The University of Oslo (Uio) offers an annual summer school in comparative social sciences for PhD students (www.sv.uio.no). The summer school was recommended to me by two PhD psychology students (Lorenza and Rizwana). My PhD research utilises mixed methods to address career adaptability processes, and I had encountered challenges I wanted to gain clarity about. Furthermore, I was keen to connect with PhD candidates and to gain research skills in an international learning environment. Therefore, when I heard about the mixed methods course by Prof. Gobo at the summer school
in Oslo, I immediately applied. Receiving the PGIO travel bursary allowed me to purchase my ticket. My course fees were waivered because of the partnership that Stellenbosch University (SU) and Uio have. In addition, the NRF awarded me a travel grant which allowed me to afford the extra costs, such as accommodation and food. SU has many international partnerships, so a lot of time is involved in planning a trip.
The highlight of my PhD-experience thus far was attending a summer school course at the University of Oslo. I learned about the Oslo Summer school in comparative social sciences from my fellow PhD student, Lorenza Williams, who attended a course at this university a couple of years ago. I looked at the courses on offer and one course immediately grabbed my attention. The course was called ‘Mixed Methods: Integrating qualitative and quantitative research’. To my knowledge there are no PhD courses focusing on mixed methods in South Africa. This course seemed ideal because my study is a mixed methods study and I am very interested in learning about methodology and teaching it. However, I was hesitant to apply because I have never travelled that far alone, but at Lorenza’s insistence; I applied and was shortly thereafter accepted. After I accepted my place at the course I began searching for funding to attend the course. I approached the Postgraduate and International office.
The PGIO office was incredibly helpful and assisted me in obtaining the funding I needed.Once I received the funding I started planning for the trip right away by searching for flights to Oslo and accommodation in Oslo. Tron Torneby, the coordinator of the summer school in Oslo provided plenty of support by recommending hotels and providing us with details about Oslo. Tron even provided us with details of which trams stopped at the university, which was extremely helpful. The recommended hotel was too pricey so I opted for another hotel in central Oslo within walking distance of the tram that stopped at the University. The flights were painless to book because I used a travel agent. I learned that travelling would take an entire day and multiple stops and flight changes would be required. This seemed daunting but I knew that the experience would be worth it. Continue reading Rizwana in Norway→