USD is backdrop for Norwegian students It may seem like a long journey from Norway to The University of South Dakota, but for a group of Norwegian students, the travel is just part of research for their graduate studies.
Gunnar Bendheim, Bente Tapuwa Hansen and Gunnar Egil R�v along with Professor Ove Gustafsson arrived for a two-week stay at USD on Monday, July 19, in order to fulfill a final requirement for their graduate program at S�r Tr�ndelag College in Trondheim, Norway.
As a prerequisite for their graduate program in Norway, the students must write a paper comparing an aspect of their country with that of another culture.
Preparations for the group's USD visit began last year when USD Political Science Professor David Aronson met the students during a trip he made to S�r Tr�ndelag College in Trondheim. Arrangements were soon made for the group to visit the United States including USD to finish their final research paper.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for our students," Aronson said. "We hope to set up an exchange program and have our students travel to Norway in the next year."
The students' paper, entitled "Comparative of Motivation by Non-Traditional Students," explores the discrepancy in age of Norwegian graduate students as opposed to their American counterparts and their reasons for continuing their educational studies. While at USD, the group will interview both faculty and students involved in graduate studies.
The group has found that Norwegian students traditionally have five years of practical experience before entering graduate school while many American students enter graduate studies with little or no outside work experience. The average age of non-traditional students in Norway is 43.
Aronson said that he feels fortunate that the students included USD in their graduate paper.
"It really is an honor to finally have them here at USD," he said.
The group expects to have their paper completed when they depart Vermillion in early August.