At the beginning of the semester there were speculations about the future of the Study Abroad program at the University of Skövde in Skövde, Sweden for Game Design students. The major problem revolving the program was the lack of core classes that were available in English to SNHU students.
Ed Brillant, the Game Design Coordinator, expressed the importance of being able to take major courses abroad because it allows the student to constantly improve on their skills and remain engaged in Game Design. “We want to make sure there is an avenue for our students to experience study abroad but not take a step back in their development and in their major.”
When students within the game development major choose to study in other locations, they run the risk of falling behind in their development abilities. Brillant dives into the differences with the program saying, “What sets this program apart from others is game-related majors are able to take classes that go towards their major as opposed to regular general education courses, setting them apart.” The professors try to give them smaller projects and things to work on so that they don’t lose those skills, but it can be very difficult to keep up. Another advantage for students who go to this university is they will have access to the Sweden Game Arena. The Sweden Game Arena is a hub of Sweden game start-ups, education and research. One of the more popular games to come out of the Game Arena is Goat Simulator.
Members of the Swedish faculty recently came to SNHU to experience the campus as well as see the day to day of their students. Brillant said that they “wanted to see where their students are coming and what they are doing.” Currently, SNHU is hosting one student from Sweden who has been hard at work on a Make a Wish Foundation project. The representatives from Skövde were impressed by our campus growth, as Brillant noted by saying, “When they came last, we did not have half the buildings we do now.”
During the meeting, Brillant said, “We talked about adding more classes for our students in English and making sure it’s more beneficial and even get an internship [while abroad].” He is very focused on student success in this program stating, “We are just making sure that it makes sense for our students to go over there.” He also expressed the benefits of this opportunity by saying, “Some of the courses they will take, they will be working with other international students so they could be on a team with people from Japan, from China, or from Peru.” This is a very unique experience being able to work with people from various cultural backgrounds. The program really gives a lot of experience to the student in their desired field.
Brillant expressed the major headway the two schools have made this year within the program claiming that the relationship is “the best it has looked since we made the partnership.” Brillant says that there are high hopes for the future of this program. Brillant said that they “already have at least seven or eight students that I’m working with right now to start sophomore year to go over there.”
With all of the big changes set to happen in the coming future for this program, Brillant is most excited for the future of the bond they plan to build. “I honestly think that having that relationship that goes beyond study abroad is the bigger picture of where it is going to grow to.”
Sweden Game Arena Website: http://swedengamearena.com/
Sweden Game Arena Informational Video: https://youtu.be/Uta6C-kY4SE