Studying and working in the new EU - a Norwegian example

21.11.2007

Anne-Kathrine Lystad enjoyed her design studies in Romania. Now she’s back to work for her old university – with a rucksack full of information from EURES.
Anne-Kathrine Lystad had been looking at an early age beyond her country’s borders. She was only 17 when she went for one year to Portugal as an AFS exchange student. This experience opened her mind and made her interested in other regions and cultures of Europe. During the last year of secondary school, she discovered her professional interest for industrial and product design, and decided to study the subject at university – but not in Norway. Anne-Katherine rather made the – at the time – somewhat unusual choice to go to Romania and spend her academic career in the beautiful north-western city of Cluj-Napoca. The city’s University of Art and Design (Universitatea de Artå si Design) is renowned for its high quality of education and academic staff. Another reason to study in Romania during the next four years was the country’s booming furniture production industry – a sector with constant need for creative designers.
 
Anne-Katherine felt quickly at home. “It took me a year to learn the language – but only a couple of weeks to feel very welcome,” she says. “And with a Norwegian grant, it was not difficult to manage live in Romania”. She highly recommends the country as a good place to study and work. “I can of course only speak for my university in Cluj,” she says, “but I’ve been very satisfied with the level of education and the assistance of my professors. Now I hope that in my new job as a junior clerk I can give something back to my ‘Alma Mater’ and to Romania. The country is booming and it feels more meaningful to me to use my skills here than in Norway, where there’s already an over-supply of great designers.”
 
Before leaving her home country, Anne-Kathrine wanted to get more information about the living and working conditions in Romania, She got in touch with EURES Adviser Eugenia Filip Tecusan. Of Romanian origin, Eugenia has been living in Norway since 1989. For the past nine years, she has been working for EURES and has had the opportunity to collaborate substantially with her counterparts at EURES Romania. When Anne-Kathrine told her about her plans to move there and start a new life, Eugenia contacted the EURES Adviser in Cluj, seeking advice and practical support. Within a few days, Anne-Kathrine received a comprehensive information package, including the recently published EURES brochure Living and Working in Romania, which provides advice on work permits, social benefits, administrative requirements, or housing. With this initial support and the offer that she could reach out to the local EURES Advisor in her new host country, Anne-Kathrine set out on her new challenge.
 
The story of Anne-Kathrine was a great opportunity for EURES Norway and Romania to intensify their relations and to exchange the latest information on living and working conditions in both countries. In October, EURES Norway will attend the annual meeting of EURES Romania, present the specificities of the Norwegian labour market, and provide information on job vacancies of interest for Romanian workers.
 
Norwegian employers are currently looking in particular for engineers, drivers and construction workers. Eugenia is convinced that Romanian workers can successfully fill those vacancies – and EURES will make sure that the jobseekers are properly informed on what to expect and how to apply.
 
The adviser also believes that the labour markets in Eastern European present many advantages for Norwegians who want to invest, work and live there. The economies are rapidly evolving and the need for highly educated and specialised employees and entrepreneurs is immense. And the wages in such occupations are, compared to living costs, often very satisfying. EURES Norway has therefore decided to target economics students at Norwegian universities, providing them with information about the particularities of Central and Eastern European countries.
 
A new passage has opened. Both Romanian and Norwegian labour markets need staff with different skills and workers’ mobility will continue to provide new perspectives to jobseekers like Anne-Katherine Lystad.
 
 

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