Where will your UND degree take you?
Andriana, Nursing and Norwegian Major
When I graduated in 2015, I had a degree in both Nursing and Norwegian. I’ve always
that having a well-rounded education is important for people to relate to the world around them. And in today’s world, where topics such as immigration and healthcare often clash, I believe having this kind of education is even more important. In nursing, I was taught about using holistic approaches when treating patients. This included taking their cultural views into perspective to help to establish trust and understanding. Studying a second culture and language has helped to give me a new perspective on working with cultures other than my own. As a nurse, being able to use a multicultural approach to healthcare has been invaluable. While studying Norwegian at UND, I was given the opportunity to go to Norway for a summer to attend the International Summer School at the University of Oslo. For 6 weeks I was immersed in Norwegian culture alongside my fellow classmates. We came from all around the world, over 80 countries to be exact! While we were all different and had come to school for different reasons, we all shared a love of Norway. The experiences I had will stay with me forever. Today I’m also using my Norwegian degree in my position as Junior Lodge Director to restart my local Sons of Norway youth lodge. My experiences at UND are helping me to instill the same excitement I get about Norway into a new generation of kids! The kids I work with are learning about the Norwegian language, literature, history, foods, and art. We’re even connecting with Norwegian youth to get a more personal experience of the country and all it has to offer. My Norwegian experience has been nothing short of amazing. It has helped me both in my nursing career as well as my ability to give back to my community.
Connor, Norwegian and Spanish Major
My foreign language education opened up worlds for me. With my double major in Spanish and Norwegian, I was accepted to medical school under a Navy scholarship. My education at UND gave me the breadth of knowledge and critical thinking experience to be successful in work and academics. I developed the chops to assimilate large amounts of information, mixing rote memorization and the integration of broad ideas. The exposure to art and history gave me the cultural competency to connect with patients and coworkers. Familiarity with a Romantic and a Germanic language made it easier to navigate medical jargon. I’m so grateful to the language faculty at UND for setting me up with the skills necessary to succeed in a post-grad world.
Kaci, Norwegian and History Major
History was my passion and I always knew I wanted to major in that. I figured taking a language would make me well rounded, and taking Norwegian classes at UND seemed like a cool alternative to other languages that would allow me to learn about my heritage at the same time. Little did I know Norwegian would soon become just as much of a passion as history. The idea of combining my two loves first occurred to me when I studied at the International Summer School at the University of Oslo. While there, I visited museums and historic sites. I watched the docents offer information to rapt audiences and decided that I needed to do the same. I have been able to combine my two degrees, History and Norwegian, through my work at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, Minnesota, where they have a Norwegian stave church replica and a Viking ship replica. I can share Norwegian history and culture with locals and visitors alike, as well as interact with the many Norwegians who visit. I also have been working on preparations for our annual summer Scandinavian and Midwest Viking Festival. As I work on my Master’s degree in Public History, I am grateful for the opportunity to gain experience and keep my passion for Norwegian alive. Studying Norwegian also gave me the opportunity open my eyes to other cultures and made me more self-aware. Through the International Summer School, I met people from all over the world and interacted with them daily.
Laura, International Studies and Norwegian Major with History and Religion Minors
If you're interested in a career with any sort of international aspect, regardless of field or location, you're kidding yourself if you don't pursue a language degree as well. I didn't fully understand the importance of this until I was cast out of the safe borders of school and into the professional world. As an undergrad I didn't have a desired career path other than an interest in cultural studies. Through the Norwegian program I defined both my personal and career interests through participation in diverse Norwegian courses, exchange adventures, and part-time work. Pursuing a language degree taught me to understand how to recognize amd appreciate culture diversity. My immersion in this educational pool gave me a competitive advantage in the workforce that I did not foresee. I've moved forward with my degree, working abroad as both an international teacher and as a language leader in exchange programs. I am currently working in Norway, in Norwegian, at an international global emergency assistance company. I could never have expected such diverse, exciting or fulfilling types of employment! Working to understand both language and culture helps build bridges of opportunity for both yourself and society. Obtaining a language degree will give you the tools to learn something new every day for the rest of your life, not to mention unbelievable opportunities and experiences to enjoy along the way!
Lucas, Norwegian and Theater Arts Major
At UND, I double majored in both Theater Arts and Norwegian. You might think of these as two completely useless majors, but since graduating and moving to the Twin Cities, I have been actively using both majors in my daily and professional life. As a theater artist, I have been hired due to my experience with Norwegian and Nordic culture. I have worked in major artistic positions with numerous professional companies, collaborating on plays by Ibsen, being a cultural reference for new work, and even translating fairy tales for the stage. Besides my theatrical endeavors, I also work for a major tour operator that specializes in Scandinavia. I rub shoulders everyday with Nordic-minded people (some of whom are straight from Northern Europe) while booking exciting travel packages for people wanting to travel to Scandinavia. So I get paid to share my love and knowledge of Norwegian and Scandinavia. I even get to travel to Scandinavia to meet with hotels, guides, and other travel companies. In September, I was in both Iceland and Norway and had meetings på norsk! Due to my employment with this highly-regarded travel company, I have become connected with the strong Nordic community in the Twin Cities and abroad, meeting foreign politicians, cultural programmers, and other major players in the global Nordic scene.
Maggie, Air Traffic Control and Norwegian Major
The Norwegian program at UND developed me into the well-rounded air traffic controller I am today. Majoring in Norwegian has impacted my life in ways I would have never imagined. While at UND, I knew I wanted to pursue a career as an air traffic controller, but I also started studying Norwegian due to my family’s heritage. I fell in love with the language, history and culture, and spent a semester abroad at the University of Oslo. My time in Norway gave me the opportunity to adjust and explore a new place I was unfamiliar with while interacting with numerous individuals from diverse backgrounds. About five years after my time in Norway, I was hired as an air traffic controller and soon found myself having to quickly move across the country to an unfamiliar region. Thanks to my time abroad, I was able to smoothly transition and build relationships with new coworkers, supervisors, and friends with ease. Studying a foreign language goes far beyond simply communicating in that language. Studying a second language developed my confidence while stretching my brain power to learn the language of aviation while continuing to train in my career. As an air traffic controller, I am required to memorize and learn large amounts of information in short periods of time, and apply the information at a moment's notice. My skills and experience communicating in a second language help me daily to be able to listen and communicate quickly and effectively with pilots and other controllers, while speaking the language of aviation. While studying abroad, I was able to meet up with Norwegian air traffic controllers who invited me on tours of Norwegian air traffic control facilities. Networking with these individuals provided me with a unique opportunity to expand my view of aviation and air traffic control on a global level that most controllers never get.
Nick, Norwegian, Political Science, and Computer Science Major
I’m thankful for the programs and opportunities that the UND Languages Department offers. After graduating with majors in Norwegian and Political Science, I moved to Washington D.C. and worked in the U.S. Senate as well as a small, fast-paced law firm. My education at UND, including the two semesters I spent abroad in Norway, provided me with a foundation and perspective that allowed me to succeed in those positions. I later decided to change career paths and went back to UND for a Computer Science degree. My international experience continued to benefit me as I went to work for a multinational aerospace company as a software engineer. I had many coworkers and customers from around the world, including Norway.
Xavier, Norwegian Student and English MA
Prior to teaching abroad in Norway, I was a "continental couch-potato." Essentially, I was content with seeing the world through books, pictures, etc. However, after being selected to teach Research Writing and Intro to Film at the American College of Norway in Moss, my worldviews were radically changed in the best ways possible, and my interest in teaching was turned into a passion for teaching. Before departing on my adventure, I enrolled in Norwegian and I quickly became enamored with the language. Upon my arrival in Moss, I quickly learned that all of the guidance and hard work from my Norwegian class helped me transition into my new surroundings very smoothly. During my stay in Norway, I was introduced to an incredibly friendly culture, exquisite scenery, unforgettable experiences, and a newfound desire to see more of what the world has to offer. I visited several other countries while there and when it was time to return home to the United States, I had changed significantly. I learned that in order to grow as person of the world, one needs to get off the couch. This newfound mentality opened a plethora of academic opportunities for me and aided in my career as a College Composition Instructor and High School English Teacher.