From Northern Africa to Northern Norway to study biology

Her determination to study biology while experiencing a different culture led Camela Haddad from Algeria to Nord University. Camela is left with no doubt about her decision: – The time at Nord University has so far been incredibly rich!

From Northern Africa to Northern Norway to study biology

When Camela first started studying in Algeria she knew three things: that she wanted to specialise in biology, that she wanted to do her degree abroad, and that she wanted to experience something new.

After spending an entire year researching different countries and study locations she finally decided on doing her bachelor's degree in biology at Nord University in Bodø.

– I specifically chose Nord University because this is the only Norwegian university that offers the entire biology bachelor in English. I also wanted to attend an affordable university with a solid academic level. A lot of European universities have high tuition fees for non-European students like myself, Camela says.

Love for the living

Camela has always been interested in plants and animals, and studying at Nord has contributed to increasing her fascination for the field:

 It's fascinating learning about life - you understand why things are like they are. I've had a lot of interesting subjects already and I'm looking forward to all the opportunities that I've got here, Camela says.

So far, Camela is also pleased with Nord's study model.

 I enjoy that we focus on two to three subjects per semester. Back home we had at least five or six subjects per semester. The courses here are lighter, but focus on the points that you need to understand and remember, she says.

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Fascinated with life: The Algerian student has been fascinated with plants and animals for many years. At Nord Camela is able to do her entire biology degree in English, which is her third language after Arabic and French. (photo: Svein-Arnt Eriksen)

Broadening her horizons

Camela says her first six months in Bodø have taught her a lot. She has tried cross country skiing for the first time, learnt some Norwegian and made new friends in the international community. She's even become the president of the International Students Union Bodø (ISU Bodø).

Camela feels she's gained a lot from studying abroad:

– I feel like these first six months have been very rich, both academically and emotionally. We should all experience a period of our lives away from home. We learn so much about ourselves when diving into a different culture. It gives you a broader perspective of the world, making you more open-minded and respectful of other cultures, she says.

When pondering upon differences between Algeria and Norway Camela says:

– It's like they're two different worlds!

 Not that one is better than the other, but they're very different. Algeria is more family centered and we socialise with our family more. Big families often consist of 20-25 people and we meet often, she says. 

Wants to give back

When asked about her future Camela is clear – she's going back home.

– Algeria is my country and the best place for me. I want to go back and do something useful, apply the knowledge I've gained here and use it to benefit my community, she says.

Although she hasn't decided on which field she wants to specialise in for her master's, Camela is playing with the thought of one day becoming a researcher.

 I think I want to work as a researcher, maybe discover something extraordinary!

Bachelor in biology

Credit points: 180

Study location: Bodø

Scope: Full time

Admission requirements:

Higher Education Entrance Qualification and documentation of previous studies in natural sciences at high school or university level. This includes Mathematics plus at least one of the following subjects: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Informatics, Geosciences and Technology.


 >Read more about the bachelor programme in biology here 

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