Master of International Public Health
Master of International Public Health

Hi! My name is Miro and I completed the final semester of my Master of International Public Health at the University of Oslo (UiO) in Norway. I studied through UiO’s Faculty of Medicine, and the courses I took all had a Health Management focus, a stream which was not really available to me through UQ. I really enjoyed taking these subjects – they increased the diversity of my degree and UiO had a great set up, with separate study areas for postgraduate students, helpful and available lecturers (who all taught in excellent English) and small class sizes. This made it a little easier to get to know some Norwegian students outside of the large group of international friends that I had

I lived at Sogn Student Village, in a five bedroom flat with a shared kitchen and bathroom. I think Sogn is the best accommodation option due to the huge number of international students living there, and its location. It was only a short walk to UiO or to the Ullevål shops and T-bane station, and there is a bus which goes straight past. It was also within walking distance (or a short metro ride) of Kringsjå Student Village and Sognsvann Lake, which is beautiful in both summer and winter, and has a lot of walking tracks that double as cross-country skiing trails during winter.

I arrived in winter. Although it was a bit of a shock, it meant that I really appreciated the long summer days and the beautiful weather once it warmed up. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) for me, Oslo had one of its warmest winters on record while I was there, so I didn’t get a lot of time to enjoy the snow or to learn to ski. However I would definitely recommend trying the cross-country skiing lessons offered by the international office. It was tiring and bloody freezing, but it’s still one of my favourite memories of Oslo. Also, make sure you do a lot of travel within Norway, it’s just so beautiful. This was my first trip to Europe, so I did a number of short trips to other countries. I don’t regret any of them, but I did feel like I missed a lot of Norway itself. I did three trips within Norway, and they’re probably the top three of my whole exchange – I went to Tromsø with a huge group of friends; on the ESN Fjord Trip to Sognefjord; and to the Lofoten Islands with one friend. In Tromsø we went dogsledding and saw the northern lights, and in the Lofoten Islands we did a lot of hiking and saw the midnight sun. I missed some of the more famous hikes in Bergen and Stavanger so that I could visit the Lofoten Islands at the end of my exchange. They’re much further away and more expensive, but they’re definitely worth it.

TOP TIPS:
- Don’t be afraid of the expense – yes, you will be regularly outraged (particularly by the price of alcohol, chocolate and eating out), but the student accommodation is pretty similar to Australia; and fruit, veg, pasta, etc can all be bought quite cheaply. My friends and I did weekly group dinners which really kept the costs down.
- Bring some items such as makeup or other favourite products with you from Australia, so that you don’t need to buy them in Norway. Cheap clothes can be bought from H&M stores, but I would suggest buying some quality winter gear (i.e. jacket and boots) during the sales in Australia, as good clothes can be really expensive.
- A lot of the trips we did were only a few nights, and I could book flights with just carry-on luggage. However I wasn’t really set up for that – make sure you have a bag that fits in carry-on and some carry-on sized containers for shampoo, etc. It will make life a little easier and again, a little cheaper!
 

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