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Open space discussion about retaining International students in Sweden

So recently I had been invited by the Linnaeus University to attend and off-campus event. As you can see the topic, it was about retaining international students in Sweden in general and the Kronoberg region in particular after they have completed their studies at the Linnaeus University. Among the participants, there are some students, couple of academic practitioners and lot of members from the different companies in and around the city of Växjö. It was organized at Region Kronoberg office.

The event started off with a brainstorming session were all the participants alike were asked to bring out a topic that they would like to discuss. It was done individually and then once someone had decided on a topic, it had to be presented in front of everyone within 30 seconds to 1 minute. In other words, its just about basically justifying and explaining why that topic is worthy of discussion. Followed by this, the topic was stuck on the wall. After everyone had discussed their ideas, all headed towards the wall to look at the proposed topics again. Now the task was to group up these topics under various generic themes so that finally it culminates into couple of important but broad range of topics that can we discussed within the limited everyone had. Finally these standard themes were placed under a certain time slot in a certain corner of the room which were named A, B, C and D. The idea was whoever felt like joining the discussion in a particular topic would just head towards that group at the time. Thus, it was a free movement session with people deciding on their priorities. And in this way, a randomized discussion group was also formed, making the sessions worthwhile.

Talking about the themes, there were lot of interesting discussions that came about in the lines of Swedish language barrier, ability to integrate students and their families, the knowledge about the Swedish business culture, informational help from authorities were the main focus of discussion. Even though many students have a negative image about the language barrier, some employers present there mentioned that if students take the initiative to at least get some basic knowledge about Swedish, it then creates a positive impression about the candidate which gives them a fighting chance to land up a job in the Swedish marketplace. Another important information discussed was that companies with a minimum 50-100 employees and above are usually not afraid to recruit international students because of their growing tendency, which isn’t so much popular with small companies with 20 or less employees. Thus it could be a good starting point to decide on which companies to apply for. Such discussion also led to understanding the Swedish business culture. Small but vital aspects like fika breaks, keeping everything ‘lagom’, the informal team environment etc. are something international students need to be more aware of. Thus it is important to show one’s character and how they can fit into that culture, something which always companies look for while recruiting new candidates.  After all, as the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans”!

Finally all these discussions along with others were shortly presented to all the participants because not everyone was able to attend every session. Overall, it was very informative from my perspective as it was a good learning and networking session. We then ended with a good lunch with everyone where we had the opportunity to speak to anyone we wanted personally about various other questions and opportunities. I would like to thank the authorities for organizing such an event and the attempt must continue because I can surely say many students would love to stay and work here after studies!

Redwan avatar

13 Comments

  • Rahnuma • 29 Apr 2016 at 11.20 am Reply

    Hello Redwan, This is Rahnuma. I want to do my masters in Karlstad university in Economics. But I have scored only 6 in Ielts. Can I get scholarship with this score?

    • Redwan
      Redwan • 1 May 2016 at 10.36 pm Reply

      Hello Rahnuma,

      Scholarships depend on a lot of factors. 6 is usually acceptable in Sweden but it depends from university to university and programs to programs. Please check the “scholarships” page on this website and check out the requirements. There are scholarships for Bangladesh students as well.

  • Maria • 9 Apr 2016 at 4.53 pm Reply

    Hello Redwan, I was wondering If I can contact you, I will like to to know your opinion on Studying in Sweden. I’m interested on a program in Linnaeus Univerity and I was hoping I could have some feedback.

  • bishal rijal • 4 Apr 2016 at 2.52 pm Reply

    hello redwan I haved applied for bachelor degree in sweden,but still I have not been offered from any universities which I have applied. so I want to know deadline of the offer.

    • Redwan
      Redwan • 4 Apr 2016 at 3.33 pm Reply

      Hello Bishal,

      The Bachelors admission results will be out soon. Keep eyes on your email!

      Good luck!

  • ahmed • 27 Feb 2016 at 4.59 am Reply

    hello brother redwan, im a Bangladeshi. i live in hongkong. i did bachelors in UK then came here to stay. i want to do masters in business subjects.

    • Redwan
      Redwan • 27 Feb 2016 at 11.32 am Reply

      Hello Ahmed,

      Please check our ‘programmes’ in this website where you can find the subjects available.

      • Md Torikul Islam • 5 Mar 2016 at 1.21 pm Reply

        Will i have to have English background before studying in sweden? As I completed my studies in Bangla background. Plz reply me.

        • Redwan
          Redwan • 5 Mar 2016 at 4.23 pm Reply

          Hello Torikul,

          You can prove your English proficiency with an IELTS result of 6/6.5. That should suffice. Anyone with any background can apply.

          Good luck!

  • Akash Vadera • 20 Feb 2016 at 10.26 am Reply

    Hello,
    I am from India currently persuing Bachelor in Textile Engineering and wishing to do my master from Sweden.I want to know if I have to give IELTS exam or do I qualify with my Bachelor’s degree.

    • Redwan
      Redwan • 20 Feb 2016 at 3.10 pm Reply

      Hello Akash,

      It depends on the university requirements. Some prefer doing IELTS whereas some see if you have done your previous degree fully in English. So I suggest you check the respective university websites for further info.

  • Zhakshylyk • 17 Feb 2016 at 5.50 pm Reply

    can I apply for study?
    can anybody help me with advises?
    thanks

    • Redwan
      Redwan • 18 Feb 2016 at 2.03 am Reply

      Hello Zhakshylyl,

      Sure you can. Please check ‘how to apply’ section in this website and you can find more information.

      Good luck!

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