How My Time in Norway Changed My Life

This is a guest post by Nikki Mertens. I met Nikki during an extra course we both took during our second year. She is a lovely person that has a beautiful story to tell about thinking you have it all figured out, but suddenly stumbling across your big passion. Read how it affected her life down below.

My name is Nikki Mertens and I study Business Economics – International Event, Music & Entertainment Studies (CE-IEMES) at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries. This is also the place where Maud and I met each other during a course. One year later, I traveled to Lillehammer in Norway for half a year to do my minor in psychology, brand management, and the Norwegian language. During this time I realized I wanted to change my life and therefore my future career.


Once in Norway, I studied at the Inland University of Applied Sciences in Lillehammer. The courses I took at the university were interesting because I like some change once in a while and especially psychology is something different from what I was studying in the Netherlands. These different courses also partially led to my realization that I wanted to do something else as a future career than marketing and business economics. I really enjoyed taking completely different courses. At that moment, I began to doubt if I chose the right study program in the Netherlands. However, it also encouraged me even more to just finish that degree and get my diploma (for if I might change my mind in the future). After the completion of my studies, I will get the chance to develop myself further.


However, first I was going to get the most out of my time I had left in Norway. In the few weeks before my departure for Norway, I bought a camera to capture my time I spent over there. During my time in Norway, I discovered that photography was going to be my new passion and that I wanted to make a career out of this after I am done studying at Fontys ACI.

I traveled around a couple of times between studying at the University of Lillehammer and while I was traveling through the different landscapes that Norway has to offer, I captured some beautiful views. This particular flora and fauna made me want to explore the ins and outs of nature and animal photography. I was blown away by the fact that I could capture such a strong image through a simple camera. And I think one of the most beautiful attributes of a photograph is the memory that sticks to that image.

Back home

After my time in Norway, I showed my friends and family the pictures I took. Some of these images had a great, positive impact on people. This is also another nice attribute that I relate to a good photograph. I am currently in my fourth and final year of my study program at Fontys Academy for Creative Industries. I decided I want to finish this year and get my diploma. When I succeed in this, I am going to follow a photography course to eventually make a career out of my passion. Besides a photography course, I also would like to take a photo editing course. That way I can edit my photos to make it even better and take them to a whole new level.

Never too late

What I have learned from the time I spent my minor in Norway, is that it doesn’t matter if you change your future plans because of a change in interests. Even if you already follow a specific study program, you are not obligated to make a career out of this. There is always room to develop yourself. Try to decide what you really want to do and just do it on your own pace.