Reinvigorate your sense of wonder

cassidy in winterscape
Cassidy Shuvera (23) is the first Canadian student to arrive at Nord Bodø as the result of MIND: a new partnership between University of Northern British Columbia and Nord University. Student exchange is like mountain hiking, she says. Challenging at first, but ultimately rewarding.

Comparative perspective

- I have lived in different places in Canada from coast to coast. I really like to move and explore new places. After my professor presented the exchange opportunity I knew it was a great chance to explore beyond Canada. I did some research about Bodø before I applied and saw how beautiful it was. Familiar in some ways but also uniquely different.

- Nord University has given me the opportunity to learn more about the Sami indigenous people and social welfare policies in Scandinavian countries. The exchange taught me so much about living in the north in Norway, which I can bring home and compare in Canada.

Student City Bodø

- Nord University has an incredibly friendly environment. They [the Welcome Committee] picked us up at the airport when we arrived and helped us get settled in. In the first week, the Buddy Program organized events like bowling, game nights and scavenger hunts around the city. Student life has been great as well. We have a close-knit group of international students from many different countries.

- Bodø is incredibly picturesque with its beautiful mountains and the sea. My favorite thing to do here is to make some tea, walk down to the sea, enjoy the view and breathe the fresh air. A great memory of mine is when we hiked up Keiservarden [366m] the very first week. In the beginning it looked very challenging but it was worth it when we got to the top.

This hiking trip can be a metaphor of the whole exchange journey: at first, incredibly difficult to leave home and to travel to a new country, but very rewarding once you make some amazing friends and feel yourself at home.

Sense of wonder

- This exchange exceeded my expectations. I have challenged myself a lot more here and that has reinvigorated my sense of discovery that I will carry with me when I return home. An exchange teaches you and challenges you on how to be independent and trust yourself in a new environment. I think the lessons you learn on an exchange are important, for both personal and professional development. In relation to studying international northern development, I

hope to compare Norway and Canada when it comes to creating social policies that relate to indigenous peoples and gender in the North.

To new exchange students I would say, enjoy every moment because time flies fast. Explore as much as you can, but also take time to relax and have fun with your friends and, of course, study hard!


The MIND (master's studies in international northern development) programme, gives Nord students the opportunity to spend a semester at UNBC in Canada, and Canadian students the opportunity to experience Northern Norway. 

This reciprocal exchange semester is available within the graduate degree programmes Master of Social Science at Nord and MA in Interdisciplinary Studies at UNBC.