New taskforce boosts international integration

9 September 2016

As the number of international students at BI rises, BI establishes a task force dedicated solely to increasing the students social experience.

As of autumn 2016, BI has 450 exchange students on its campuses across Bachelor and Master programmes. At a nearly 20 percent increase, this is only one of the areas in which BI is expanding its impact on the international arena. 

Task force off to A Flying Start

Smoother and more rewarding integration for international students is high on the agenda this year. As a measure to help this happen, a task force has been assembled to encourage more Norwegian and international students to interact with one another.

- Most universities claim to struggle to integrate domestic and international students. Norway and BI are not different than other countries in this respect, but BI is on a quest to change this. The task force has already involved SBIO and the student unions, Class Contacts at master and bachelor level and BI departments. We want the students to create integration activities themselves, says Ann Kristin Helgeland Calisch, Director of Full-time Master programmes.

More opportunities to mingle

Winner of the A Flying Start campaign, Emma Rebeca Pinto Guzman from Mexico, is one of the task force members. She will work on planning and carrying out social activities for both Norwegian and international students to mingle with one another, as well as providing feedback to BI on her experiences as an international student.

- Global students want to attend a university that provides an atmosphere of coexistence, that hires good international professors with updated views and that includes global thinking in their programmes. Integrating people from all over the world is an active investment, she says.

Emma welcoming guests to BI-inner

A number of activities with the purpose of being an arena for Norwegian and international students to interact are being planned for this semester and the spring semester. A more international feel to day-to-day life is also on the horizon, with possible global food campaigns at the campus facilities.

An international mindset

Exchange students are flowing in, the BI Summer School saw record numbers and there are 1000 international students at the Oslo campus alone. Yet the focus on integration isn’t just for students from abroad.

- Employers want to hire candidates with an "international mindset" and people who demonstrate willingness to do "a little bit more" than other applicants. They look for cross-cultural skills, tolerance for differences and strong language skills, particularly the command of English, says Ann Kristin.

Through participating in cross-cultural activities, Norwegian students at BI give themselves the opportunity to not only expand their social lives but also open doors to exciting careers.

BI’s promise to Norwegian society is to help build the knowledge economy and that starts with the student experience.

- Our strategy is to become one of the leading European business schools. This means that we need to become more international in our programmes, in our students, in our exchange programmes, but also become more international at home on campus here in Norway, concludes Ann Kristin.

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