During the past year, Nareh Salmasian was granted an Erasmus+ scholarship to study a semester in Norway as an exchange student. Upon her return, she has readily agreed to share her impressions, perspectives, and thoughts with the AUA Community. “The dream of studying abroad seemed very far away once. Now I consider myself among the luckiest people since my dream came true when I least expected it!”
After finishing her first year of the Master’s program at AUA, she received an opportunity to study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology for a semester. Upon her arrival in Trondheim, Norway, her image of the country began to change. “As you get to know people, you become fast friends,” she recalls. Nareh also shared how Norway’s beautiful nature, the deep green forests and lakes encouraged students every Saturday or Sunday to travel to different parts of the country and enjoy the landscape. Even if you choose not to travel, a Norwegian weekend is never dull.
Thus, the Erasmus+ scholarship program helped Nareh to overcome the costs of Norwegian life by providing for housing and some allowance. “The outcome of being an exchange student is the opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Traveling is one thing, but actually living in a new country and immersing yourself in the culture is an amazing experience. You learn new things every day and get to know yourself better. You learn to be more independent and gain more respect for diversity. You get to know various cultures, mentalities and people from around the world.”
“The academic life in Norway was also quite different from Armenia,” she says, “In Armenia, there are a lot of quizzes and midterms, but in Norway there is one huge final exam which takes about four hours where you are tested on all you have learned during one semester.”
According to Nareh, the best thing about living in Norway is the northern lights. During a specific night you can see the unbelievably beautiful northern lights. “I would definitely go back to Norway one day,” she concludes.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.