Rishi - University of Bergen

B Advaned Science
Semester 1, 2023
I developed significant cultural competence being in a new environment.


I loved the idea of going away and studying abroad! It was so far out of my comfort zone and I wanted to challenge myself. Ever since I was a kid, Norway has always seemed like a haven of peace and tranquillity. I always wanted to experience

Personal Development

I have made a countless number of European friends and explored more of Norway than I ever could have imagined. It has taught me so much about friendship and how to step out of my comfort zone more. It also showed me an incredible way of living that I sorely miss after coming back to Brisbane. I also spent some time learning Norwegian and have many Norwegian friends to practice with. I have become far more resilient and courageous since going away and feel much more sure of my place and purpose in this world. This experience was incredible and I will truly never be the same. Having to live by myself and organise my whole life independently was a true challenge that forced me to reflect and act in a timely manner. I had to learn to fully take care of myself with no-one to help me if I needed. This really taught me so much about how I approach problems and the kind of person I am.

Academic Development

Having a 100% final oral exam for my Physics course while I was away was certainly a scary experience. It made me nervous and unsure of how to study compared to the assignment + written exam format we have at UQ. However, I was able to get a whiteboard and practice on my own and ended up getting a great result. It was a really cool experience and I think a much better format to actually assess knowledge. The workload was also far more manageable. The courses I did were also super interesting and I really liked the more collaborative form of their education system.

Professional Development

I developed significant cultural competence being in a new environment. Additionally, learning so much independence from living by myself is really important for my career where I often wont have someone to help me. Additionally, having to make friends across language gaps really increased my ability to communicate effectively.


I used a nice big excel sheet to track how much I was spending. The total cost of the exchange experience was around $3000 for flights, $4000 for accommodation, $1000 for transport/short trips, $3000 for food and so total was around $11000 for the exchange experience. I also spent a lot of money travelling around Norway on road trips as well as flying around Europe on trips with friends. I suggest having a monthly budget you try to stick to.


I used the Liveris Academy Scholarship to pay for my flights there as well as my accommodation as well as some basic necessities to set up my room adequately. The funding made this experience possible and certainly gave me a lot more confidence to actually go on exchange. It allowed me to step away slightly from work while I was away which let me focus on the actual experience more.


The uni was incredible with guaranteed housing for exchange students. I logged onto the Sammen portal and put my preferences in and got assigned a single room with private kitchen and bathroom which was really fantastic to give me some much-needed privacy. It was a fantastic room in a great location (Fantoft) and I loved living near my friends. However, the only con I could think of was that it was a bit lonely at times and I needed to make more of an effort to make friends initially - which wasn't too hard as I am generally very outgoing. For future students, consider how much privacy you want vs how easily you want to make friends and that will help determine which kind of room you might prefer.


I saw the northern lights right outside my room as well as the midnight sun in Northern Norway! I also was able to travel to 30+ places around Europe and go snowboarding almost every weekend. The Norwegian hiking culture pushed me to go hiking over 3 times a week. The sweetest moments were definitely having dinner with my friends almost every night though.

Advice/Top Tips

Expect the unexpected! It will be a wild experience for sure but just go with the flow! Don't keep your calendar too packed and be open to the spontaneity of exchange!