International Interview – Experiences and Advice
In 2016, I wrote a blogpost, where my friends told about their first impressions and what they liked about Sweden. It’s been two years now. I will be completing my Master’s program soon. So, I thought it was about time to do a follow up to that blogpost.
I asked my friends from KTH Royal Institute of technology, to share some lessons that they learnt during their time as a student in Sweden, and what advice they would give to future students. So here is another International Interview – this time, focusing on life lessons and advice.
“What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your time as a student in Sweden? What advice do you have for future students?”
“The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to approach things with an open mind.
My advice to new students is that there’s a lot to do in Sweden. Try things outside of your area of research/study . Also, try and learn Swedish! It helps :)”
-Salwan, a Canadian student
“There are a list on things that I have learnt in Sweden, somethings learnt by need and with time like cooking, being self dependent, importance of planning and there are somethings that Sweden taught me like “Self-discipline and integrity”, being non-judgmental, sustainable use of technology and the list goes on. I really can’t define which among these the biggest one is, but these lessons define me now.
To the new students coming to Sweden, I would say there is nothing you need to worry about before coming to Sweden, it is a home to everyone. But also it would be good to know and accept Swedish cultures, the way it welcomes yours.”
– Neha, an Indian student
“Biggest lesson is that Swedish people are very shy and bit cold which is why it is hard to break the ice in between. But once they know you, they become the best friend.
One advice is that you should mingle as much as possible. Good contacts ensure the long-term stability in Sweden”
-Tofa, a Bangaleshi student
“The biggest lesson that I learnt is that the best way to progress in Sweden is to learn the rules. Some of them are written some just come from the culture, the traditions and habits Swedish have developed over the centuries, but the all boil down to the same. Swedes love their rules. Learn the rules, follow the rules and then you can achieve everything you set your mind to. Don’t let the weather put you down. The long winters in Sweden are the perfect opportunity to initiate indoor activities. Get together with friends and collages, learn about cultures, peoples, music, food and anything you can get your hands on. This is YOUR chance to shine but also your chance to absorb all the light from others.
My advice for you is this -If you are planning to stay in Sweden start learning Swedish. If you are not planning to stay in Sweden, start learning Swedish too. By the time you are done with your studies you may have changed your mind and you lose nothing by learning a new language. The Swedish educational system requires that you start studying from day one. Do NOT wait for the exams to start studying. Contribute to your team, if you get a team work, use your strong attributes to comp estate your weak ones and if you don’t know something just ask. It is after all a learning process.”
–Christos, A Greek Student
“The biggest lesson Sweden taught me and which I will be grateful forever will be-balancing your life. With the intense course and schedules, I used to be engulfed by heavy stress and its side affects were losing concentration on what you are doing, overthinking resulting in wasting of precious time and unnecessary over working. But later on, the work culture was so appealing to me that I started to follow it. I completely focused on my work and worked hard during the weekdays. And in the weekends I shut off from all of that and shift my focal point on my personal and social life. And this is how I found balance between an intense academic life and my own time of relaxation and enjoyment.
The one advice that can come in handy will be to grab every opportunity that comes along with your title as a student. Starting from Student discounts to approaching and making connections with people from Industries. The universities are tied up with many industries and atleast at KTH, most of the course curriculum include guest lectures from companies. This is a great way to make connections which is a real help for your master thesis and job search.Generally, The perks of being a student is quite justified in Sweden (and in the right way).”
-Judi, an Indian student
“I learnt how to balance studies and other interests in life. Seeing how both teachers and students always take time to take a break without neglecting being productive has been the biggest lesson learned in this journey.
My advice is -Make friends! You don’t know how valuable it is to have your close group of friends (or friend) to hold on to during the darkest times of the year ;)”
–Adriana, a Bolivian student
“Getting to work and cooperate with people of different backgrounds, needs, and cultures helped me acquire the necessary skills for a global career. As a popular student destination, Sweden and KTH promote and support international cooperation and cultural exchange as part of the educational process.
My advice is – Get out of your comfort zone and get involved with as many events and projects as possible! Student life in Sweden is much more than studying! Enjoy trips across Europe, get involved in fairs and festivals, learn a new language (important if you plan to stay in Sweden afterwards ) etc. Oh, and try not to miss the intro week at your university, it is a great way to make friends and explore the city!”
–Konstantinos, a Greek Student
“The best thing I have learnt from my journey in Sweden so far is that everyone’s journey and paths are different but beautiful, so dont compare yourself with others. Hard work, patience and being open minded and non-judgemental is very important.
My advice to new students would be- Try and make the best out of the time in Sweden.Try to devour your moments the time has given to you in this beautiful country.Work hard toward your ambition, and when times get a little tough, remember why you came. All your hard work, and staying far from home and everything will eventually pay off. ”
-Yogesh, an Indian student.
And as for me, I learnt to (somewhat) walk on ice. I learnt more than 10 Swedish words. I learnt that the best way to tackle the cold and dark is to have a solo dance party in my room.I learnt to become more independent. I learnt to become resilient. I learnt to work in a global environment, and then I learnt to lead in a global environment. I became open minded. I learnt to become more organised. I learnt to balance everything in a better way. I learnt so many things and grew in so many ways.When I decided to study abroad, I knew that wherever I went, I represented my country, but now I’ve learnt that wherever I go hereon, I will also represent Sweden as well. From the little things like drinking a ton of coffee per day, to the big things like developing more endurance, caring about a sustainable future for our planet and working toward it, I’ve learnt so much from Sweden – and these lessons I will cherish always.For new students, my friends have given such wonderful and insightful advice so I’ll keep mine short- Make tons of friends- they will be your family away from home. Dress warmly. Try to learn Swedish- It really helps. Optimise your time here by taking part in different activities. Expand your network and meet new people. And more importantly, be open-minded, positive and ready to learn. Because if you are willing to learn, Sweden will teach you so much.
*A HUGE thank you to all my friends for helping me with this blogpost* 😀
Would you like to come Study in Sweden? Have any questions for us? Let me know in the comments below.
/For now, your Swe-desi Seafarer signing off !