Students from Norway

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Tone Andrea Hokland - MSc Public Health

"I heard about USW through their representative SONOR who provided me with excellent information and advice in the application process. I also had a guided tour arranged at USW by the international officer and was amazed by the quality of their facilities and campuses. Wales is a fantastic country to live in; the people are friendly, the culture is not too different and there is a variety of things to experience.

I chose to study at USW as I wanted to experience studying abroad. My experience with USW has been excellent so far. The MSc Public Health course has been a great opportunity to immerse myself in the subject of Public Health. USW offer a wide range of support for international students to help you improve your study skills and the lecturers are very knowledgeable. What I appreciate the most about studying at USW is how they use different learning methods and materials to make learning more fun and enjoyable for their students.

I believe studying at USW will help me build upon what I have already learned in my Dental Hygiene BSc degree, and open new doors which will allow me to achieve my future goal of working in Dental Public Health.

I would highly recommend USW to anyone who is looking for a university with a high level of competent, experienced and knowledgeable teachers, modern facilities, and a university that genuinely cares about their students and want to make the most of their university experience! "

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Oda Pedersen - Master of Chiropractic

Why did you choose this course?

The reason I chose to study chiropractic was initially related to the application it had towards sports injuries. I have always been very active, especially in sports such as football, handball, volleyball, skiing and sprinting. This made me not only interested in the human body but also its function. Furthermore, it gave me an insight into why injuries occur and the way the body adapts to them.

My friends and fellow team players had previously been injured and the response they had to chiropractic treatment was phenomenal. When I heard about local chiropractors and some of the work they were doing on various injuries, I was very interested in helping people in the same way.
I always wanted to work in the health sector as helping people in pain was something I wanted to do. I knew that through chiropractic I could achieve this and would enjoy doing it at the same time.

When I studied a foundation medical year in Norway at Bjørknes College I got new motivation towards the subject and I also met other students that wanted to study chiropractic. Their experiences with chiropractic further increased my fascination with the profession and I decided to apply for chiropractic.

Why the University of South Wales?

There were multiple factors that made me choose South Wales University. Currently, there is no chiropractic education in Norway so I had to study abroad. This appealed to me as this was something that I had always wanted to do. I wanted a new experience in a new place, however I didn`t want to go too far away from home. This made The University of South Wales a good option. Furthermore The University was recommended highly at Bjørknes College. The application process was fast, simple and easy to follow and the University was very helpful with any question or queries I had. Also, the university had a high focus on international students and as this was the first time I was going to be living abroad, the university sounded very inviting.

Another important reason why I choose the University was because the module descriptors, titles such as physiology, pathology, neurophysiology, radiology, chiropractic technique, biomechanics and pharmacology all seemed very fascinating and it was exactly what I wanted to go through in my study.

What’s been the most exciting part of the course so far?

The most exciting aspect is the unique nature of every part of the course. Every day I was learning something new that was interesting and surprising at the same time. For example, trips to cadaver labs in Bristol and learning about the chiropractic skills and history. Also, in third year we were learning how to take X-rays and Diagnose from them.
However, so far the most exciting part has most definitely been the final year. Here I have been able to apply all of my knowledge over the previous year’s to treat and help real patients to get better and really have an impact on their life.

Leisure activities?

The University has a wide variety of student societies, clubs, activities and sports activities. There is something for everyone. I had an amazing time playing for the University Volleyball team where there was an amazing social environment. Also Cardiff city is only 25 minutes away on the train and the Brecon Beacon national park is only a short drive away. This really appealed to me as I like to go walking and cycling.

Tell us about the lecturers

Being an international student, I found it a little difficult to follow some of the lectures in the first couple of weeks. However, this soon got easier, and the staff were more than happy to explain something I didn’t quite understand.

The lecturers at the University are of a high standard, very knowledgeable and experienced, making it enjoyable to learn. The lectures are in depth, fascinating, challenging and rewarding with a high standard of up to date knowledge. The modules were very interesting and the variety of the different modules kept my attention from beginning to end.

Furthermore, a high percentage of the classes are practical based. These gives you an opportunity to corporate what you have learnt from the teachers in to a practical setting, especially if your leering is very practically orientated. This provides me with opportunities to get hands on experience to adequately prepare me for my final year.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I haven’t decided whether or not I want to stay in the UK or go back to Norway yet. I would love to spend a couple of more years abroad before I go back to Norway and with the chiropractic degree; there are so many opportunities to do so. I also want to continue to improve knowledge and skills through postgraduate courses and specialize in certain areas as there are many aspects to chiropractic that I would like to explore.

Any advice to those thinking about studying this course at the University of South Wales? 

Be committed, the course and the aspects to it are amazing, but only if you are willing to put the work in. The degree is challenging at times but the end result is so rewarding. The fact that you can see how what you are doing is impacting someone else’s life is an amazing feeling, only something you can experience for yourself.


Anthony Tester - BA (Hons) Popular Music

"When I was looking to progress from my Diploma in Music from Noroff College, I had the option to enrol at three different universities, however, I felt that the modules and topics offered by the University of South Wales’ Cardiff course, the BA (hons) Popular Music best suited my interest, plus the enticement of a scholarship helped!

I have really settled in well to life in Cardiff; I like the city, the university and my lecturers. Cardiff is full of friendly people, and after a matter of a few weeks I found it easy to navigate around the city. The university itself is a nice modern building with well-equipped music studios and lecture rooms. The lecturers are always willing to take time out to help you with any academic or even personal problems, and they are very knowledgeable about their specialised subjects.

What I found particularly interesting when I moved to Wales was the issue of language Norway is more or less a bilingual country, speaking both Norwegian and English almost fluently. Wales also uses two languages Welsh and English. It was interesting to see road sign and information displayed in both languages.

I have loved my entire experience studying in the Faculty of Creative Industries. I have met many interesting people, local characters, students and the lecturers alike. I have visited many of the local attractions and really enjoyed the live and very vibrant music scene in Cardiff. I also enjoyed playing, performing and recording on the Grand Piano in one of the main studios.

If I could give any advice to international students thinking of studying on a top-up programme, I would actually advise them to think about joining the university at year one, (the First Year) instead, because that way you have the possibility to build up a circle of new friends and people who you may at some point in the future work together with in the music business. Networking is vital.

Hopefully, if all goes as planned, I shall be taking my Masters next year at the University of South Wales, studying the MA Songwriting and Production. After that I will be releasing three albums of educational music, whilst also considering training as a music teacher in either the Norway or the UK."

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Robin Sagbakken - Master of Chiropractic

Why did you choose to study at USW?

I applied to both USW and Anglo-European College (AECC) here in the UK. I got a place at both institutions and was very unsure about which to choose. After several conversations with current students and alumni at both universities, the final decision landed on South Wales. Lower tuition fees and one year less study was a very important element as both universities give you the same degree.

What has been the highlight of your time at USW so far?

So far the highlight has been getting to know so many new and wonderful people from different parts of the world. The social environment is very good, everybody is very helpful and wants you to succeed in your studies. Students who have been here for some years are happy to share their knowledge if there is something you are wondering about.

What are the biggest differences between studying in Norway compared to South Wales?

The biggest difference between studying in Norway and here in South Wales is that the terms are shorter compared with Norway and are therefore really intensive. I can only speak for my own study, but it demands great effort and self-discipline. It is a lot of learning content to get through before the exams come. Regular study is the key and the study becomes possible if you rely on “all-out effort”.

What do you think of the course/lectures/facilities?

I really enjoy the course! The study is very instructive and you feel that you learn a lot in short period of time. The lectures are good, even though some lectures are more interesting than others. The tutors are incredibly knowledgeable and you always get answers if there is something you are wondering about. I feel that I am in safe hands and that I will use this knowledge when I start working. The university in general has great facilities for students. You find a grocery store, hairdresser, pubs, restaurants, bookshop and a big sport centre on campus. Sports activities are important and you find a lot of different athletics to choose from.

Where do you live and what do you want to tell other Norwegian students who wants to study in South Wales?

I live on campus together with other students in their first year. You live in halls with four to five other students who you share kitchen with. Personally you have your own room and bathroom. This works great! After one year when you have got new friends, most of the students prefer to rent an apartment outside campus. This is usual cheaper than living on campus. The place where the university is located is a small town and is very close to the capital of Wales, Cardiff. The train goes directly from the Pontypridd campus to city life in Cardiff. Nice shopping facilities, restaurants and lively nightlife are some of the things that Cardiff can offer. The weather is very unstable, and in this part of Wales it rains a lot, especially in the winter! An umbrella is a must! Price level on groceries and living expenses are much lower than in Norway. You will make it fine with support from the national government. The price on beer is also cheaper compared with the prices home in Norway.

How have you benefited from being an international student?

As an international student you will have to use a language other than your first language. In todays global society employers are asking for competence in languages other than your mother tongue more than ever. If you are coming from Norway you will have the basic knowledge of English from primary school, but it is always beneficial to speak fluent English. Studying abroad also looks good on your CV. You also learn in a different way than in Norway, and the years that I study here will ensure that I become a qualified chiropractor and I will be ready to work when I come home again.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?

I am looking forward to working as a chiropractor at home in Norway after the course has finished. I want to work in a clinic and help people with pain to feel better. 

Would you recommend the University of South Wales to other students?

I will absolutely recommend the chiropractic course here at USW to other students. You will get incredibly knowledgeable teachers, a very good environment, and friends from all over the world. Just in my class, I can count over 20 different nationalities! It is important to note that the course is demanding and you are going to use a lot of time to study. Also, it is useful to have studied sciences like chemistry and mathematics before you start this course. If you feel motivated and ready you will have a wonderful time here with us.