Full name: Elise Melsom
Programme at BI: MSc in Applied Economics
Full name: Elise Melsom
From USA to Norway
Like most people, I usually don't pay much attention to ads on social media. However, about one year ago. One of these ads caught my attention. It was a short video featuring a man that represents the stereotypical 21st century Viking image. He was telling me to "Go North." I was in the process of applying to graduate schools for economics. BI was already on my list, but seeing this ad inspired me to take a closer look. I put together my application over the next month and sent it off. I was over the moon when I received both an acceptance and a scholarship offer. I had always wanted to experience life in Norway. My sister was also living in Oslo at the time. The choice was easy and I have been having a blast ever since my plane arrived last August.
I spent the majority of my life living in Washington, D.C. But I am half-Norwegian and have always had strong ties to Oslo. This dual identity has always allowed me flexibility. One of my biggest reasons for coming to BI was to explore this half of my identity further. Also, see what it might be like to live in Norway long term.
I graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2019 with my Bachelor's degree in Economics. I knew after graduation that I wanted to continue studying. I wanted to find a programme that would allow me to continue my studies in economics. A school that valued student involvement on campus. A city that could feel like home. BI satisfied all three.
Why Applied Economics?
When I was browsing through the programmes at BI. The Master of Science in Applied Economics immediately stood out to me. It was the perfect blend of theory and application. Featuring courses like Theoretical Industrial Organization (my favorite course so far). Econometrics with Programming. The overall structure of the two-year program seemed very cohesive. The option of doing an exchange or an internship during the third semester was also appealing. A way to get experience working in Norway before graduating. My experience at BI has met all of my expectations so far. The transition from the bachelor level in the US to the master level in Norway has been very smooth.
Student Life at BI
During my time at BI, I have had plenty of opportunities to get involved on-campus. I am a member of Femmes Fatales, the all-female singing group here at BI. While covid-19 has made it difficult to meet for rehearsals. We still make the most of our time together to practice and have fun. Another great way to get involved on campus is to attend events, especially those that involve free food. There is a free Coffee Hour at Kroa, the student bar, twice each week. And there are monthly BInner events where you can mingle with other students and enjoy a nice dinner.
As far as my future plans in Norway are concerned. I was able to secure an internship for my third semester. I have made great friends both within and outside my programme. Getting to live in and explore Oslo has been incredible even with the covid-19 lockdown restrictions. I hope to continue to be involved at BI and meet new people. Perhaps one day even pursue a PhD or work as an economist within the Norwegian government. Until then, wish me luck on my exams!