September 23, 2022
By Megan Sauls Wilson | MU Undergraduate Studies
Bergen Norway, woven with hiking trails overlooking Tveitevannet Lake, immediately enticed Nate Beattie, a computer science major, “I found myself falling into a routine quickly to take advantage of living in a beautiful city,” he said. “I would grab breakfast, take a train to class, study in the student union and then hike, bike or run in the afternoon. Everyone was always friendly, and the city was easy to navigate.”
Nate looked forward to his time out and about in Bergen to reflect and take in his classes. “I found my course work was presented in a different landscape than my classes here at Mizzou. The University of Bergen was structured around individually based learning. Students attended classes in person or online, and completed assignments at their own pace.” Nate worked through this new normal, a more real-world learning environment, by swiftly recognizing the responsibilities he had taken on and accepting the semester’s challenges.
Amid settling into a different country, Nate found his communication skills broadening as he realized English is commonly spoken in Norway. “I found my communication skills becoming clearer as many people asked me how to say something in English. I was not expecting to speak English the entire semester, but found myself meeting a lot of people who liked talking to me because I’m from the U.S.”
Nate went to Norway expecting to struggle communicating, but soon discovered his language advantage also helped him navigate his semester’s courses. “I took two computer sciences classes, which were about my major, but found my favorite academic experience to be my Sustainable Development course.”
In Bergen, sustainability is more than a buzz word and this realization changed the trajectory of Nate’s career. “I will graduate in computer science, and I can go on to be a software engineer. Now, I’m trying to find a way to mold software engineering into sustainable development. I didn’t anticipate that when I signed up to study abroad. Now, finding a sustainable development niche within software engineering is what I’m going to pursue after I graduate.”
Looking ahead, Nate considers taking his newfound sustainability interest back to Norway, and spending more time in Bergen. “I didn’t know what to expect going into my study abroad semester. Maybe that was a good thing. Now, I wouldn’t mind going back and spending more time in Norway.”
Experiencing a course impactful enough to rethink his career goals, Nate is wrapping up his time at Mizzou with renewed energy, “I think it would be awesome to find a way to make a difference, with a sustainable focus, as a software engineer. That would be the best way to put my studies in Bergen to use.”
This story originally appeared on the MU Undergraduate Studies website.