Matthew Rushing embarked on a journey from the U.S. to Norway to pursue his passion for game design at Noroff. In this interview, he shares his motivations, experiences, and aspirations, offering a compelling glimpse into the life of an international student.

Matthew Rushing's (43) decision to study Interactive Media - Games at Noroff was driven by a carefully considered blend of academic and personal reasons. The curriculum, taught entirely in English, perfectly matched his interests in game design and media. This, combined with his desire to move to Norway — a country he had come to admire — made Noroff the ideal choice.

- The course curriculum aligned with my interests, being taught in English was a big factor, and being in Norway, where I wanted to move, was a big plus, he explains.

It became apparent to me that Norway was a good fit and I would like it here.Matthew Rushing

The professional quality of alumni work and the school's accreditation assured him that a degree from Noroff would be well-regarded in the industry. This confidence in the institution's reputation and the caliber of education it provides played a significant role in his choice.

Moving to Norway

Matthew's move to Norway was a well-considered decision influenced by his quest for a better personal fit.

- Having visited multiple countries over the past decade, including Norway in 2019, it became apparent to me that Norway was a good fit and I would like it here.

His experience over the past year has confirmed this choice, as he feels content with his new environment. The blend of Norway's stunning landscapes, cultural richness, and quality of life resonated deeply with him, solidifying his decision to make the country his new home.

After years of saving and planning, he seized the opportunity to pursue his dream, highlighting the importance of timing and financial readiness in his journey. His determination and meticulous preparation underscore his commitment to his passion and the sacrifices he was willing to make to achieve his goals.

In the year I have been here I have met and made a lot of new friends.Matthew Rushing

While moving to Norway posed challenges, especially in leaving his family, Matthew found strong support both back home and in his new community.

- In the year I have been here I have met and made a lot of new friends, everyone has been very welcoming and inquisitive about my choice to move here, he says.

The support from fellow students and teachers has been crucial in his adaptation to life in Norway. This welcoming environment has eased his transition, making him feel part of a larger community that values diversity and mutual support.

Fascination with Game Theory

A lifelong interest in games motivated Matthew to start his studies in Interactive Media – Games.

- I've wanted to study game design for many years but it just wasn’t feasible with there being a lack of course and college options in the U.S.

Matthew praises the faculty at Noroff for their expertise and passion for teaching.

- The teachers have been great, their expertise in the subjects being taught is apparent, he states.

His prior professional experience and age have placed him in a mentor role among younger students, enriching the learning experience with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. This dynamic has not only enhanced his own learning but also allowed him to contribute meaningfully to the academic community.

Among the subjects he has studied, Game Theory stands out as particularly intriguing.

- The most interesting subject I've studied in Interactive Media so far has been Game Theory, Rushing shares.

He is captivated by the principles that govern game design and the thoughtful decisions behind creating engaging experiences for various purposes, whether for entertainment, education, or social progress. This exploration into the mechanics and philosophies of game design has deepened his appreciation for the field and expanded his understanding of the impact games can have on society.

📷: Student work by Matthew Rushing. Photo: Screenshots taken by Matthew Rushing.


Future Aspirations

Although Matthew has not yet worked in the industry, he believes the study program at Noroff is relevant based on feedback from alumni and industry professionals.

- There are a lot of skills and tools in use in the industry so it would be very difficult to cover everything, but the aspects that are covered seem to be a good selection of the most relevant.

This insight from those already embedded in the industry provides him with confidence that his education is preparing him well for future opportunities.

The aspects that are covered seem to be a good selection of the most relevant.Matthew Rushing

Looking ahead, Matthew hopes to build a life in Norway post-graduation.

- I hope to permanently stay in Norway, to find a job that allows me to remain here, and do something that interests me, he shares.

Additionally, he aims to learn Norwegian, enhancing his integration into the local culture, despite the convenience of using English. This dedication to immersing himself fully in the Norwegian way of life reflects his long-term commitment to his new home.

Interactive Media - Games

The gaming industry is growing rapidly, and technology has permeated various new sectors. Interactive Media - Games focuses on developing a concept from initial design to the finished product. You will learn to combine creative processes with technology, gaining the ability to design user-friendly interfaces and interactions.

The study program is offered on Campus Kristiansand and Online.

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