The University of Skövde, Sweden. (image credit: University of Skövde)

The University of Skövde is a college located in Skövde, Sweden where game design students have the opportunity to study abroad and take classes based on their major alongside Swedish peers and other international students.

According to Game Design Coordinator Ed Brillant, students studying abroad here often take drawing and introductory programming courses, in addition to general electives. Thomas Ordway (‘19) attended the program abroad in 2016 where he took courses like Introduction to Game Design, Introduction to Swedish and Film History.

“I did also go [to Sweden] because it was a study abroad program for my major of game design, however that was mostly secondary to the main fact of I just wanted to shake things up,” Ordway said.

Brillant cited an issue with the current program at the University of Skövde. “The biggest problem right now is that we would like to see more of the advanced courses taught in English,” Brillant said. “Intro to Game Design was really just a paper prototyping class as in we just would make board games with really tight restrictions,” Orway said.

While Brillant thinks the University of Skövde is a great game design school, most of the courses and programs, such as Computer Game Development Design, Game Writing, Graphics Programming and Sound/Music, are taught in Swedish and are unavailable for international application, according to the university website.

SNHU is working with the partnership to open up more game design courses to English-speaking students, according to Brillant. “We are trying to get more course equivalencies; because our program is so rigorous, we would like to see more of our students’ major courses equate when they study abroad,” Brillant said. This will prevent students from falling behind when they return.

“[The study abroad program is] not only a great way for students to experience another country, but to be a part of one of the best game design schools in that country is a great opportunity,” Brillant said.

Ordway notes an opportunity students have taking game design courses in Sweden. “Unlike SNHU’s Game Design program, Skövde starts with just the raw principles of game design, whereas SNHU starts by teaching people how to make games (programming, art etc.).”

The University houses a Game Incubator, which is a government funded organization that supports gamedev startups, according to the Game Incubator website. Ordway had hoped he would have access to this Incubator because notable companies like Coffee Stain Studios, who made Goat Simulator, and Stunlock Studios, who made BattleRite, were located in this Incubator. “I wanted to talk to the developers inside and make some connections and so on.”

Opportunities exist to bring SNHU and University of Skövde students together, according to Brillant. “I would love to see it [the partnership] grow of course, but I would really love to see some collaboration between our students and theirs on game projects or game jams,” Brillant said.

Though this program is strictly geared toward game design majors, specifically those interested in programming, art and design, Brillant suggests that additional programs including computer science and IT could be a future possibility.

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