On 26 April, Ambassador Janne Julsrud welcomed local students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to her residence. Among the speakers was Heidi Aakre, President of Statoil Asia Pacific, who shared her thoughts on business cultures in Norway and Singapore. The NTU students pursue an undergraduate degree in maritime studies. This program is offered in co-operation with the BI Norwegian School of Management, and one important part of the course is an exchange semester at BI’s Oslo campus. Thus, the exchange students had many questions about Norway and its people. Some were concerned about the cold while others were eager to hear more about an insider’s traveling tips. Either way, the enthusiasm among the departing students seemed strong enough to overcome many of the potential challenges confronting them. Equipped with complimentary moose t-shirts, drinking bottles, pens and traveling brochures from the Embassy, these students should be ready for what will hopefully be a memorable stay at BI’s Oslo campus.
Among the participating guests were also representatives from some of the largest Norwegian companies in Singapore. These companies need employees with international experience, particularly those with ties to both Singapore and Norway. As a result, previous exchange students have taken positions in many of these companies. Hence, this reception also allowed local students to network and present themselves for companies that may very well be their possible employers in the future.
This program was introduced in July 2004 with the goal to strengthen the expertise in the local shipping industry in Singapore. It has followed a successful path and brought many Singaporean students to Norway over the years. In much the same manner, a considerable number of Norwegian students from BI have done studies in international marketing at NTU. As a result, the co-operation between NTU and BI has been extended through a new agreement that runs until 2018. Hopefully this will ensure that Norway stays a popular student exchange destination for the big student body in Singapore.