Damla from Canada
Damla came to Oslo from Toronto, Canada, to pursue a Human Geography master's degree. Her goal was to specialize in urban studies and planning, so she could advance her career in urban planning.
Why did you study human geography?
Back home in Toronto, I did a double major in Environmental Studies and French. The environmental studies program consisted of human geography courses as well as physical geography courses. I was always more drawn to the social aspects of geography. During my 4th year, I became a teacher's assistant for the largest human geography course offered at my university. The year-long position shaped my future interests in the field of human geography and urban studies. Therefore, I decided to pursue a Human Geography master's degree.
Why did you apply for this particular MA programme?
The reason why I applied to this specific program is that I had the opportunity to specialize in urban studies and planning. I want to advance my career in urban planning, and this program gave me a huge opportunity to develop my skillsets in this particular field. Also, some courses consist of internships, which is a great way to immerse yourself into the field as well as the Norwegian workplace. Finally, the broad background of academic staff allows one to explore various components and layers of human geography and it's essential for me to be able to step out of my comfort zone and discover different bits and pieces of human geography and urbanism.
What is the best thing about being an international master's student at the University of Oslo?
Having lived in 4 countries and travelled over 35, I've always been interested in unique places and cultures. My history with Norway stems from a short exchange programme I participated in 2006. Later on, in 2017, I went on a solo trip to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. It was when I decided that Oslo is the one for me. Even though the culture itself is quite challenging for an outsider, once you break out of your shell and feel comfortable in your own skin, Norway becomes so much more amicable and enjoyable. There are plenty of programs and student associations that ease your way into the university as well as the culture. I would also like to mention how reachable and understanding the academic staff is. Whenever you need help or have any questions, they're present and helping. They treat you as an individual, not as a number.