Do it!

Mariann Ratama reports from Sydney, Australia about getting a professional edge and collecting life experiences on exchange.

In Sydney, I have met many other international students in a similar situation to myself. We have sought each other out and established close friendships. If, in the next few years, I choose to travel to Iran, China or Germany, for example, I will have someone to visit there and reminisce with.


Don't be afraid of following your dreams; only you can do that!

I am in my third semester of the Master of Science in Business and am currently taking subjects suited to my major in Finance and minor in Ecological Economics. The teaching system is very different here. The regular students can choose from a much bigger range of subjects within their field. The best difference is that those us working with finance work in Excel and Strata every week, and the lecturer distributes tasks that we are expected to solve in groups. In this way, they are good at linking theory to practice. My classes are small, and it is easy to talk to the lecturers.


The university has invited my to an informal lunch with the finance elite here in Sydney. This is something that I NEVER would have had the opportunity to do in Norway. I have been able to network with industry leaders and now have contact with these people via Linkedin. This is experience that I cannot even put a value on, and it is probably one of the most important things that has happened to me during my studies.


Name: Mariann Ratama (27)

Study programme:  Master of Science in Business, 3 +2. Business School

Exchange university: Western Sydney University​​
Exchange programme: Bilateral agreement

For those who are thinking about taking an exchange: DO IT! Don't let it stop you if you don't have someone to go with, or if you can't go to the country you had your heart set on. The experiences you gain abroad are so valuable.  Sitting in the library at UiN and reading about them does not compare. Don't be afraid of following your dreams; only you can do that!

 Some practical advice is to check out, in advance, the country you wish to travel to. Take some time to travel around while you're there. I volunteered at a rehabilitation centre for turtles. I helped by cleaning the tanks and feeding the animals. It was an unbelievably exciting and instructive experience! Live on-campus in a collective, so that you will get to know someone regardless. It is easy enough to change rooms if you don't get along with your flatmates.

Remember to have enough money with you when you arrive (make a budget). If you don't think your budget will be sufficient, investigate your part-time job options. I have worked at an Italian restaurant. It was a good way to get to know the locals and the working culture in Australia.

Are you interested in exchange?

View programmes and courses at UiN
Read more about exchange for UiN students

 Contact the international office