Good day mates!

I am on a joint PhD program between Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU and the Australian National University, ANU. As a mandatory part of the program, I spent close to 8 months in Canberra, from July 2018 – February 2019.

Going Down Under was an adventure. The Aussies are laidback, polite and including, friends are made easily! It is exciting to see such a different nature, trees that do not loose their leaves, but the barch, for instance. In addition to the kangaroos and koala, that everyone knows, there are animals like wombat, echidna, cookaborra, platypus and many more, that I had never heard of before.  

ANU too, was an adventure to explore. There were lots of short courses and workshops for higher degree research (HDR) students. I took part in “time management” and “responsible referencing” in the orientation week, and continued with several workshops on communication, both oral and in writing.

There were sessions on “how to use Words for academic writing” and “how to put your thesis all together”. I enjoyed “Is your voice working for you?”, by mezzosoprano Christina Wilson, who taught us in depth about how voice is produced, how to avoid a shaky voice when nervous and practical warm ups before presentations.

“Serious play – Unblock your thinking with LEGO”, was a creative challenge in taking a 3D look at your thesis, with limitations on time and blocks to build with. Finally, for productive writing, there were “Shut up and write”-sessions daily.  HDR students from all colleges, come together to work side by side, in 25 minute intervals and 5 min breaks (Pomodoro technique). I find this method very helpful in working more efficiently, for instance in writing a piece like this! They also had “thesis boot camp”, one weekend, twice a year, for HDR students coming towards the end of their candidacy.  

A lot of these courses have online versions. Check out Academic skills

ANU had a great focus on mental health and wellbeing. One of their activities were the Get Up & Go program, which was a peer-support walking program, where you would get to know all of the ANU campus and some fellow students. 

I would really recommend an exchange to ANU, please, get in touch if interested. 

Thanks, Epinor, for your support! 

Cheers, Kristin Hestmann Vinjerui

Page administrator: Kristin Hestmann Vinjerui
Last updated: 17.12.2019 09:43