welcome to Tromsø, in northern Norway. In mid-March, the authorities adopted a semi-containment regime to stop the spread of Covid-19, in the open air, and based on the respect by the population of barrier measures.
A student in Bordeaux, Corentin Guilhermic is on an internship at Tromso: “Here, he testifies, it's more a question of mentality, a collective awareness, there has not really been any confinement, people are walking around but they pay much more attention, in shops, to safety distances. There are quotas of people in the shops. “
Norway officially started its gradual deconfinement in April. The children have returned to school, but the bars are not expected to reopen until June 1. Provided that the epidemic is kept under control, the authorities hope to return to normal by mid-June.
Corentin Guilhermic arrived in Norway thanks to a grant allocated by the renamed program Erasmus +, because now also open to professional internships, in addition to university exchanges:
“VSAs it is a country where the cost of living is very high, they pay me 500 euros per month, which pays me the rent. You must receive a salary below 700 euros. They finance a lot of projects.“ Corentin Guilhermic is finishing his Master in Marine Sciences this year.
In Norway, he works for a laboratory at the University of Tromsø. He studies the thousand-year-old presence of gas pockets in the country's subsoil. “We know that Arctic reserves are very important, he specifies. My job is to know the history of these deposits, and how they have varied over time. These projects are funded, directly or indirectly, by the oil companies who can use them later. “
Because in Norway, the gas and oil sector represents around 16% of gross domestic product and 20% of the country's income.
Suffice to say that the case is serious, and that the fall in crude oil prices, against the background of Covid-19, did not go unnoticed in the small kingdom of 5.4 million inhabitants:
“Lhe exchange rate with the dollar and the euro has clearly dropped in recent times, Corentin Guilhermic notes. Undoubtedly under the influence of oil, the price of the Norwegian crown has fallen. “
Corentin Guilhermic has planned to return to France by this summer. “Erasmus + would be more lenient to continue paying the grant in the event of repatriation or difficulty, or if I interrupt my mobility ” he predicts. Because from June 1, students or young professionals of the programs Erasmus + may request the reimbursement of exceptional costs – such as an expensive plane ticket – caused by the health crisis. The agency is setting up a unit which will be exclusively dedicated to handling these requests for force majeure.
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Erasmus +, the European program for education, training, youth and sport
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