Being an INTERNATIONAL STUDENT in NORWAY | Q&A | 1 Turkish & 1 Norwegian (Türkçe Altyazılı)

September 19, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs

[Music] Once more. Hei alle sammen!* (Hi everyone!) You start. Okay. 😀 Hi! That’s just so weird. Cringe! I know! Cringe alarm! Oh my god… Okay. Because this is our first ever Youtube video, I guess it is wise to start by introducing ourselves shortly. Yeah. Who are we? Having like all sorts of existential questions… Okay. So I’m going first. My name is Ece and I’m from Turkey. After taking my bachelor’s degree in psychology in Turkey, I moved to Norway to do my master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oslo. And I’ve been living here in Oslo for about two years now. But we are actually not in Oslo today. We are… No, we are at my parents’ house, on the veranda. Veranda, yeah, I think it’s the same in Turkish actually. Ah, yeah. Cool. One more word (in common). Okay, so we are in Tønsberg today. Yeah. And we are soon going to my parents’ cabin to look for some eggs filled with candy. And we’ll go for the annual Easter ski trip. So okay, how did this whole thing start? I guess it all started with your Instagram questions. Frequently asked questions. Yeah. So the thing is, in December I created an Instagram account where I post almost daily about the things I know and learn about psychology and neuroscience. And after a while, I started getting a lot of questions like… “How’s it to be a student in Norway?” “How is it to be an international student in Norway?” specifically. And I decided to make a video to answer some of the questions I get asked frequently. So the first idea was that I was gonna make this video in Turkish. But then we thought it would be beneficial for everyone else outside of Turkey as well. Yeah, and like, for all the students who are planning on coming to Norway. And for the people who are new to Oslo, like me. And we figured the Youtube channel could be about our life in Oslo, crazy Norwegians… Crazy Norwegians..! 😀 😀 Maybe not so crazy. Just our lives basically as a Norwegian/Turkish couple. Yeah, exactly. As a “norkish” couple. You doing Norwegian stuff and me doing Turkish stuff. Exactly. And we figured that would be so much fun. So this channel is gonna be about, like, us having fun mainly, showing our lives in Norway and our travels maybe… And we’ll just be ourselves and use this channel as a creative outlet, you know. So… yeah. And who are you Kim? We got a bit carried away. I’m Kim. After being an electrician, I decided to study Electro Engineering. And now I’m on my last semester, so I’m finished pretty soon with that. I don’t do Instagram and stuff. I do Instagram and stuff. You’re following me on Instagram 😉 Click the button below. I’ll link my Instagram below. If you’re Turkish. Yeah, oh yeah. I wish I could say my Instagram is in English, but it is not. And if you the viewer are a Turkish person or someone who can understand Turkish, I’ll really link my Instagram below. So you can check that out. So how did you end up in Norway? It is a crazy story, I guess. Or not so crazy, I don’t know. (Long story short…) There were only two countries where I could get a master’s degree without paying any tuition fees whatsoever. And those countries were Norway and Germany. And because the application and admission process takes place a lot earlier in Norway than it does in Germany, I ended up getting the admission email from the University of Oslo in April in 2017. And because the universities in Norway were starting in August and this is exactly when you learn if you get the admission from the German universities or not, I just didn’t want to risk it and played it safe, I guess. I’m glad you came to Norway. What were the requirements for getting into the cognitive neuroscience master’s program in Oslo? There were actually many requirements to be eligible to apply for this master’s program. But I’ll put the link below so you can check what the exact requirements are to get into the program. But to give a brief overview, I’d say you need to have a GPA above 3.3, you need to score above 90 on TOEFL, and then you need to… if you are a non-EU student, meaning that if you are coming from a country which is not among the European countries, then you need to show that you have a certain amount of money in your bank account so you can support yourself during your stay in Norway. Yeah, which is like 120.000NOK each year. Yeah, around that. But it is not for tuition fees, it is only to show that you are capable of supporting yourself. And the tuition fee is like 500NOK each semester (actually around 900NOK). So the next question is for you. “What do Norwegians think about Turks?” Wow, well, we like you. Or maybe we should approach this question as “What do Norwegians think about international students in general?” Norwegians are usually pretty open towards international students or international people in general. But of course it all depends on the Norwegian. But I think most people in general are pretty open and welcoming That’s right. I guess that’s your experience as well. Yeah, my impression is pretty much the same. We probably think that you (Norwegians) are not that warm and open. And you’re a bit like, how do you say that, “reserved”. Mmmh. Yeah, but that’s in the Norwegian blood. All of us are kind of reserved people, unless we are drinking. Unless we are drinking! That’s so true. If we’re drunk, we’re the most open people in the world. Exactly. So just go to the bar… And then you can make a lot of Norwegian friends. At least for the night. At least for that night. Then they’re not gonna remember you the other day or pretend like they don’t remember you (*exaggeration*). We can be awkward about the stuff we talked about. “Do you have a real Norwegian friend? I’m asking this because the cultural difference is too big”. Oh, you have me. I have you. I have one Norwegian friend. You have my family and you have my friends. Yeah, that’s right. Your mom comes with more food and I just say “Evet” (Yes) and eat more. “Eline sağlık” (bless your hands), “Evet” (yes), “Çok güzel” (very beautiful/delicious). You will survive in Turkey. I think you gained like 6 kilos during our first visit to Turkey. True story. Okay, so the next question, I think, is for both of us: “How is the social life?”. And maybe we should also include that you are from Tønsberg. So he is not from Oslo. So yeah, I am not a part of the student environment in Oslo. I just live there with you. And we moved in together in August last year. So he’s been living in Oslo for… how many months now? Like half a year. No, seven months or something. So maybe you are still considered as “new to Oslo”. I’m kind of having one foot in Oslo and one foot in Tønsberg. Because all my friends and family are in Tønsberg. And then you have to commute from Oslo to Tønsberg every day which takes around 1,5 hours each way. So, okay that’s the thing. Speaking from my experiences as an international student who moved to Norway, I can say that if you are an extravert, you can probably easily gain a lot of friends. But the thing is, I think most of them are going to be international students as well. I’m not sure, I think it depends on the person. I have a feeling in the schools, there are the international students and the Norwegian students. International students usually go together, so do the Norwegian students. Of course there are exceptions, but most international students will most likely find other international students to be close with. That’s my experience as well. Mine as well. If you are going to the student pub a lot, or working voluntarily at the student pub or somewhere else, then you can probably easily make a lot of friends. Yeah, of course. But I’ve heard the student environment in Trondheim and Tromsø is better. But because I don’t have a first-hand experience… I’ve heard the same as a Norwegian, so I guess it’s true. It might be. Huff, it’s so warm today (23 degrees!), I’m getting sweaty. Har du noen problemer med språket?* (OMG…) Det kommer an på hvilket språk vi snakker om.* Norsk språk.* So, yeah, you just asked me if I had any problems with the language and I said “It depends on the language we are talking about.”. I didn’t have any problems with English in my master’s program. But as an international student living in Norway, I of course wanted to learn Norwegian. I can say it is rather easy for people who already are fluent in English and/or German to learn Norwegian. But it is, at the same time, not so easy of course. I’ve been trying for the past 1,5 years or so. Norwegian is like simplified German, in a way. We don’t have that many rules but we have similar rules. I think it’s kind of a mix of English and German, I can say. You have a lot of common words with the German language. But the dialects are difficult for you. Yes, they are! Like Bergen, western/northern Norway… Because the thing is, I’m learning Bokmål Norwegian. Bokmål is like Oslo-area-language. Yeah, it’s like “Istanbul Turkish”. So yes, it’s still hard for me to understand the dialects of people who come from different parts of Norway. If you’re planning on getting a part-time job in Norway as an international student, it’s gonna be very beneficial for you to know Norwegian – or at least have a decent level of Norwegian knowledge. Because even though you can, in theory, find part-time jobs where only English is required, I think your chances are a lot higher if you put in the effort and learn Norwegian. Exactly. Because you are competing against Norwegians and foreigners who know Norwegian in Oslo. So being able to communicate in Norwegian is going to be a big plus if you are applying for cafes, restaurants, convenience stores – a.k.a typical student jobs. Almost all Norwegians can understand and use English very well. So you will have no problems with getting around in the city or whatever, but still… They prefer having Norwegian speaking people. You mentioned earlier that you (as a non-EU student) have to show a certain amount of money in the bank account each year. People might be wondering if it is expensive to live in Norway. The thing is, you have to show around 120.000 NOK in your bank account, and I think this number is pretty accurate. Because we actually calculated how much money we spent last year and the number we reached was around 90.000 NOK. This includes everything -like rent, groceries, free-time activities, public transportation… and everything else (except for the summer vacation). If you have a part-time job, then I think it’s not that expensive (to live in Norway). Because right now, I’m working part-time and the amount of money I earn is around 8.000 NOK per month. If you are earning Norwegian money, then I think it’s really not that expensive to live in Norway as a student. If your family is supporting you (financially), then it might be expensive for them. (depending on which country you are coming from of course). So you should really aim for getting a job in Norway. Maybe we can make another video about that actually. Because there are too many things to talk about when it comes to money. So I think we will make another video about that. Stay tuned! Do you want to live in Norway your whole life, with me? I mean, it is a beautiful country with a high standard of living. And I just love being able to spend time in nature. So I can say I’d be happy to at least spend many years in Norway. But of course we never know what the future holds for us and where our lives are gonna take us. No, we will see. Yes, we will see. How did you find a place to stay in Norway? If you are admitted to a master’s program as an international student, then you are guaranteed to have a student housing in Oslo. Hah, this is a funny one. “Did you get used to the weather?” I think I can say “yes”. There is this famous Norwegian saying that goes like “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” *Finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær.* Yeah, I think this is the sentence I live by now. If you don’t own thermal underwears or if you don’t put on layers upon layers of clothing, then I think there’s a high chance that you will get cold in winter. And we are going to the cabin afterwards and we packed clothes for all kinds of situations/weather conditions. Yeah, wool sweaters, thermal underwears, thermal leggings… You never know. Yeah, exactly. And I remember there was this one day last year in January where we had minus 18. Ah, that was cold. Yes and I actually forgot to put on my thermal leggings underneath my jeans. And on that day, I was literally dying on the way. When I came home, my legs were completely red and I sat on my bed and I cried. True story! I guess that’s all we have time for now. Yes, I wish we could answer more questions in this video. But we are gonna make more Q&A videos like this one. And if you have any questions or things you want us to make a video about, put it in the comments below. We will try and answer them as much as we can. Thank you so much for watching us. And I guess we’ll see you on the next one. BYE! “Görüşürüz”! (“See you later” in Turkish*) Hit the subscribe button. Nooo. Hit the subscribe button. x2 No, we’re never gonna say that. I hate those people. *Ece keeps pushing Kim’s limits.*