Student testimonial

Karina studies in Oslo and Wageningen

Karina Hauge Johansen from Norway studies from 2012-2014 at the Norwegian University of life sciences (UMB, Norway) and Wageningen University (WU, The Netherlands).

My dream job is to work on breeding programmes that improve the welfare of commercial animals
Karina from Norway

My name is Karina (24) and I come from Norway. I finished my bachelor degree in Animal Science the spring of 2012 at the Norwegian University of life sciences (UMB). I had decided quite early that I wanted to take a full Master's degree, and planned to continue for two more years at UMB. During writing my bachelor thesis, I got an email from one of the study advisers. She wrote that she had an idea, since I had told her before that I was not sure of which specialization within animal science I wanted to follow. She told me that there was this international program called European Master in Animal Breeding and Genetics where I could choose two universities to study abroad. I could be abroad for the full two years, or only one year, all depending on what I wanted. The program would give me an international double degree, and a chance to custom make my study plan, so I could get "the best of both worlds". Being in a true international environment would also give me invaluable experience and input from different cultures.

At first I thought that this program sounded way out of my comfort zone, and it was much easier to just stay at home in my own country. I already had an apartment, friends and everything. So why leave? But then again, I had started to figure out that it really was the genetic and breeding part of animal sciences that came closest to my interest. Maybe that was what I wanted to choose for my specialization?

Several days later I could not get rid of the thought of me missing out on something. The more I thought about it, the more boring did my original plan sound. But I did not quite feel that I was done being at UMB, and I did have the opportunity to choose UMB as the first university, and another one abroad the next year. Maybe that could be the solution. I finally came to the conclusion that I wanted to apply for it. If I got in, I would do it, if not, I would stay at UMB. It was a win, win situation.


At the end of summer, I got the message that I was accepted to EMABG, and I felt really excited! The introduction course in The Netherlands was nothing but fun and inspiring, and the world suddenly felt a lot bigger at the same time as I felt safe and welcomed. To meet so many nice people from all over the world was exciting, and I made new friends right away. Now I can't wait to do the second year away from home.

I have not given that much thought in what I want to work with after graduation. I am generally interested in most production animals, and also the wildlife, and it is a lot of subjects within animal breeding that I find intriguing. But I have always been an animal welfare activist, so my "dream job" would be something that can give me the opportunity to save endangered animals through sustainable breeding programs, or be a part of bettering the welfare of commercial animals by making breeding programs that will protect the genetic variation and include more health traits.

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