She ended up going on exchange to the University of Tromsø (UiT), a choice she has not regretted so far.
Kamm chose Tromsø partly because of what she had heard from others, and also because she wanted to live in a town smaller than Frankfurt, where she usually studies. Although Tromsø’s 66,000 inhabitants only make up about 10 percent of Frankfurt’s population, it still has a lot to offer, she assures.
“I really like the town, since it combines the cosiness of a small town and the night-life of a big one. And, last but not least, the nature here is awesome. I'm making a lot of trips to the surrounding islands, enjoying the mountains, the landscapes, the sea, the snow, and the peace.
And of course I wanted to see the polar lights – like every other international student! By now I've seen them many times,” she says enthusiastically.
The academic aspect was another important reason why she chose Tromsø. As a student of biology specialising in evolution and ecology, she wants to learn more about ecosystems differing from those in her home country. One of her courses is focusing on Arctic ecosystems.
“Arctic ecosystems, with their extreme environments, are of great interest to me, and here in Tromsø I'm learning a lot about them. These systems should be studied carefully because of the climatic change which poses a real threat to their flora and fauna.”
Kamm explains that this course also includes some juridical and political aspects. Moreover, it deals with the indigenous people of Arctic regions; their way of life and how they have been influenced by climatic as well as societal and economic changes, something she finds very interesting. By and large, Kamm considers that her studies at the UiT provide a valuable experience with respect to future career opportunities.
“Considering that the UiT is a rather small university, it offers a lot of different and interesting subjects, so that every student can find something to study here,” she declares.
Kamm is also happy with the social aspects of her studies at the UiT.
“My expectations have been excelled. I've met so many nice, interesting, and caring people, both students and employees at the university. Everyone around here is really concerned about the well-being of the students and they are always willing to help, making sure that each student enjoys his or her stay here. Since there are a lot of international students in Tromsø I’ve never had the feeling of being alone, not even in the beginning when I didn't know any Norwegians,” she recounts.
The German exchange student emphasises that there are lots of things to do in Tromsø besides studying. She highlights all the social activities that are being organised and offered to UiT’s international students. Furthermore, the town and its surroundings provide various opportunities to the students regardless of their interests.
Sportive students can go skiing and hiking, those interested in nature can explore the islands around the Tromsø Island, and students who are more into the night-life will find that Tromsø has a wide range of cafés, bars, and restaurants.
Katharina Kamm thinks studying abroad broadens both her academic and her personal horizons:
“I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and I've also learnt that there are cultural differences between people from different countries which are worth experiencing and maintaining,” she says.
“Studying in the North is also a challenge in itself – experiencing the differences in nature, seeing how you react to the polar night a
GoNorth Student from Germany Fell in Love with Tromso
Thu, May 07, 2009
German Katharina Kamm (25) had visited Scandinavia only once before she decided to go study in the North.