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  Greta Aune Jotun: Jøder og arabere, hvem okkuperer hva?
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Vikas Thakur: 100 Days Ever Lasting Experiences (16.4.04, 15:00)

Deciding to go abroad for study is always a challenging task.

Photo: NTNU Info/Tore Hugubakken
However, my decision to come abroad seems like a rewarding experience. Here I wish to elucidate the ever lasting memories of my last 100 days, which I have experienced
Superb co-operation from surroundings
Great satisfaction and entertainment
Good friends
Girl friend (to be honest)

First Encounter: Nervously travelling halfway around the World
January 11, 2004, Sunday afternoon, a 24 year old boy landed first time to Trondheim, to study, after travelling halfway across the world, expecting that someone will receive him at airport. Surprisingly there is no one in the airport waiting hall, nervously he tried to search for the known reference at every corner of the airport. Ops!! He failed to locate anyone known! Including the fact that he was unaware of his accommodation and destination in Trondheim. So what next??? After certain trials, with his strong belief, he decided to wait. After half an hour, two men appeared in airport waiting hall!! Its was great pleasing time for the boy to get warm welcome. Lately, the boy came to know that flight was expected half an hour late but it landed at right time. So, all are innocent!! It's happy climax here, isn’t it? Indicating that there is lot to learn and experience in upcoming days.

Who is that boy and those two persons? It's me, Vikas Thakur (24), Indian, and the persons meeting me in airport: my supervisor Prof. Steinar Nordal and one PhD student, Krishna Aryal, from the same department. An extremely distinguished faculty, a milieu replete with academic activity, a PhD program which blends high quality course work and research facilities at the cutting edge of every sub-field are the factors which have motivated me to choose Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)for my doctoral study.

Second Encounter: Climate and Living style
To be honest, what I have experienced in last 100 days is more than my imagination:

  • From +30(India) to –15 degrees (on arrival to Trondheim).
  • From 16 hours of darkness (January) to 16 hours of sunlight (presently).
  • From dusty and rusty soil (India) to snowy and icy ground.
  • From concrete houses to wooden ones!!!!! etc.
    I tried my level best to acclimatize in it. Struggling initial days, to walk on snow as I had never done before, and sometimes found myself dancing on street and trying to avoid every chances of hugging ground. And I managed - most of the time.

    Undoubtedly, accommodation is one of the important concerns for every student. So, same with me, but words won’t be enough to describe about my house-owner, Jakob Valen (stipendiat, Psykologisk institutt) and Marit Støre Valen (førsteamanuensis, Prosjektledelse og anleggsteknikk) whom I always found caring and helping. I have full co-operation from them which include series of meetings and experiencing taste of continental foods. Many times I have enjoyed the interesting combo of Anglo-Indian dinner with my neighbour, Nicholas Watkins from UK, studying at NTNU under exchange programme.

    Third Encounter: Institutt for geoteknikk
    My last 100 days experience says that I have always found myself very much familiar among my colleagues. At the beginning, one of my colleagues was engaged to make sure that all initial processes of registration were settled. Specially, at every juncture of time, I am nicely accompanied by Professor Lars Grande, not only in academic activities but in conceptual understanding of social life too. The interesting part of my experience is with my supervisor, Professor Steinar Nordal, whom I found more or less like a local guardian here. Right from the beginning I had very crucial tips from him, which always helped me to enhance deeper level knowledge. Instantaneous problem solving capability, quick, cheering, management skill, activeness are his certain qualities which always impress me. I always took it as great opportunity to learn from him. Interesting to unfold another truth that I have experienced the taste of skiing with my supervisor only.

    Fourth Encounter: Do I have Norwegian Friends and Parties?
    Buddy Program, organized by International Students’ Union (ISU), provided me opportunity to meet with first Norwegian friend Aina Sundt Gulhaugen (Masters’ student, Psychology). I had countless meetings including Indian dinner, drinks, movie nights, sight seeing and sharing some cultural facts. I have experienced Norwegian weekends nightlife and credit goes to my friends. Interesting to tell that in last 100 days I have met with several Norwegians, especially students, and most of them (almost all) have nicely greeted me and I found myself very comfortable to adjust with them. I think every International student seek local friends which helps them to settle socially. I admire the positive response my all Norwegian friends which cause me to mingle with them. In short, I found Norwegians exceptionally helping and gentle.

    Last few philosophical lines, which always keeps motivating me:

    Success never comes by any magic formula, need three ingredients which when combine together can work wonder,
    Willingness to work hard
    Enthusiasm to succeed
    Potential supervision

    Have Nice and entertaining Week!

    Vikas Thakur

    Read previous interview with Vikas (in norwegian).
    Brynjulf Owren: Tidskrifter og papirforbruk (19.1 2010)
    Ivar A. Bjørgen: Retten til arbeid. Tanker omkring Brevik-saken (15.1 2010)
    Rigmor Austgulen: Morsmelk – over og ut? (13.1 2010)
    Soilikki Vettenranta: JULEGAVE MED BISMAK (30.12 2009)
    Odd W. Andersen: Smelting i Antarktis (21.12 2009)
    Berit Kjeldstad og Mads Nygård: ”Mens vi venter på NTNU” (15.12 2009)
    Greta Aune Jotun: Jøder og arabere, hvem okkuperer hva? (10.12 2009)
    Bjørn K Alsberg: Å koke suppe på en spiker (10.12 2009)
      Allan Krill: For mappa mi (14.12 2009)
    Per Carlsen: Læresteder i klemme (7.12 2009)
      Bjørnar T Kvernevik: Svar: Læresteder i klemme (9.12 2009)
    Odd W. Andersen: Saltkraftverk (30.11 2009)