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UNO Students to Visit Sibling University in Norway for a Funded Summer Immersion Program

April 22nd, 2009

Press Release

Twenty UNO students will visit Norway from May 9th through the 18th, 2009.

This immersion experience will allow students to learn first-hand about Norwegian society, culture, history, business practices, education, and government, and have conversations with their counterparts and some key thinkers in Norway.  The visit to Norway is hosted by UNO’s sibling university, the University of Agder (UiA) located in beautiful Kristiansand, on the southern tip of Norway.  UNO students have to contribute their time, interest and the cost of the airfare Press Release State Map(approx $1,000). All other costs totaling nearly $2500 per student for local travel, ground transportation, educational workshops, hotels and meals are being underwritten by a grant from the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education[i] awarded to UiA in partnership with UNO. The grant directors from UiA are Drs. Bjørn Erik Munkvold and Carl Erik Moe. On the UNO campus, Drs. Deepak Khazanchi and Ilze Zigurs, both of the College of Information Science & Technology, are the leads. The total value of the grant is approximately $260,000 and it includes development of joint courses and certificates, support for 20 study abroad students for a semester in Norway, and travel support for one to two UNO PhD students and faculty from Education, Public Administration and Information Science & Technology.

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The students were selected for the trip on a competitive basis. The selected student delegation includes a number of first generation college students who represent a diverse group of women (14) and men (6). The students are predominantly juniors and represent a wide variety of majors from the following colleges – six from the College of Information Science & Technology, seven from the College of Education, four from the College of Arts & Science, and one each from the College of Public Administration and Community Affairs, College of Business Administration, and College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media.

During their trip to Norway, the students will visit the cities of Kristiansand (home to UiA), Stavanger, and Oslo. While in Norway, the students will experience a range of activities including educational workshops on Norwegian values and culture, eDemocracy and European Integration. The students will also visit monuments and cultural sites such as the Pulpit Rock and the Gestapo museum and participate in a half day of service at local schools.  In addition, the students will visit with corporate/government executives and multinational corporations like Aker Solutions, StatoilHydro and Elkem Solar. On the way to Norway, the students will lay over in Amsterdam for a day and tour the city including visiting the Anne Frank Museum.

The UNO Chancellor John Christensen in his letter of support for this collaboration grant stated that this partnership “is an important part of educating the workforce that will be relevant and prepared for a world that will be greatly interconnected. UNO is committed to sustaining and extending the collaboration with UiA to the next level.”

The UNO students will maintain a daily multimedia live journal/blog of their travels in Norway. Follow their experience at http://norwaytrip09.ist.unomaha.edu

Additional Information on the UNO-UiA Collaboration Grant:

  • Current collaboration project, 2008-2011
    • $260,000, joint grant from Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education
  • Goal to extend already successful collaboration with UiA
    • 2008, Inaugural research workshop in Omaha – 7 UiA and 15 UNO faculty (3 PA, 5 IS&T, 2 Education, and 5 from A&S/ITS/IS&P).
    • 2009, Follow-up research workshop in Norway – 3 IS&T and 3 PA faculty and 2 Education faculty are funded by this project
    • Faculty and PhD students for funded research visits to Norway
  • Develop and deploy joint courses
    • 2009, Graduate seminar on Virtual Teams/Virtual Project Management
    • 2010, Doctoral research seminar
    • Develop graduate certificate in global IT management
    • Norwegian exchange students build global mindset in our classrooms
  • Conduct study abroad and student immersion experiences – cultural and educational
    • 2009-2011 – 20 UNO students are to be funded @ $2,200 to $2,000 per student for a full semester study abroad experience in Norway.
      • Four students are in Norway in the current semester. Two from UiA are visiting Omaha this semester.
    • May 9-19th, 2009, 20 UNO students to visit Norway
    • May 2010, 20 UiA students to visit Omaha

Project Contact Information:

  • UiA – UNO Collaboration Grant Web Site:
  • University of Agder Web Site- http://www.uia.no/en
  • University of Agder (UiA) Project Contacts:
    • Dr. Bjørn Erik Munkvold – (Professor, Department of Information Systems) — +47 38 14 17 72 (Bjørn.E.Munkvold@hia.no)
    • Dr. Carl Erik Moe –   (Department Head, Information Systems) — +47 38 14 17 96 (Carl.E.Moe @uia.no)
  • UNO Project Contacts:
    • Dr. Deepak Khazanchi (Professor of Information Systems & Quantitative Analysis & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of IS&T) – 402-554-2029; khazanchi@unomaha.edu
    • Dr. Ilze Zigurs (Mutual of Omaha Professor and Chair, Department of Information Systems & Quantitative Analysis, College of IS&T) – 402-554-3182 (izigurs@unomaha.edu)
    • UNO Study Abroad Coordinator: Krista Cupich,- 402-554-2293 (kcupich@unomaha.edu)

[i] The official announcement for this grant award is available at http://siu.no/en/Conferences-and-publications/News-articles-2008/12-remarkable-projects-awarded-funding.

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