María Augustina Raimondo from Argentina studies Ibsen at UiO
– After I started studying, I’ve discovered that Ibsen is big in Argentina, says Maria.
(Photo: Olaf Christensen)
What is your study background and what made you interested in Ibsen?
I have studied Linguistics and Modern Literature at University of Buenos Aires. I have always been interested in Scandinavian culture. But it was in the fifth year of my bachelor's degree that I decided I wanted to specialize in Scandinavian Studies with a focus on Norwegian Literature. My University did not provide any course on this topic, so I turned my attention to Norwegian institutions. Ironically, after I started studying, I’ve discovered that Ibsen is big in Argentina!
How was your experience as an Ibsen student?
Campus life at the University of Oslo (UiO) is amazing and multicultural. The teachers are really supportive and they transmit so much passion for what they do. That makes you feel excited too. It helps a lot to your motivation as a student and to the confidence in your own ideas as well. In addition, thanks to the course I am taking now (New Perspectives in Ibsen Studies), I discovered new methods that can be applied to several topics, like digital humanities. My exchange period is almost done, but I want to learn and do more thanks to my experience as an Ibsen student. I want to continue the research work that I started, so I have just applied for the Master in Ibsen Studies too!
What is the most unexpected thing about Ibsen you discovered here at UiO?
In Australia, a group of researchers from different fields has developed a virtual reality model of an old theatre in order to recreate how Ibsen was staged in Bergen. That’s impressive! I felt stunned by the quality and dedication behind that project. On the other hand, one of the most important things I have found out as a student here is that Ibsen has influenced and inspired cultures and societies all around the world. This is still happening today. Plays written in the 19th century are still relevant to convey a message. As I said, Ibsen is really important in Argentina and there is a great tradition of staging and adapting his plays. Now, I have finally started to find clues to understand why. I've thus gained a new perspective about my own culture background, being even far away from home. That was definitely unexpected!
For which reasons would you suggest others to study with us?
I began to search for exchange programs in Scandinavian studies, and I finally chose UiO, due to the study offer in language and literature. When I started studying, I found out that the Ibsen Centre offers a lot to the students. I am not only talking about the support and dedication from our professors that I mentioned before. From the very beginning, I was given tickets to theatre performances and festivals. We have visited museums, we were invited to the Ibsen Conference in Skien, and the Centre organized a student trip to Rome. So, as you see, this is not only about learning, reading or taking classes… Here you can actually experience Ibsen! And, through him, you can understand not only an important period of Norwegian literature and modern theatre, but how cultures so different to the Norwegian one has created an Ibsen of their own. I am really, really happy with my choice, and I’d recommend the Ibsen Centre to anyone who is into Theatre, Arts, or Norwegian culture and literature.