Welcoming a record number of international students

In the spring semester of 2022, 200 international exchange students have chosen INN University as their place of study, according to data from the international office.

A group of international students with a Norwegian flag.

Around 200 international students have chosen INN University for the spring semester. Photo: INN University. 

In the spring semester of 2022, 200 international exchange students have chosen INN University as their place of study, according to data from the international office.

The previous record is from the spring semester of 2017, when INN University reported 147 international exchange students to the Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DHB). Exactly how many will be reported this spring is currently a bit unclear, as the number does not represent the number of students physically present on our campuses but is nevertheless close to a record.

“High academic quality, security, absence of tuition fees and a population who speaks good English, all make INN University and other Norwegian educational institutions attractive to international students. Norway and Innlandet County being perceived as exotic, with opportunities for great nature experiences during both summer and winter, is also a contributing factor,” says head of the international office, Gunnar Klinge.

Significant increase for Lillehammer

The total number of international students is a record for INN University, and Lillehammer in particular can point to a significant increase. This spring, 142 international exchange students are registered here, which is 50 percent more than in a normal year. At Evenstad there are 46, 9 at Hamar, 2 at Elverum and 1 at Rena.

“The good numbers for Lillehammer are a result of long-term and good cooperation with international partners over many years, as well as a varied and relatively stable study offer in English. The students who have come here have been satisfied, thanks to our extremely skilled and dedicated administrative staff who work to facilitate and take care of the students throughout their stay,” says Klinge.

Arriving from various countries

The international exchange students arrive from a number of countries in Europe such as Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Finland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania and Turkey, but we also host students from South Korea, Japan, Burundi, Mexico and the United States. When it comes to nationality, the diversity is even greater.

“The international students add to our campuses a cultural and academic diversity that makes INN University's learning environment better and richer. I get regular feedback from course teachers who say that talented international students have contributed to Norwegian students pushing themselves and performing better,” says Klinge.

Although a record number of international students have now chosen INN University as their place of study, Klinge believes that we still have more to aim for, in the short and long term. The key is that we have an attractive and stable study offer in English, good international partners and clear management that ensures that sufficient administrative and professional resources are dedicated to this work.

“These factors are absolutely crucial. At the Norwegian educational institutions and study programmes where student exchange is high, internationalization is clearly a priority as an integral part of the study programmes’ academic activities. If INN University is to achieve its goals of increasing mobility figures further, this must be reflected in clear management and concrete priorities,” Klinge believes.

Around 100 students to go abroad on exchange

In addition to accepting many international students, many of our own students travel in order to gain valuable experience. About 100 students in total will travel abroad, according to the plan – 65 from Lillehammer, 30 from Rena, 3 from Elverum and 1 from Evenstad. These are students who travel on exchanges and to partake in internships. All are fully vaccinated.

“The most important thing for us is that both our students who travel abroad and the international students who travel here are left with a good overall experience. The litmus test for this is usually whether the students, after returning home, would recommend fellow students to go on an exchange. Surveys conducted by the international office show that the answer in most cases is a clear and unequivocal yes,” says Klinge.

Are you wondering how you as a student should proceed in order to participate in an exchange? The first thing you need to do is check which exchange destinations are suitable for your study programme, then contact the international office at your campus for guidance before you finally apply to travel on an exchange. For INN University students, the application deadline is 15 February for departure in the autumn of 2022. Read more about exchange for the autumn of 2022 for outgoing students and for incoming students.


This article was translated from Norwegian by Noorit Larsen

By Håkon Boye Bergum
Published Jan. 17, 2022 12:58 AM - Last modified Jan. 17, 2022 1:03 AM