Fadderukene: how new students spent their first weeks at the university

Fadderukene: how new students spent their first weeks at the university

Foto: Valeriia Melnik

The first weeks at the university are special in Norway. It is not just about first lectures. It is all about exploring campus and becoming a part of the student society. The arrangement is called “fadderukene”, which is literally translated as «buddy weeks».

As these weeks were all about first-year students, we were eager to know how they spent their time. Some of them shared their experience with us.

Chelsea Mihaylova is a first-year student in International communication. She found the first week confusing. “It was many new people, I didn’t know anyone”.
Chelsea wasn’t at the fadders’ arrangement that they had. But she met one of the fadders and was sitting beside her during the events. They all looked really cool but she didn’t want to join. Chelsea mostly attended parties which are the best way to meet new people in the university environment.
It was not easy to find study room because for some unknown reason, nobody provided her with the school map! So she had to ask people where the rooms were.
Chelsea wonders why the university gave them only standard and basic information. She wanted to learn more specific information about the buildings and arrangements which were going on in the campus.

We also talked with two guys who study International communication as well. Daniel and Jo Kevin think that these weeks were good. Jo Kevin participated in a lot of events which he found interesting. He noted that they were “not just the same”. Fadders were really good. However, sometimes it was not understandable where to go in the university, but the guys just asked their fadders or friends for help.

Henrik and Tobias are neighbours in the student housing, and they both study Computer Science.
Henrik started his first week with a problem: he wasn’t assigned to a fadder’s group until Thursday. He brought up the issue on Monday but didn’t get an answer. Then he sent a message to the official messaging group on Tuesday. There he also received no answer. And then on Thursday, he finally went to the fadder’s leader, and then she fixed it. So that means Henrik joined everyone later, on Thursday. But still he had a great time. He really enjoyed Olympiaden (and we guess a lot of students did!) and Saturday’s party at Brygga Kultursal.

Both Henrik and Tobias highlight the main issue of these weeks: they were really unorganized. “It was like you meet up and do whatever you want because of lack of organization. You didn’t know what to do”, – Tobias said.
The information flow was bad so they had to do their own research to find information about events. But when you looked them up, you had to go through ten pages to finally find relevant information. The information was poorly written. The boys were sure that the university would provide all necessary information by email or some other way. Tobias said that the fadders were “nice people but they didn’t inform like half of the time”.

Even though parties with fadders were fun, first-year students still struggled with organization of other events and lack of information. The university and fadders should try to be more student-oriented next years. New students want to have easy access to necessary information and have a collective goal for each event that will have them get to know more people.