After 143 new international students arrived this spring at the University of Agder, they were greatly welcomed. There are students from all over the world, and they each have their individual expectations towards their time in Southern Norway. Even though the University does an immense effort facilitating for they stay, many international students face certain challenges.
Norway is becoming the most credit and debit card friendly country in the world, regarding ways of payment. Cash is becoming an outdated form for payment of services; also at the Universities. This might be positive for most Norwegian students and making their every day life easier and efficient. For the international students being used to pay with cash they might experience being excluded from the normal way of paying for services.
The cantina at UiA tries to be more credit and debit card friendly, but this might cause difficulties for the international students. The kiosk in the cantina still approves payment in cash, so there are not comprehensive difficulties there. Even though there are possibilities of cash payment in the cantina, the University’s student pub, Østsia,does not currently accept this form of payment. Some Tuesdays the event ‘International pub’ is arranged at Østsia, which means that students will have to pay with card. This cause problems for certain international students because of expensive fees using his or her card.
One solution to include the international students in a better way regarding payment methods might be to give better information about our preferred ways of payment, still accept cash at more places at the university (coffee machines etc.), or maybe be a ‘student buddy’ for the international students paying with card and take cash in return when possible.
The Student Organization in Agder is wants to include every student at the University, especially concerning payment methods. We want every student to be able to pay for services and products they need, and to what time they need it.
Officer of Academic Affairs