What are the key systemic causes of the so-called Anthropocene era, and what are the main challenges in creating more sustainable futures? These are some of the questions the new students at SUM will explore.
The new students had their first day at SUM on August 14, 2023.
Last week, 27 students arrived at SUM to join the master’s programme titled Development, Environment and Cultural Change (DECC). The staff and faculty at Nydalen welcomed the new students. They also met their second-year ‘buddies’, who were there to help welcome and introduce the new students to SUM.Gudrun Cecilie Eikemo Helland, Acting Administrative Head of Studies
– The day we welcome the new students is one of the most exciting days of the year at SUM. We always look forward to meeting them and getting to know them better. The buddies are also doing a great job including the new students into SUM's social study environment right from the start, and it’s just so lovely to see, says Gudrun Cecilie Eikemo Helland.
Gudrun is the acting Administrative Head of Studies at SUM. This year, Gudrun and her colleagues received more than 425 applications for the DECC master's programme.
– Our programme attracts students from all over the world. The new students come from 16 countries, including Norway, Azerbaijan, Colombia via Canada, Germany, Slovakia, China, Denmark, Austria, Philippines, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Mexico, Peru, South Korea, and New Zealand.A group of second-year students at SUM volunteered as ‘buddies’ to make the new first-year students enjoy their first weeks. From left: Angelique Rein, Mikayla Marazzi, Holly Benna, Elida Wiik, Jessica Le Riche, Ingrid Forsberg, Anna Røer Falch, and Frida Øvregaard. Not in this picture: Clémentine Fraunié.
Meet two of the new students
Maria Del Carmen Gonzalez Torres and Søren Mortensen are ready to start their studies at SUM. Maria is from Mexico and holds a major in law from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and a master’s degree in sustainability and business from the University of Nottingham.
– I am very passionate about sustainability, and I was looking for studies in the field of environmental humanities when I discovered the master’s programme at SUM. I then decided to apply and come to Oslo to get deeper into the area I am interested in, she says.
At home, Maria has been engaged in her family’s business of producing mezcal – a traditional spirits beverage from Mexico –but she is now interested in pursuing an academic career.
– I look forward to finding a more specific topic for my master’s project and research. I think SUM will provide a great and diverse environment for engaging in discussions and debates, as my peers come from various parts of the world, she says.Maria Del Carmen Gonzalez Torres and Søren Mortensen had their first day as master's students at SUM last week.
One of Maria's new student peers is Søren from Denmark. He studied creative writing for a year at the University of South-Eastern Norway and holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oslo.
– Studying creative writing was fantastic. Many writers are politically engaged in society, but I felt like I needed more knowledge to do that, so I started studying at UiO and wrote my bachelor’s thesis about climate justice, he says.
Søren currently works at UiO’s student-led Green Office – a contact point for students and employees who want to make the University more sustainable. He now looks forward to starting his master’s studies at SUM. His current academic interest is connected to his experiences coming from the countryside of Denmark, where many people are engaged in farming.
– Right now, I am most interested in environmental issues such as biodiversity and farming practices, and I look forward to explore these topics more at SUM. There seems to be a great community here of strongly research-oriented people who are also very engaged in society, he says.
We welcome Maria, Søren and all the other new students to SUM!
Read more about the master’s programme