From Caribbean to Western Norway

Picture of Shania Marcella Kalpee. Photo: Ingunn Gjærde
‘I did not know much about Bergen before coming but from the pictures alone it made me feel relaxed and excited to experience the new city,’ says Shania Marcella Kalpee, double degree student and international student ambassador at NHH. Photo: Ingunn Gjærde
NHH By Ingrid Aarseth Johannessen

23 October 2023 12:16

From Caribbean to Western Norway

Shania Marcella Kalpee (27) from Trinidad and Tobago is living her best life in Norway. ‘The beauty of the city Bergen took me by surprise.’

‘The international community is the best thing about NHH. Although there are so many streams of people here whether it’s for exchange or double degree you feel the presence of the students,’ says Shania Marcella Kalpee (27) from Trinidad and Tobago, a republic in the Caribbean. 

Kalpee is one of NHH's international student ambassadors. 

Chat with our ambassadors and read their blog posts

Upon graduation Kalpee will receive two master's degree titles; one MSc in Economics and Business Administration from NHH and an additional master's degree from her home university, Ivey Business School, at Western University in Canada. Read more about the double degree programme.

‘As an international student, initially it may be difficult to understand Norwegian culture but as the semester progresses you would come to the realisation that it just takes time for Norwegians to open up and trust you. Regardless of friendship, Norwegian culture is based on kindness and trust,’ she says. 

‘One of the most progressive countries’

‘Why did you choose NHH?’

‘The option to do a double degree in one of the most progressive countries and also at the leading business school in Norway, was the top selling point. 

‘The close-knit community at NHH and the opportunities available to students to network and gain invaluable connections is prominent at NHH and I wanted to experience it. I did not know much about Bergen before coming, but from the pictures alone it made me feel relaxed and excited to experience the new city.’

Picture of Shania Marcella Kalpee with NHH friends, and photos of Bergen nature. Photo: private
‘Anywhere you walk in Bergen there is something beautiful to experience and taking advantage of the time you have here is essential,’ says Kalpee. The picture to the left shows her together with the other double degree students at NHH. The two others shows NHH nature at its finest. Photo: private

Live close to school at Hatleberg

Housing is of paramount importance. All international students with a non-Nordic degree, are guaranteed housing through Sammen, the student welfare organisation in Bergen. Most NHH internationals live at “Hatleberg”.

‘The best part is that you can see NHH from most rooms at Hatleberg! Knowing that you are going to be so close to school is one pressure lifted off. Being a five minute walk away from campus comes in handy especially for those 8:00 am classes.’

‘Easy to get friends at NHH?’

‘The best time to create friendships is during the Welcome Week. The effort and energy that goes into planning the events from the students at NHH is felt. Being mixed into a group with both Norwegian and international students is the perfect mix and these initial connections follow you through the semester. Also, there are many organisations that you are able to join which would help widen your friend group with people that have similar hobbies to you.’ 

Solid rain jacket is a must

Trinidad and Tobago is a republic in the southern Caribbean, with a population of 1,5 million. The climate is tropical with small variations in temperature during the year. Average temperature for the capital, Port of Spain, is 26.6 °C in January and 26.1 °C in July.

For Kalpee the rain and the wind was the biggest upheaval coming to Bergen, even though she is used to a shifting climate. 

‘Although I expected it, experiencing it is totally different. Having a solid rain jacket and a sturdy umbrella is essential to survive Bergen. However, the culture of not letting the rain stop you from doing activities is something that I am trying to adapt to. Your day doesn’t end if it’s raining, it’s just beginning! The beauty of the city also took me by surprise since pictures don’t do it justice. Anywhere you walk in Bergen there is something beautiful to experience and taking advantage of the time you have here is essential.’ 

Landscape photos from Trinidad and Tobago, and a picture of Shania Marcella Kalpee. Photo: private
Kalpee is a double degree student at NHH Norwegian School of Economics and Ivey Business School, at Western University in Canada. The landscape photos shows the landscape in her home country, Trinidad and Tobago. Photo: private

‘Any other surprises?’

‘The importance of allowing everyone to have a rest day to recharge for the week ahead is nuanced to me. In simple terms, almost everything is closed on Sunday and to me it shows that the people here are valued and cared for. The understanding and appreciation for work life balance is something I took for granted until experiencing the benefits of it here.’


Picture of Aelon Nicolson. Photo: Helge Skodvin

Got a job in London while being a NHH student

‘Technological and economics skills are becoming more important than ever,’ says former NHH student, Aelon Nicolson. He is now working as a Global Data Specialist at Bloomberg in London.

New BSc in Data Science at NHH

As an international student at NHH you have several opportunities. Here are some of them:

The new bachelor's programme "Business, Economics and Data Science" (BEDS) starts from autumn next year. Data analysis, programming, more advanced mathematics, applied statistics and artificial intelligence will be central subjects.

The programme provides admission to the Master's programme in Economics and Business Administration at NHH, and teaching is given exclusively in English.

The application is online through Søknadsweb, and the application period is from 1 November to 1 December (for internationals). 

Read more on admission process (BEDS)