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Get out of your comfort zone!

This is Nonso Ihebuzor’s advice to other students. He is an international student from Nigeria, studying Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering at University of Stavanger.


Nonso was lucky to get a scholarship from his home country to study. He chose Norway and University of Stavanger because he wanted to do his master in petroleum engineering. As Stavanger is the European oil and energy capital, housing all major operators and oil service companies, University of Stavanger was a natural choice for him.

For the autumn semester of 2018 he went on exchange to . He heard about the possibility to go on exchange at a meeting and became very enthusiastic about the possibility to study for a semester at one of the best engineering schools in USA.

“I was really impressed by the very active, welcoming and inclusive international student life at Colorado Schools of Mines”. There were a lot of opportunities and many different student organizations to be involved in, even for me as an exchange student. I was active in the international student association and went skiing for the first time. That was great fun!“

Nonso was impressed by the academic level. “It was excellent;  the way of teaching, the schools’ close link to the industry, how students’ mindset were challenged and  participation in interesting projects gave me a lot  of new knowledge.“

The best experience was participating in a semester-long student challenge competition, “The Henderson Mine Sustainability Challenge” . The main objective with the challenge was to find new innovative ways to sustainably repurpose the Henderson Mine when its mineral resources are depleted.  Of 24 teams Nonso’s team won the third prize. Their idea was to design a system to transform food waste from the Denver metro area into a sustainable energy source of biogas.

Read more here.

Nonso Ihebuzor was eager to learn and make the most of the opportunity so he signed up for more courses than he needed to take.  Even a full workload of 12 credits is heavy, but Nonso managed to do one more course than necessary. It was several assignments to hand in every week, many hours at the lab and many exams, but by focusing and working hard he succeeded to follow his plan. 

Would you advice other students to go on exchange?

Yes, definitely. If you have the chance, take the opportunity. Get out of your comfort zone. Work hard and have fun! is Nonso’ s advise to other students.