupils want to become a chef and not a mathematician», he says.

«Great atmosphere»

The exchange students were also impressed by the university, the campus and the nature in Stavanger. 

«The campus and the university are great. The buildings and the cafeterias are bright and classy, and the atmosphere and the environment are really good. And I just have to say that the university's library was amazing. I felt like I was stepping into a scene from Harry Potter when I first entered the library, and they have an entire space just for relaxation with couches where you can lay down and relax for a moment», Mathilde Kneit says. 

She also enjoyed the student bar and that there are a lot of activities in the region that you can do like surfing, hiking and so on. 

« I really want to come back, and my long time goal is to make a career as a teacher in the Stavanger area", Mathilde Kneit says. 

Text and photo: Maria Gilje Torheim