Martine from Norway talks about her life at Edinburgh Napier University.
Martine Knudsen, MSc Human Resource Management
“The module leader was warm and welcoming and everything felt laid back”
Starting here at Edinburgh Napier, I didn't really know what to expect. Most of my communication had gone through a collaborative organisation (Across the Pond) and I had only received a few e-mails from my module leader and lecturers with some information about the course. Arriving here, I was very nervous – I even brought my dad to first day at university.
I got myself a coffee and wandered into my first class. Looking around me, I felt relaxed and very comfortable. The module leader was warm and welcoming and everything felt laid back. We were given a very good and informative overview of the first trimester which for me as a control freak was very calming. The first girl I shook hands with is now my very best friend in all of Scotland! So don't think you won't find someone here who will make this year even more special.
Commuting to university is a breeze. The 36 bus goes all the way to the University and that is pretty much all you need to know about getting to class. Be sure to get a bus card or always keep £1,60 with you for a bus ticket - there is no change on the bus!
“I have never felt so welcome by lecturers at a university before”
Deciding on a university was the easy part of my decision - Edinburgh Napier just felt right. I would get my masters degree in only one year instead of two and I get a work placement and experience, the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personal Development) accreditation, a chance brush up on my language skills, expand my network and the chance to live in a new country, city and culture for a whole year!
The course is very good. I have never felt so welcome by lecturers at a university before - I really feel like they are there to help me and they want me to succeed. In Norway it was easy to feel invisible in class (we were 300 students in one class) and the lecturers didn't always have time to provide the help I felt I needed.
My academic background is in psychology but I decided early on that business was the way I wanted to go. In Norway, the options for a specialised masters degree in organisational psychology were minimal (I could only find one or two on a masters level), whereas here at Edinburgh Napier I came across the programme "Human Resource Management" which was spot-on for me. Only a few months in and I already feel at home!
“It is really a magical place where each building is prettier than the last one”
Being kind of a 'small town girl', this was the perfect transition for me. I am quite the adventurer and have traveled all around the world before I started my undergraduate degree. I wanted to go somewhere new but not too far. I had visited Edinburgh before and it was hands down the best class trip I ever had.
I think what I like the most about living here is the blend of it being a big city (lots of people, things happening, great shopping, beautiful buildings, millions of things to do) and still much of that 'country feeling' with the beautiful scenery and being able to walk everywhere without getting overwhelmed. It is really a magical place where each building is prettier than the last one. I love walking home after a workout in the evening, I always feel safe!
My challenge moving here has definitely been missing my family and friends. I moved here all by myself and didn't really realise until I had been here for a while how different it was to not have them around me every day. At the same time, that is one of the things which makes this experience good for me –experiencing a whole chapter of my life by myself and growing as an individual going into adult life. And coming here alone makes it easier to make new friends!
“Maybe I'll be back here again!”
My future career plans after I finish my masters degree are to move back to Norway. I have already been in contact with different organisations about opportunities in the future. I actually realised the other day that what I want to do is work with children.
Edinburgh Napier has definitely given me a great advantage when applying for jobs in Norway. By studying here, I have developed my language skills, built a larger network, had work experience, been to various events, specialised in a field of research that takes me down the road I want to go. I might want to do a PhD at some point but that is not my main plan at the time. Maybe I'll be back here again!