Thaem Mous in Norway

Field of study in Wageningen: Soil, Water and Atmosphere
Study period exchange: 08/01/2019 until 14/06/2019
Country (exchange): Norway
City (exchange): Tromso
University (exchange): Universitet i Tromsø
Faculty (exchange): Faculty of Biology

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

In my eyes going on an exchange is the perfect way to develop yourself. Not only by learning more from your study but also on social level with all the other exchange students there. It is a totally new place with new people so you start from scratch. This is exciting and teaches you even more to live on your own and find your spot there all by yourself. Also exchange is a good way to improve your English and maybe even an extra language.

What is the reason you chose for this country/university?

I really am a nature lover and Tromsø is a place with beautiful fjords, forests, mountains and animals in the north of Norway. The people there have a really adventurous way of living and love hiking and skiing. Also the university has ecology and climate change orientated courses which really caught my eye.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

To reach Tromsø from here it is best to take the plane to either Bergen or Oslo and from there a plane to Tromsø. It is also possible to go by train but this takes very long and has a lot if transfers. Also the train only goes up north until Bodø. From there you have to take a bus to Tromsø. Within Tromsø everything goes by bus.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

The courses are given throughout the whole semester with the exams in the end. This makes that during the semester it I relatively easy to catch up and there is a low work load but in the end there is more work to do. The academic level is comparable with Wageningen only the pace is lower. The exams where about the same level as Wageningen and they have to be done on your laptop instead of written. Books are available but not needed for the courses I did.

What is the culture of the university?

The lecturers are mostly German and speak good English, they are very well approachable and do a lot to make you understand the course and to connect with all the students. The engagement with local students is less. There is mostly engagement with other exchange students. The Norwegian students are nice but sometimes hard to connect with. On the other hand, looking at the WUR, there is not a lot of connection
between exchange students and local students here as well.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

There is good student housing and sufficient rooms with laundry and saunas at all the complexes. The catering at the university is good and there is a big luxurious gym at the campus. Also there are a lot of possibilities to do outdoor sports.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

It is very easy to sign up for a room on a comparable site as Idealis and after a short time there is already a room available for you. The rooms are big enough and have everything needed except for pillows and blankets. The rooms are private but mostly have shared kitchen and bathroom. They are not that cheap but what can you expect in Norway.

What is the culture of the country like?

The culture is quite similar to the Netherlands in a lot of ways only Norwegians are more outdoor and adventurous persons. The love hiking and skiing and every Sunday the all go outside.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

Living in Norway is expensive. The residence wasn’t even that expensive compared to Wageningen but for example groceries are.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

It is easy to get from place to place on the island by bus. There are quite some busses driving throughout the day even when there is a lot of snow. You can download your ticket on an app or by a transport card which you can load for for example a week or a month. There also are a lot of taxi’s but these are rather expensive.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

Actually the whole area around Tromsø is a must see. Beautiful islands are Kvaløya and Senja and the climb up the mountain Fløya is really nice. Skiing and cross skiing in winter is a must and in January a boat trip to spot whales is amazing. Also the blue lake at the Lyngen alps is breathtaking. If you want to go further away you should definitely visit the Lofoten, reachable by bus, boat (Hurtigruten) or rented car. A husky sled ride or cuddling the reindeer is also very nice.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

Actually most of the beautiful nature around Tromsø appears in the travel guides. Beautiful places, maybe a little less presented in travel guides are Sommarøy and the fjord at Estfjordbotn both on the island Kvaløya.

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

There are some nice payable restaurants such as Elefant indisk and the Pastafabrik or nice pizza at Pepe’s pizza’s. Going out is nice on Friday and Saturday, then some night busses go. Watch out with ordering drinks though. These are expensive.

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

It was challenging to see everything I wanted to see around Tromsø. There is so much beautiful nature to discover.

What was your best memory abroad?

I made some really really good friends and to discover the surroundings with them was amazing. We did some amazing hikes and cabin trips on our cross ski’s to cabins in the mountains. The most beautiful places I visited with them where the Lofoten and Svalbard.

8. Contact details

Would you like to ask Thaem more questions about his exchange?
Send him a mail: