Student Report

Student Report
Name of the University: Universidad de Navarra
Exchange semester: Fall 2012
Before leaving Norway
When and how did you receive information from the exchange university?
I received the information in the spring after BI had finished with my application. Then I
received an email saying that I had been accepted to The University of Navarra who is in
Pamplona, Spain. I received this information in the spring semester. The application process
was pretty easy, with a good lay out. The only thing that was a problem is that the subjects
they have for the autumn semester is not set before at the end of summer. So you would
probably have to change the first subjects you pick again when you get down to the school. I
chose not to find a house before I arrived in Pamplona. There are a lot of people searching for
flatmates on Facebook, so that should not be a problem.
You won’t need a Visa to go there, as long as you stay for one semester. I travelled with
Norwegian to Barcelona, and then took the train to Pamplona. The train ride is about 4 hours
and cost around 50-60 euros. Trains are a bit expensive in Spain, so if you want to save some
money you should take the bus, this is the normal transportation for students in Spain. The
bus routes in Spain are better built out in Norway.
Was housing provided by the university, or did you have to find your own housing?
The university does provide accommodation, but if you are not very catholic this is not a good
choice. The student housing are much more expensive and you have to live like a “family
life” were you have to eat dinner with the other students every day, have a curfew and act like
the priests who also lives there dictate. The international students I met who lived in there said
if they had to choose again, they would find something else. It is also a lot more expensive
than finding a private apartment. The school can help you with locating some other housing,
but it is faster and better to try doing it by yourself.
Approximately what it will cost to live in Pamplona. Pamplona and Spain in general has a
much lower cost of living than home, so you can live on the student loan alone.
NOK 2500
NOK 1000
NOK 3500
NOK 550
NOK 5500
Culture and language
Did you have any language problems with the faculty or other students?
Most people in Pamplona have a very low level of English, I have spent a lot of time in Spain
over the years, and Pamplona is the place in Spain I have been with the lowest understanding
of English. So I suggest learning some basic Spanish sentences before going. But you can
manage, the native students at the university have basic understanding of English, and young
people in general understand you. But the elder generations struggle with speaking English.
The possibilities to experience the country and the culture are huge, getting around Spain by
bus is easy and cheap, and it takes you almost everywhere want to go.
Cultural and social effects from the exchange experience
I think the experience from the exchange will follow me the rest of my life; it was such a great
experience. Made new friends for life, and I learned so much about other cultures and
languages. I think the exchange experience is going to have positive impact on my future
career possibilities. Both the understanding of different cultures acquired during the stay, and
the improvement in languages is good to have on the CV and help me in my future working
The school is built like a campus were every faculty has its own building, around each
building there are park areas, so the area the school cover is huge. The school also has a big
sports center with tennis courts, football pitch etc. There are about 8000 students currently
enrolled at the school. The study structure is built up around class work and participation
together with homework, such as cases and preparing for the next class. For course
registration I had to hand in a learning agreement before arrival, both to BI and UNAV. But I
had to change almost every subject when I got the class schedule in Spain. This was because
of classes overlapping. You have two weeks after the school starts to change the classes.
Academic calendar
Arrival date:
First day of the semester:
Last day of classes:
Examination period:
Any special events/holidays:
28.11 – 22.12
There is an international office in the economics building, the girl who works there is very
helpful with everything. As an exchange student, I did receive the information I needed. But
my Spanish at arrival was not very good. And a lot of the information handed out from the
school was primarily in Spanish. But the information we got usually was good enough. In
November there is an exchange fair at school were we went to a stand to promote BI and
Social activities
How was your relationship with native students?
Because I don’t speak Spanish that well, and a lot of the native students don’t speak English
that well it was hard to communicate with a lot of them. But the students who understood
English were very warm and friendly. Usually they come to you wanting to talk and practise
their English The school has an international committee who arrange different activities to
strengthen the relationship the exchange students have with each other and with the native
students. They arrange social arrangements and trips to for example San Sebastian and a trip
to Barcelona. Beside this the exchange students arrange trips all the time and invite everyone
who wants to join in. The relationship among the international students was surprisingly
good. Everyone knows everyone and they are all really open. This was maybe the best part of
my exchange.
In the classroom
The teaching style is more like high school, than what we are used to at BI with the big
auditoriums. The classes have around 20 people in each. I chose all my courses in English.
Most of the teachers have a good pronunciation, but two of them were really hard to follow
because their English level was so low. The teaching style is more based on that you have to
go to classes and take notes, class room participation counts for a big percentage of the final
grade. Most subjects don’t have books, but rely on your own notes and slides given by the
teacher. The teaching is more practical than at BI, with more case studies and different
participation tasks handed out in the classroom. So the teacher use a combination of cases,
group works together with the lectures. The relationship between teacher and students
depends very on the teacher. Some takes great pride in a good relationship with the students,
and other don’t care about that. The relationship between the students in the classroom gets
really god by all of the group work.
Course materials
Describe the course materials used (books/literature, online articles, PowerPoint, etc.).
The course material is as mentioned before primarily PowerPoint slides in English. I must say
that the books used at BI are usually better than the slides. And in my opinion is that with you
work well with the books you learn more. The materials are used for both detailed knowledge
and a broad overview of the subject. But I have to say that the slides and notes from the
teacher really vary from subject to subject.
The exams are based on what the teacher are going trough in the lectures. Books are not used
at all. The courses are evaluated by:
o Final exam (include form: written, oral, home assignment, presentation, etc.)
o Mid-term exam
o In-class quizzes throughout semester
o Small assignments and/or papers
o Presentations
o Group work
o Class attendance
o Class participation/debates
o Activities outside of the classroom
Library and technology
The school has two big libraries with English books, but primarily the books are in Spanish.
Like a lot of the staff at the University the librarian has a low understanding of English.
And there is a computer room in every building. The school has a system called ADI were
they publish information, this system reminds BI’s its learning in many ways.
Description of courses
Course code & name
Exam form
30 min + a case
assignment and
case assignment
International trade
2 hours
Risk management
Quality management
1 hour + mid
1 hour + a case
assignment and
1 hour + mid
Teacher has
a low
ng of
Teacher has
a low
ng of
Very good
Good guest
Very good