The Swedish Way

Timur S.

University:  University of Boras
Study Period: 
Fall semester 2013/2014
Academic Level:  Master
   

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Preparation

As the time for planning my semester abroad arrived, there wasn’t a big struggle about where to go: Sweden. In 2008, I visited Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö for the first time and enjoyed the whole stay – so the opportunity to get to know the country better within 5 months was an appealing idea. Applying for the stay was rather easy due to the great support IS:link offers. After getting nominated for the Högskolan i Borås, one could right away apply for the term and the courses one wants to do there.  After receiving the letter, the further planning could start: Applying for the Erasmus stipendium (~185€/month), taking care of needed insurances for a five-month stay, renting one of the student flats offered by AB Bostäder and finally organizing to go there by car.

Accomodation

Timur S. Bild 2Due to the accommodation agency, my arrival was pretty chaotic – at first the landlord told me I had to go to the Scandic Hotel as my key was deposited there. It was not. So after driving back (luckily I was by car otherwise I wouldn’t have made it within the opening hours) I was asked to wait a while in the landlord’s office. Apparently, they had to change the lock to my flat which apparently caused some confusion. Finally I got the keys and moved in. The flat is located in one of the more problematic parts of Borås called Hässleholmen (e.g. a burning car within the first weeks after the arrival or being advised by the student buddies upon arrival better to be in bigger groups when walking through the streets at night). Within the flat there was basic furniture like a bed, tables, chairs and the kitchen (without any plates, cups, cutlery etc.). Unfortunately it wasn’t really clean so I spent good hours on cleaning everything. The mattress was apparently not changed after the last tenant moved out and really dirty – as the landlord didn’t manage to bring a new one on the next day (Friday) as promised I bought an air mattress to get off the chairs (anyway a good thing to have when friends are visiting). Maybe those experiences were simply bad luck but all in all it seems that the accommodation agency was not really trying hard to welcome new students on their first day within a foreign country.

 

Högskolan i Borås

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The university is pretty much centered within the city. It is modern (equipment, architecture, library), is famous for its textile school across Sweden’s boarders and in general a nice place to study at. I was attending three master courses in total: a Swedish language course, a course called ‘Trends in Informatics’ and one called ‘Business Design’. Compared to the courses back at my home university the difficulty level and the needed effort to get good grades were slightly lower. The master courses are unfortunately mostly attended by international students so that there were not that many chances to actually study together with Swedes.

 Borås

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Borås is a nice little city (~66k inhabitants) located in the southern part of Sweden and basically covers all needs. Beside of a   good public transport system, a university, a cinema, many shopping areas (e.g. Knalleland), night clubs and bars, it even offers a zoo and is the hometown of the former Swedish football champion IF Elfsborg.

The weather is comparable to what one knows from western Germany (except that it is   raining more often) and Göteborg as the second biggest town in Sweden with ~490k inhabitants is only 60 kilometers away (the Göteborg Landvetter airport is even nearer). For further information I suggest visiting: www.boras.seTimur S. Bild 4

 

Being an Exchange Student

Being an exchange student is pretty awesome. One gets to know many open-minded people   from all over the world, befriends with many of them and shares a good time. One gets in   touch with different cultures, tries new kinds of food and evolves as a person. Among those things that no exchange student   should miss are e.g. watching a game Timur S. Bild 5of the local football club, visiting the zoo, go partying in   X&Y on Thursdays, joining the ESN Sea Battle or the ESN Lapland trip and exploring the   beautiful country in general.

 

Timur S. Bild 6Conclusion

Despite the problems with the accommodation agency after my arrival I was having a great time for the five months of my stay. I could have shortened it down to roughly four months due to early examinations but I decided to even extend it to become an ESN Student Buddy for the arriving exchange students for the next semester. Apparently, I really enjoyed my stay. I’m happy with my decision for Borås and for the good friends I made and hopefully see regularly in the future (I’m actually writing these lines while back in Borås for a visit…).

To make it short: It was an awesome time of my life :)