American College of Norway Alumni Spotlight – Emma Louise Berger (ACN 2020/2021 | Concordia University ‘24)

Emma Louise Berger started her American college degree at ACN in 2020 and is now studying at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Read about her time at ACN and her hopes for the coming years.

Why did you choose to study at ACN?

I chose to study at ACN, because the transition to the US was very demanding and a lot to wrap my head around, and the college would help me with that. Another factor was that I got to stay close to my family for another year, while I could work and save up money in addition to paying a low tuition.

Emma and classmates in Moss.

How did ACN prepare you to study in the US?

Since the professors at ACN are American, I learned a lot about how they teach classes in the US, and what they expect of the students. They also prepared me for some of the cultural differences, and I got to practice my English before moving across the Atlantic.

Homecoming Spirit Week 2020.

What is the most useful thing that ACN taught you?

ACN taught me how much I value small classrooms and that type of teaching environment. Being able to participate in class and getting to know my professors really helped me succeed in my classes. I also want to point out how close friendships I made at ACN, they are the most important thing I am taking with me. I actually went to the same college with two other girls from ACN.

How was your experience at ACN during the pandemic?

The professors really accommodated the best they could. We were lucky enough to experience the fall semester in person, and while we missed out on activities that would normally happen, we made the best of it by doing as much as we could while following the guidelines. However, almost all of our spring semester was online. Being inside the small apartments all day long was tough. Learning through zoom was hard for me, and I struggled with paying attention at times, but the professors adapted their teaching to make it easier on us, and constantly checked in on us and our health. I’m glad I was at ACN when it was at its worst, and not in the US.

Homecoming memories.

What advice would you give students considering studying at ACN and in the US?

Make connections! You make friends that can last a lifetime, and college will fly by. Do your work, get good grades, participate in class, but have fun, make lots of memories, and be present in the moment. When it comes to going to the US, be openminded. I had certain demands about what kind of college I wanted to go to, and it made me a bit narrow minded and too dismissing. At the same time, know what’s important to you, and trust your gut. I chose to not go to one of ACN’s partner schools, but I advise you to apply to both.

Fun times at ACN and in Moss.

What did you appreciate the most during your time at ACN?

The friendships I made. Some of my best friends where people I met at ACN.

Why did you choose Concordia? How has your experience been so far?

I had originally decided to go to North Carolina State University, but decided to apply to Concordia when two of my friends decided to go there. I applied to Concordia to have a plan B, but then they offered me a really great scholarship that I could not pass down. I got into both colleges, but plan B turned into plan A. My experience so far has been mixed. I love the US more than anything, and I have made so many great friends here. It has definitely been tough too though, because the classes, at least the science classes, are a lot harder here. There is so much more homework here too, and I haven not quite yet found the perfect balance. However, I try to take the weekends off and spend it with my friends. I have a car here, and I am enjoying exploring the US so much.

Getting to know American traditions before crossing the Atlantic.

What are you looking forward to during your college experience?

I am looking forward to exploring the rest of the US, making many more memories with my friends, making new friends, eating good food, and to learn more about what I want to work with in the future.

What are your hopes for the future?

My hopes for the future are to graduate with a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Conservation, get a good job in the US, and live life to the fullest every single day.

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