Intern Abroad

Great experience in Norway

June 6th, 2023 | by
  • Medicine
  • Norway, Trondheim
  • Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet
  • 02/2023 – 04/2023

Introduction: My Erasmus+ traineeship experience of two months at the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science at NTNU in Norway was a great experience, personally and professionally. This report aims to provide an overview of my journey, including the application process, accommodation, work environment, and the many activities that can be undertaken in Norway.

Application Process: I found a fascinating paper from the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science and decided to apply for an internship. First, I called the department to ask about the possibility of an internship. Second, I submitted my application via mail in November. In January, I received a response from the university indicating the need to complete an online application. The whole process was straightforward if you followed the university’s instructions.

Accommodation: Finding accommodation in Norway was relatively easy. Sit, the Studierendenwerk of the NTNU, offers housing to all students (also Erasmus+ Traineeship Students). The rent was affordable, approximately 450 euros, especially when compared to other expenses in the country. Sit provides a range of student housing facilities throughout the city. After being offered a room in Steinan, I asked for a room in Moholt as I had friends from Aachen living there. The staff at Sit is very friendly and changed my offer. In Moholt, there are two types of accommodations: flats for four people with a shared kitchen and bathroom, or “the towers,” where 15 individuals share a kitchen, each having their own bathroom. I recommend “the towers” as they are newly constructed and offer fully equipped kitchens.

Transportation: Trondheim’s bus system is well-planned and provides convenient transportation options throughout the city. The busses come all 10 minutes, later in the day all 20 min. But with 50 euros per month, it is also costly.

Work Environment: On my first day, I received my key card, office key, and an office equipped with a second screen and a work laptop. Although usually an office is shared among three people, the office was mainly only used by me. The work culture in Norwegian labs and the hospital generally is more casual than in Germany. The hierarchy is flatter. For example, everyone gathered for coffee in the morning and had lunch together. Lunch is already at 11:30. I recommend bringing your lunch. That’s also what most others do, as food is expensive. My supervisors ensured that I was trained in every method before I had to work independently. I experienced a high level of appreciation for my work. I was very flexible in planning my lab week, which was cool!

Leisure time: Norway offers a wide variety of (outdoor) activities. If you’re a skiing enthusiast, Trondheim’s cross-country loipes are a must-do, and if you prefer alpine skiing, Vassfjellet is a good destination, located just 30 minutes by car or 60 minutes by bus from Trondheim. Of course, hiking is another great option to enjoy the landscape. Additionally, the university offers mountain cabins for rent (NTNU I member: 4 euros per person per night/ non-member: 8 euros pp pn). Boomerang and BUA are two spots where you can rent outdoor/sports equipment (cross-country ski, snowshoes, sleeping bag, tents, …) for free. If you prefer indoor activities, Sit has several gyms all over the city. There you can train by yourself or book courses. A spot can always be booked 48 h in advance; therefore, you can try out different ones. Apart from the gyms, you can book cheap Squash courts and go bouldering.

Conclusion: I recommend an internship in the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The combination of friendly colleagues, a good work environment, and a wonderful country make it a great experience.

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