''These study experiences are what you make of them so be sure to take advantage of every adventure even if it's something you've never done before because you may end up loving it.''
-Reuben from Australia
Why did you choose to study abroad in Sweden?
It was a long term goal in my life to spend some time living abroad and I was ready for a change from my day to day life. One of my favourite TV shows right now is Vikings so the chance to live in Scandinavia was a no-brainer. I ultimately chose Sweden over the other Scandinavian countries because of the high quality of education, the variety of beautiful landscapes. Stockholm is also the financial capital of the region and having a background in economics it seemed like a perfect fit for me. Plus I'll just mention it one more time... VIKINGS.
What steps did you take to apply for university in Sweden?
I started with my own university, going to academic advisers and asking about how compatible my course was with international programs, what were some of the timelines for application and what documentation I might need from my university. After deciding on Sweden I took to google and started to research universities and courses, I read about life in Sweden and what was the cost of living in the city. Once I had all of this I made a list of my top choices, sent applications and waited.
What were the best parts of being an international student in Sweden?
The country has something for everyone; vibrant cities, great food, awesome people and breathtaking nature is never far away. If you're an adventure junkie like me there are plenty of things to do at any time of the year, from hiking to skiing and everything in between. Everyone in Sweden is open and friendly, within my first week I made lifelong friends and we now meet up for adventures on a regular basis.
What was the student life like at your university?
Stockholm University has a vibrant student life. The university has dedicated lots of time and resources to creating a fun, open and welcoming environment for all students. Every week there are fun events to attend to make new friends and experience life in Stockholm. I personally went to parties, city adventures, beer tastings, island day trips. I joined a 5 a side football team and I joined the university rowing club despite me never rowing before in my life. These study experiences are what you make of them so be sure to take advantage of every adventure even if it's something you've never done before because you may end up loving it.
How were academics different in Sweden than Australia?
This one was a shock to me! When I studied my bachelor back in Australia I would choose 4 subjects a semester according to the university requirements for the degree. Then I would schedule a timetable where each week I would attend all 4 classes each week. For my masters in Sweden the program was already written and I would attend one class over the course of 4-5 weeks and then sit an exam and then move onto the next subject and begin study for that.
Do you have any advice for students who may study abroad?
My biggest piece of advice is to jump into the experience and make every effort to have the time of your life, you might feel like you are in the deep end but I promise you that you will look back at these times as some of the best times of your life. Do your research and find out what things you enjoy in your daily life and find the equivalent in Sweden. On the flip side be prepared to adapt and change your plans, things rarely play out like you expect them to and if you are open to change you might just find the most exhilarating experience that you would never have expected.