''All you need to do is to make sure that you choose the right country and get mentally prepared before you move there.''
- Niloofar from Iran
Why did you choose to study abroad in Sweden and how did you decide which university you would attend?
Everything started when I finished my Bachelors and decided to travel overseas to do my masters. My dream was to live in a safe country with nice and helpful people, as well as experiencing a new lifestyle and culture. I heard from my family and read in blogs about the reputation of Scandinavian countries for their high living standards. I also noticed that Scandinavians have the highest proficiency at English as the second language. So, all I needed was to find a high ranked University to guarantee my future career opportunities. I started looking and found Stockholm University as one of the top universities in Scandinavia, which is located in the capital of Sweden. The size of the university was large and they were offering master's programs in English. So, I decided to apply for the school and happily I was admitted. Yaaay!
What is the best part of studying in Stockholm University?
The best part of studying in Stockholm University was the home exams. In Sweden, usually we had to take the exams at home. For each exam we had at least 24 hours up to few days to finish and upload it on the university’s internal study documentation system. Isn’t that cool? You know, in my home country we had actual written exams that we had to study with the aim of memorizing all the material, go sleepless the night before the exam, go to the exam hall and write down whatever you remember on the paper. That was really stressful. But in Sweden, often we were given some assignments (either in groups or individual), a final presentation, and a take-home exam. I believe this system was less stressful and more fruitful.
What's the most challenging part of studying in Stockholm?
The most challenging part of studying in Stockholm was finding accommodation. It’s really difficult to find an apartment with a contract or even rent a student room in a dormitory. In order to rent a student room you have to be in a queue for 3 months to 2 years, and depending on your credit, you’ll get a room in a corridor with a shared kitchen or a studio flat. So if you decide to study in Sweden, make sure that you not only apply for the school, but also for the accommodation. In addition, the climate is challenging until you learn how to survive! Yes, you need to be prepared. Wear warm clothes that are made for cold, work out, and make as many friends as you can, and you’ll have fun in the dark and cold winters of Sweden.
What advice can you give to other students that want to go abroad?
This is a life-changing decision and sometimes it becomes challenging, but it’s worth it! All you need to do is to make sure that you choose the right country and get mentally prepared before you move there. In order to decide on the country, you need to prioritize your needs and see what is more important for you. Is it the location, school’s ranking, tuition fee, language, living expenses or weather? After choosing the country and the university, you should get as much information as you can to be mentally prepared to face the possible challenges. In the end, you’ll learn about different cultures and understand that people are different. In other words, you’ll learn to embrace the diversity and respect it.