''Being in the international student community is one of the best parts of the study abroad experience. Especially because you get to meet so many interesting people from all around the world who expand your horizons.''
- Ivanna from the Dominican Republic
Why did you choose to study abroad in Sweden?
I always wanted to study abroad - it’s a life-changing experience that helps you grow professionally and personally. After finishing my bachelor’s degree in my home country and working for a few years, I decided to take a step forward and start an international master’s program.
Sweden seemed like an interesting option. Scandinavia has a very good reputation and is globally recognized as a highly developed region, with top ranked universities. Also, I was awarded with the Swedish Institute Scholarship for studies and research which made it easier to start this new journey.
How do you think your current studies have given you skills to improve your career?
Currently I’m completing a master’s degree in Strategic Communications at Lund University. The Swedish way of teaching consists of developing a critical mindset within their students plus a lot of group work.
These skills are very desirable in today’s marketplace because as students we learn to think strategically while looking at the overall picture and coming up with new ideas. We also learn to apply the research principles in the work place. Moreover we have the right competences to perform well in an international team where “group work” and collaboration are the key to great results.
Regarding my field of study, Swedes are very creative and are not afraid to do things differently. Within Strategic Communication everything moves so fast that you need those skills to stand out from the crowd and make an impact with your brand, organization or project.
What has been the biggest challenge and what do you like the most about living in Sweden?
Coming from the Caribbean there were many things about Sweden I was not used to, especially the weather and the long nights in the winter. Nevertheless, Sweden is a magical place, with breath-taking sunsets and stunning nature. It’s also a very organized country where sustainability plays a crucial role from recycling to ethical shopping and healthy eating. And of course fika (coffee with pastries) becomes part of your routine.
What is it like to be an international student?
Being in the international student community is one of the best parts of the study abroad experience. Especially because you get to meet so many interesting people from all around the world who expand your horizons. You don’t just learn about your field of study but also about different cultures, languages and countries. Also, as a student you get many discounts for museums, transportation, coffee shops and other cool things.
What advice can you give to other students that want to go abroad?
What you decide to study and where is a very important decision that could change your life in many ways. Therefore, start planning your studies ahead of time! Search for more than one option and compare. And make sure you are ready when it comes time to apply. Gather all the documents, transcripts, references and so on. The application process can be long and challenging. Especially if you are aiming to get accepted into a good university and hopefully get funding. Don’t forget that the competition is fierce so you need to make sure to stand out.
In the end, trust me, it’s all worth it!