As a globally operating company, ROSEN regularly sends employees to international company locations. One of them is Frederik, who worked in the Tesk Skills (TESK) area in Lingen until March 2022. He decided to spend time abroad at our site in Bergen, Norway. He has now been on site as a Field Service Technician since April 2022 and today reports on his impressions, getting used to a different country and his experiences in Norway:
Hello Frederik, could you introduce yourself?
Sure, with pleasure. My name is Frederik, I'm 31 years old and originally I am from Klosterholte. I completed an apprenticeship as an electronics technician for devices and systems and then quickly decided to continue with technical engineering school. Towards the end, I applied to ROSEN because I was sure I would have many opportunities at a larger company. In 2017, I then started at ROSEN in the electronics development department, working mainly with test equipment. Later, I switched to Tesk Skills after working on an exciting development project away from my usual field of activity in the meantime.
In 2022, you decided to continue your career at our site in Bergen, Norway. How did this come about?
I took a long trip with my camper and thought about my professional future during the trip. Especially about the idea of moving back into the operational business. That's where my professional career began, and I noticed over time that I was drawn back there again and again. I liked the idea of working directly with our tools again as well as being in the field with the customers. The foreign assignments were already very interesting and exciting for me at that time, and that's why I wanted to go abroad for a longer period of time. To make this possible, I had lots of conversations and researched which positions were available at our international locations. I also looked at other continents. In the end, however, our location in Bergen was the most interesting for me.
Are your duties in Bergen different from those you had in Lingen?
Definitely. In Lingen, I worked in a development department at the Innovation Center. My work there was based mainly in the office. Here in Bergen, on the other hand, I'm responsible for setting up tools and testing them. As a service technician, I then also accompany our inspection equipment, which is mostly equipped with ultrasound technology, in operational use at home and abroad.
How did your English skills influence your decision to go to Norway? Have your language skills improved since then?
At the beginning, of course, I was worried about what it would be like if I had to speak English all the time and whether my English skills would even be up to the task. Fortunately, I'm self-confident enough and told myself that I would quickly get used to it, even if I hadn't used English for a while. And that definitely proved to be true. I got used to speaking only English in my everyday work very quickly and my knowledge improved quickly and seriously. My Norwegian, too, by the way. It has become quite okay by now. I didn't really start learning the language until I was here, and I mainly used apps and instructional videos. But I learned a lot by listening and trying things out, for example when learning with friends and colleagues. I never attended a language school, which I sometimes regret, but I can still do that in the future.
What is the biggest difference between Germany and Norway for you? Which difference do you like the most?
Coming from the plain countryside, I'm particularly struck by the difference in scenery. The landscape in Norway is incredible. From Bergen, you can get to the mountains very quickly for hiking or running. I really enjoy this difference. In my day-to-day work, on the other hand, I hardly notice any differences. In this respect, I think Germany and Norway are very similar.
What was the transition process like for you in Norway? Who helped you with the daily challenges when you first arrived? And who still does today?
About two months before I moved to Norway, I visited the site. This gave me the opportunity to work there for a few days and get a taste of everyday working life. During my visit, I immediately noticed that my colleagues were very open and that I could ask them questions at any time. During this time, I also got to know a colleague who has since become a very good friend. When I moved to Norway, I was able to rent an apartment from ROSEN for the first few months. That way, I first arrived and was then able to start looking for a long-term solution myself in Bergen. This made my apartment search much easier and took away some of the worries I had beforehand. Of course, I also had to go through bureaucratic processes at the beginning, in which my colleagues on site were always very helpful. I could always rely on them when I had a question. And I can still do that today.
How do you spend your free time in Norway?
I love to do sports - every day if I can. Every now and then after work, I like to run up one of the mountains or go hiking. In general, Bergen is very well positioned when it comes to outdoor activities. Of course, running is something different here than it is back home in the Emsland region, but I've gotten used to it over the course of time. In the meantime, I also played on a soccer team. That way I was able to establish contacts outside of work. But since I enjoy many other sports just as much, I only drop in on the training every now and then. But I still enjoy playing with them. In addition, my colleagues are very active. There are many sports groups that I can join.
What was the most interesting and what was the most exciting experience you had in Norway so far?
The national holiday on May 17 comes immediately to mind. The day is celebrated very proudly and extensively. Norwegians then dress in their traditional clothing, the so-called bunad, and gather to celebrate in the city or at their homes. When I first experienced the festivities, I had only been in Norway for a short time. Therefore, it was both a very interesting and a very exciting experience at the same time. I have been able to witness the whole thing twice now and still find it fascinating. Also, many Norwegians celebrate Easter in a special way and go to a cabin in the mountains; so did I with my camper. A few of my colleagues recommended a ski area about two hours from Bergen. I quickly met people there who also came from Bergen and invited me to their cabin in the evening. I accepted the invitation very gladly and got to know the Norwegian culture directly. Norwegians are often said to be somewhat reserved. My own experience does not confirm this at all. I have always experienced them as very open, helpful and welcoming people.
What would you recommend to other colleagues who are considering a move to a location outside Germany?
In any case, "think ahead" and "be brave". You will be adequately supported when moving to a location abroad and I think in most cases there is also the possibility to come back without problems if you do not feel quite so comfortable abroad. To prepare for a stay, it definitely helps to learn the language in advance. Knowing the language helps enormously in social life and interpersonal interactions. Everyone here speaks English, but it makes a difference to understand the everyday interactions that take place in Norwegian or to laugh at the jokes that are made during coffee breaks. In general, I think it helps to approach unknown situations with an open mind and to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.
Thanks for the interesting insights into your stay abroad, Frederik!