– It’s way easier in Norway

Are you stressed out about exams? These guys are not.

Eksamensstress, Nikki Smits og Miriam Danes
STRESSLESS: Miriam Danes, to the right, finds exams in Norway way easier than those back home in Italy.
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The winter exam period has already begun. It is difficult to find a free space in the libraries, nightclubs seem quite empty, and along with the smell of pinnekjøtt, there is stress in the air.

Norwegian students can be seen running around the campuses, stressed out of their mind. Does the same go for exchange students?

– I actually took the Erasmus semester to get away from all the stress that I have at my home university, Elias Madau from Germany says.

(Almost) without stress

– Are you stressed about exams?

Eksamensstress, Yijia Zhou
RELAXED: Yija Zhou does not worry too much about his examinations at NHH.

– No, not at all, Yijia Zhou says with a laugh. He is in Bergen on exchange from China, and takes economics courses at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

Zhou was way more stressed during the exam period back home than here in Norway.

– When I was in China, I always took five or more examinations each semester, but here I have only two, he explains and continues:

– And in China, you have to take like five examinations within one week. At NHH I had one exam in October and one in November, so it was easy for me to prepare one by one.

Prefers articles over books

Like Zhou, the German law student Jonas Lohrenz considers the Norwegian exam periods less stressful than those at his home university.

– There is less content to learn in the studies here than back home, and a lot less stress to me,  Lohrenz observes

The Italian student Miriam Danes shares these observations.

– It’s way easier here. For some classes, we just had articles to read, not even books. And usually in Italy, I need to read four or five books for each subject.

Everything in the garden is not rosy

However, not all are stress-free about the exams.

– I just started to study for the exam I have next week, so I’m kind of stressed about that one, Elias Madau says.

As the grade doesn’t matter, as part of Madau's exchange, he just needs to pass.

Meanwhile, Alina Wellmann from Germany is more worried:

– I don’t know what exams look like in Norway. I have never had an oral exam before, so that’s a bit stressful.

PACKED: The libraries and study spots are usually packed all around Bergen during the exam periods.
PACKED: The libraries and study spots are usually packed all around Bergen during the exam periods.

Nikki Smits is a Dutch student on exchange at HVL. She is done with all her exams, and worried mainly about the test formats.

– I was a bit stressed, mostly because I had an oral exam and I didn’t know what to expect, she says.

Some tips

Studvest asked the students for advice on how to master the intense exam period.

– I think the most important thing is that you need to attend lectures, Yijia Zhou says. 

– Everyone needs to find their own method. What works for me is studying as much as possible and having realistic expectations, Jonas Lohrenz adds.

Eksamensstress, Elias Madau og Jonas Lohrenz
TAKE A HIKE: Elias Medau, to the left, recommends taking a break between the study sessions. To the right is his buddy Jonas Lohrenz

Elias Madau recommends taking breaks.

– If I get very stressed, I go for a walk, clear my head, and then try to study again.

Oliver Wagner, who also is a German law student on exchange in Bergen, has general advice for new Erasmus students who are coming to Norway next semester:

– Choose simple courses. Look up which type of exam is in the course. Because in some courses there are only home exams.

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