Hejsan! My name is Erica and I am from Canada. I am taking the Masters in Consumer & Business Marketing from Stockholm School of Business and will be blogging about my experience studying abroad.
How did I end up in Sweden of all places? Well I finished my undergraduate in Political Science from UWO and during the third semester I decided to branch out and study abroad. The first on my list of places to study abroad? Australia. My friend and I were going to go surfing, lie on the beaches, and listen to those great Australian accents while asking them to put some “shrimp on the barbi.” It was only by accident that I ended up coming to Sweden. For my third choice to go on exchange I asked my friend what she was putting down as a possible option. She decided Stockholm University in Sweden. Sweden? Ya, sure why not? What did I know about Sweden? The same as everyone else- IKEA , ABBA and Swedish meatballs. Little did I know that random choice would be the best choice I ever made. A couple weeks later, the verdict was in, my university was sending my friend and I to the top exchange destination: Sweden.
My first time I arrived in Stockholm was on a January Sunday afternoon with three heavy suitcases. I learned my first lesson fast: The sun goes down early and everything is closed on a Sunday. So after I got my keys to my student residence Kungshamra, I started to lug my bags over there. I am no map reader and it took me about 45minutes wandering around Bergshamra to find my room. By that time it was 10pm at night- no time to buy sheets or food and to top it all off, I had no phone or internet connection. So for that first night I took my Canadian flag I bought out of my bag and put it down on my bed as a sheet. I think that was the loneliest, longest night of my life. I just remember lying there thinking: It will get better, it will get better. As it turns out, the best time of my life.
Not only did I get to travel as much as possible (seeing that Canada is far away from the rest of the world), I also got to meet international students who have also travelled and lived all over the world. In Canada, if someone couldn’t come out to a bar one night, the excuse would be “I have to study” or “I have other plans.” While I was an exchange student, the excuses would be “Sorry, I will be in Paris for the weekend” or, “My friend from Istanbul is coming up to see me.” So you’re not able to come because you’re travelling around the world, or, your jet setting friends are coming to visit you- the tough life of an international student eh?
I realized that I wanted to stay in Europe and be a part of the international scene (of course meeting someone didn’t hurt either), so I came back, did another exchange, learned some Swedish, then worked at Stockholm University’s Student Union for one year as an International Coordinator & Advocacy Secretary for student rights, then decided it was time to go back. Not back home, but back to school.
I picked the Masters in Consumer & Business Marketing because I think it will give me a broad enough degree in order to have a variety of different careers possibilities available to me when I am done. Plus, being able to go on an exchange or internship abroad again in my third semester sounded pretty enticing. The cherry on the top was when I started going through the Masters in Marketing facebook group and saw that students in my class would not only be from Sweden, (always great to meet the locals!) but the majority would be from all over the world including Korea, China, Turkey, Poland to a couple Canadians and Americans.
So that has been my life in the past two years in a nutshell. I am really looking forward to what the next two years will bring me and hopefully I can share what I have learned and the experiences I’ve had with all those who are interested in studying in Sweden. We shall see what the future holds!