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My experience as an exchange student at Karlstad University, Sweden

 

photo by Lena Aldrian

When I arrived at Karlstad Airport, Sweden on January 16th, 2017 in the afternoon, I was very excited and nervous at the same time. Fortunately a couple of days before my departure I was contacted by my host student at Karlstad university (host students are current students who assist the new incoming exchange students at the beginning) and I was offered to join a Facebook Group for all new exchange students which gave me the opportunity to get into contact with some exchange students already before my arrival in Karlstad.

My host picked me up at the bus stop near the Campus and accompanied me to my room at the Campus where all the exchange students and some Swedish students live. My room is very nice and has its own bathroom. At a get-together party in the evening of the same day I already met a lot of nice and open-minded people from all over the world. Then from January 18th to 20th the so-called introduction week offered not only all necessary information for exchange students at Karlstad University but also further opportunities to get to know the other exchange students better as well as a beautiful city tour of Karlstad.

Karlstad University, which is only a fifteen minutes’ walk or a five minutes bus drive away from the Campus, consists of a few beautiful and very modern buildings. It has a big library and offers many spots to learn in a quiet and motivating environment, eat at a reasonable price and meet friends after class. The courses I am taking in the first part of the semester which ends at the end of March are called “Intercultural Communication: Media, Arts and Literature” (7,5 ECTS) and “Swedish as a Foreign Language” (7,5 ECTS). Both of them are taught in English and are very interesting. In the second part of the spring semester I am going to participate in the course “Intercultural Communication I” (15 ECTS) that starts at the beginning of April and ends at the beginning of June. In the evenings a lot of sports activities are offered at the university.

Furthermore, I am doing my internship at the “Internationella Engelska Skolan Karlstad”. This bilingual school is about a half an hour bus drive away from the Campus and gives me the opportunity to learn and benefit from getting to know the advantages and disadvantages from a different school system, from watching teachers from Sweden and English speaking countries teach in Swedish and English, from getting to know various teaching techniques and from getting to teach myself. Everybody, the principal, the academic manager and coordinator and the teachers, are very welcoming, helpful and trying to make interns learn and profit as much as possible from their experience at this school.

All in all, I am having a great time here in Karlstad enjoying my studies, my internship and getting to know other exchange students, their cultures and countries and I am looking forward to spending the next three and a half months here.

Lena Aldrian

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