Student exchange trips

Art and design students Alvhild Bjørke and Inga Århus with David Løvsjø Viken who is this week on a placement with The Shetland Times. Photo: Dave Dondaldson

Art and design students Alvhild Bjørke and Inga Århus with David Løvsjø Viken who is this week on a placement with The Shetland Times. Photo: Dave Dondaldson

Seven Norwegian students are spending a month on various work-placements in Shetland, as part of an international education programme.

The group includes media, ICT, and art students who arrived in the isles last week. They are enjoying their stay so far.

Over the last few years, selected students from various schools in Voss, Norway, have received a scholarship to live and work in Shetland for a month. The programme, funded by the EU, focuses on mobility, partnership, and policy.

This year is the first time art and design students have been given the opportunity.

Alvhild Bjørke and Inga Århus are undertaking a placement at Shetland Museum. “People are nice and helpful here, and we feel very welcome,” said Inga.

Being Norwegian in Shetland is far from a bad experience. Homesickness is not a problem either, since all seven of the group are living together at the Decca station. Both the art and design students agreed the only downside about Shetland was the unstable weather.

The stay and work experience will come in handy later, when they are applying for jobs and higher schools. It will also help the students to become more mobile, which is a important aspect of the programme.

Both students are very happy to have received the opportunity. They hope that the different work-placements here in Shetland will give them a more diverse experience for their education.

In return, eight students from Shetland College will be on their way to Voss on Monday to spend a month in work placements.

Funding for the exchange comes from the European Union’s Leonardo da Vinci Mobility programme, having been secured by staff from the SIC schools service and Shetland College.

Shetland College students in the fields of Art & Design, Digital Media, Business & Hospitality, Construction and Music are travelling on this occasion.

SIC schools service project officer Brian Spence said: “The exchange offers a tremendous opportunity for students in vocational training. We have a great partner in Voss and I’m sure the whole group will have a rewarding experience over the next few weeks.”

Shetland College acting principal Irene Peterson was delighted that college students have been given this opportunity.

“These work placements in Voss provide students with an excellent opportunity to enhance their employability and personal development skills in an inspiring Norwegian setting. There’s no doubt they will benefit hugely from the experience of living and working in another country.”

The Leonardo Programme is part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme. It supports UK vocational education and training organisations, encouraging staff and learners to work together with European partners to improve training, skills and employability.

David Løvsjø Viken

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