Ane Sande

Country of origin: Norway

Aker Solutions

Ane spent a term abroad as part of her Business Studies degree at Athens University of Economics and Business as part of the Erasmus programme, which facilitates study abroad and exchange opportunities for university students in Europe.

Being able to study in Greece during the first term of my final year was a great adventure that I will never forget. Not only did this give me an opportunity to experience the cultural differences of studying in another country, it also allowed me to meet many new friends from around the world.

Applying with a friend from Lancaster University made it possible for us to travel together and stay in the same apartment, which we rented from ‘Stay in Athens’. ‘Stay in Athens’ arranges different trips and events for Erasmus students, so we always had options of various activities available. I would advise students going abroad to take every opportunity to travel. When going to Athens, exchange students are offered the chance to see the different islands, which I would highly recommend.

The Erasmus building belonging to Athens University of Economics and Business is separated from the rest of the University, making it easier for the international students to find each other. In general, getting to know other Erasmus students was very easy, and I found everyone very friendly and inclusive.

The educational system in Athens University of Economics and Business was different, especially in the sense that lectures were held in smaller ‘classrooms’ with around 20-30 students. This allowed us to be able to ask questions regarding the theories, and there was lots of interaction between the lecturer and the students. The lecturers were very helpful, and made an effort to get to know every student.

I was given the opportunity to attend a Greek language course through the University free of charge. Learning some of the basic Greek phrases helped me communicate with the different people I met in Athens, and it was always appreciated when we made an effort to speak their language. Our Greek lecturer would inform us about everything from different cultural norms, to the best places to eat, and I found the classes both useful and fun.

I had my exams from Athens University of Economics and Business when I was back in Lancaster in January. This was convenient for me, as I was able to finish four of my eight modules, and afterwards had more time to focus on my remaining courses during the exam period. One of my concerns when studying abroad was that getting used to the new educational system of a different country might leave me with lower marks. However, I found the level of the exams from Athens University of Economics and Business to be the same as exams at Lancaster University.

Living only a short  metro trip away from the city centre was a great experience. In addition to this, the beach was only thirty minutes away. I especially enjoyed visiting the Acropolis, and walking around in Syntagma Square. Athens is truly a breathtaking city with a rich history, and I am very grateful to have been given such an amazing opportunity to study abroad there. 

After graduating I joined Aker Solutions, a company working in the oil and gas industry worldwide.