Norwegian student Kristoffer Foerde was recently appointed to the board of the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad – a role that will enable him to represent his fellow countrymen and women who are studying in the UK. We spoke to the BA (Hons) International Football Business student about his pride at the appointment and what he hopes to achieve during his time with ANSA…

Tell us more about the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad – what does the body do?

The Association of Norwegian Students Abroad is a non-profit and membership-based organisation aiming to voice the educational, cultural, political and economic interests of Norwegian students studying outside Norway, and to promote overseas students as a valuable resource to domestic employers.

At the top you have the president and the board of the whole organisation. After that you have all the different countries/areas, e.g. United Kingdom, where I am a board member now. After that, you have the different cities like Manchester, where I was a board member last year. When you are working locally in a city, your main goal is to create social events and be a contact, if needed. When you work nationally, that is still the focus, but you also work to contain and create new local ‘communities’ and social opportunities in different cities. Attracting new members by doing marketing is also a big focus. We also need to make sure that every social activity arranged by the various cities gets funding, as well as speak to all local communities in all the different cities to make sure they’re run properly and answer their questions.

How did you come to be elected? Did you put yourself forward or were you nominated?

I put myself forward. I delivered a speech and answered questions on stage. There was one fellow applicant for the position, so I am very excited that I made it.

What do you hope to achieve while on the board?

My main focus is to help Norwegian students get settled here in UK and feel welcome. To achieve that, we will work to contain the local communities and help them as much as possible. I also have responsibility of arranging the biggest national social event we have here in UK, which is held every February, so I want to make sure that the event is as good as possible and attracts more participants than last year. Personally, I hope to get more insight in to working in an organisation of this size. I know a little bit about working as a board member, but working here needs more commitment, engagement and planning. So, by the end of my period here I hope that I have developed my skills within those areas.

How do you find the football and sports industry differs in the UK compared to Norway?

Obviously, football is much bigger here in UK. There’s more money in the game, it’s huge. That’s the main difference. Premier League teams also have to deal with sports tourists, something you don’t see very often in the Eliteserien. When you visit Norway, you are there to experience the nature. When you visit England, you are there to see football.

How have you found being at UCFB and living in Manchester as a non-UK student?

I have developed myself as a person, as you get to know yourself really well when you move abroad without knowing anyone. If you like football and sports, this is a perfect place to be! Here in Manchester you can watch many different types of sports, such as ice hockey, hockey, cricket, rugby, darts and of course football. Being at UCFB has been great, I really like the modules on my programme, and you get individual time when and if you need it. UCFB is also great at providing job and work placement opportunities. I would recommend to students that they participate in the different societies, as this helps you to get to know more people. It’s also nice to spend your spare time doing something you like!

To a non-UK student thinking about applying to UCFB, what is your message?

Go for it. If you want to work in football, what is better than studying somewhere that specialises in football? I would recommend to try and speak with a student on the programmes you are considering – it’s a big move, so it’s good to make sure it’s the right move. At UCFB, everyone aims to work in football and sport, so it’s always motivating to study with people that have the same goal as you! Moving abroad is something I would recommend everyone to do. When you go to study in a different country, you will immediately start to see the difference between how it is in the UK compared to your home country.