Peter from Norway
EF Academy Oxford
EF Academy alumnus Peter spent a year at our campus in Oxford. Today, he studies Environmental Economics and Data Science at Berkeley and has shared with us why he thinks we should all engage with our local environment, and how curiosity is key for finding your passion.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you became interested in environmental issues?
My name is Peter, I'm from Norway and I studied at EF Academy Oxford from 2017 to 2018. I'm 21 years old and am currently in my second year at Berkeley studying Environmental Economics and Data Science. My interest in working with the environment stems from my constant engagement with nature. I am originally from the west coast of Norway, a wild and beautiful environment, but with time I realized what an impact humans have on it, and what a vulnerable environment it is. That instilled the idea in me that I wanted to do something and make a difference.
Why should people be passionate about the environment?
I think it's hard to force people to be passionate about something, but I think one could argue that to become passionate, you have to be curious, and you have to play around with different ideas. You are not born environmentally minded, you have to find reasons for it. I think everyone should engage with their local environment and see if something is changing. For me it's skiing, the skiing season in Norway is becoming shorter every year. So why should people be passionate about the environment? You should be passionate about it if you start seeing changes. Seeing changes encourages curiosity and starts a learning process.
"Pursuing the IB program and making friends from all over the world, who I am still in contact with today, has been incredibly helpful for me on a personal level but also on an academic level, as it has forced me to think differently."
How do you find your passion on campus?
Finding your passion on campus can be tricky, because there are so many cool things going on. Someone who likes to learn feels almost like a kid in a candy store at EF Academy and Berkeley, there are so many opportunities. So far, I've been engaged in the Data Science environment at Berkeley, and I have a wonderful housing community where I live with people who are passionate about other things than I am.
I think it's really cool to spend time with people who think differently than you do, it's very inspiring. Being in a place where people are passionate and not afraid of sharing their thoughts and opinions is a great environment to thrive in.
Do you have any long term goals?
If there's something that I'm particularly driven to achieve, it's to become a 'possibilist.' The late professor Hans Rosling, a wonderful health statistician and doctor who died a couple of years ago, coined the expression. Rosling means that becoming a possibilist is neither being naïve nor pessimistic. It's about seeing possibilities, grasping them and being curious about things. So, I would say that my long term goal in life, whatever I do career wise or outside of academics, is to become a possibilist. I want to catch opportunities and see change in the world.
How did your EF Academy experience impact your life?
The time I spent in Oxford was incredibly helpful, it truly opened my mind towards pursuing an international education. I am very certain that I would not have been studying at Berkeley today, had it not been because of the time I spent in England. It gave me a taste of spending time outside of my academic comfort zone. Pursuing the IB program and making friends from all over the world, who I am still in contact with today, has been incredibly helpful for me on a personal level but also on an academic level, as it has forced me to think differently. I am very grateful for that.
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