“I’d tell anyone who has the stomach to study abroad, to do it,” said University of Skovde student Robin Noren. Noren is currently studying game design at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
There is currently a partnership between SNHU and the University of Skovde in Sweden where students from each school can study abroad in the other. Noren is one of the first students from the University of Skovde to study abroad at SNHU.
The decision to study abroad was a spur-of-the-moment decision he made a few days before the application deadline.
After arriving on campus, Noren quickly realized how different life at SNHU would be for the semester. The SNHU weekly class schedule system is similar to Sweden’s high school system instead of their university schedule.
Students will get their classes in the beginning of the quarter and will learn their assigned professor. That professor will schedule times throughout the year to meet and have a lecture. Students have the decision of attending the lecture or not. Many students do independent work in different fields on their own throughout the year.
“Uni should be a place where you learn how to adapt to the real world a bit,” said Noren. Throughout his university career Noren has gone to other schools and held lectures, worked on a government project, and worked on his own video games and novels.
Noren outlined another very particular difference between his university in Sweden and SNHU. Studying in universities in Sweden is free. There is no tuition or fees to pay.
University campuses in Sweden also do not have any school-associated clubs. There are occasionally some off campus, not associated with the school, where students can join others with similar interests.
American culture was also a difference Noren recognized. He sees Americans as more open and willing to engage with other people. He also sees Americans as having a lot of pride. In Sweden, many people will not engage in conversation unless eye contact is made and do not talk as much. They will, however, mimic other people’s behaviour if they meet international students (i.e. Americans) in Sweden and may converse more with them.
Studying abroad is a fairly popular concept in Sweden. The University of Skovde had 50-60 students study abroad this year. Some came to the United States, Canada, and then other places in Europe and around the world.
The idea is also growing at SNHU and more students are going each year. Students also have the opportunity to go to more places such as Chile and Sweden.