Frederik Strand Sardinoux grew up in France, the son of a Norwegian mother and French father. He studied at INSA, an engineering school in Toulouse, until, inspired by foreign students he met, he decided to use the opportunity of Erasmus and return to the country of his birth during his third year of study. ‘I wanted to improve my Norwegian and English, and see if Norway was a good place to live.’ The exchange would prove to be a one-way trip. Life in Norway suited him so well that he transferred to complete his studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
He integrated easily in the local culture, but so enjoyed the international student scene that at the end of his six months he began volunteering with the local chapter of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), welcoming students to the city and school, and going on trips to show them the country. He joined the board, became president and, later, national representative of ESN Norway. He also coordinated two Erasmus Intensive Language Courses (EILC) summer schools. ‘I didn’t think about the benefits at the time. But as I got involved I realised I learnt so much from it, from leadership to international collaboration.’ Now, with six months left to study, he is looking for a career with an international dimension.
No matter where you go to do Erasmus, he says: ‘From everyone I’ve talked to, 90 % say it was the best time of their life.’ For him, the most valuable thing was ‘the freedom; getting away from everyone who knows you so you can start from the beginning again.’
INSA Toulouse, France (Institut National des Sciences Appliquées français, Toulouse, France)
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway (Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, Norge)
Acoustics and telecommunications
6 months (2008)