|As a result of globalization and the internationalization of education, the number of students moving across borders for higher education is rising. With an education system known for its high quality and equity, Norway attracts international students from different parts of the world, including Nepal. The lifestyles and cultures in Nepal and Norway are entirely contrasting, providing Nepalese students with a new experience. This thesis aims to provide an overview of experiences of the everyday life of Nepalese students in Norway, their transnational practices, and how their ethnic community in Norway helps them integrate into Norwegian society.
Following the qualitative method, I employed semi-structured interviews as the key data collection technique. Through in-depth interviews, I gathered information on the experiences of eight master’s level and four Ph.D. students studying at NTNU in Trondheim. Besides, I also utilized participant observation as an insider in the Nepalese community. Complementing the primary data, I used secondary data in the form of various literature and previous studies relevant to my research. Published data from local governments, international organizations, public records, statistics, along with journal articles, books, and research reports, were used to define concepts and theories related to the study. It also facilitated the comparison and interpretation of the empirical data during analysis.
Incorporating the concepts and theories on everyday life, social integration, and transnationalism, I explored the social network and daily interactions of Nepalese students. Almost all students are confined to their close circles comprising their compatriots. Language barriers in everyday interactions and negotiations were explored. Further, I demonstrated how the students felt more integrated into academia than in the Norwegian community due to the university staff’s egalitarian approach to students. Referring to ‘transnationalism from below’ from the transnationalism theory, I identified different symbolic, socio-cultural, and financial transnational practices the students engage in. Additionally, I identified different practical, emotional, and transnational functions of the Nepalese ethnic community and its role in the students’ integration into Norwegian society.