Every time I answer the question: Where are you from? I get a surprised face and the question: Why Sweden, why Gothenburg?
Well, to be honest I did not know anything about Sweden before I found out about this SI scholarship. After I decided to apply for it, I started to look up for all kind of information. How is life in Sweden, work environment, student life, weather and so on. Everything that could give me a lead in whether or not it was worth it to spend the next 2 years of my life in this country.
The more I looked, the more I convinced myself that it will be the right thing to do. I found out about the great relationship between students and professors in Sweden; the great traditions and funny celebrations. Of course, I saw the great landscapes of Scandinavia, which are way too different from our tropical surroundings.
Even further, when I more specifically started looking for universities, OMG! the hardest work in my life 😉 . Many of the Swedish universities rank really high in all the rankings you can find on internet. I ended up with my 4 choices but now the question: Which one should I put first???? This question took me to do more detail research about Gothenburg. I know is really hard to choose and what to look for in this situation. Some advices from me would be:
- Make a list of what are you looking for: big or small city?, big university or smaller one? student environment like Lund or more diverse like Gothenburg?
- Do research in your specific choices, Do you care about rankings? what field of study is this university specialized? Does it rank good in your specific field?
- Traveling would be important (believe me 😉 ) Is it easy to move from where I live? Are there connections from the airport or Do I have to travel every time I want to leave town?
- International environment, Is there easy access for help in this university? Do they have help for international people?
Living cost are almost the same all around Sweden. Accommodation is hard to find almost everywhere. So you gotta think about other concepts when choosing. When I think back, I chose Gothenburg because I dont like big cities but also a small town could be too boring for me. Gothenburg has a perfect size between big and small. Lagom like Swedes would say 😉 …. There is always something to do.I chose it because Salhgrenska academy and GU rank high in life sciences and are famous for innovation. Besides, Gothenburg has 2 airports which make it easy to travel around Europe and back home ;). Very important, everywhere you will find capable people to help you with your “international” problems, paperwork, etc.
There is a chance to learn Swedish for free at GU or SFI. Also, everyone speaks English and are used to international people. They are kind and helpful. It is not a busy town. They still have the patience to stop and give you guide for a street you cannot find. Everything is so close! in 20 min you can be in the other side of town or your best friends place with only one connection of the tram.
I cannot tell you all the good things I have found in Gothenburg. The only thing I can say is that I do not regret my choice and you should give it a chance in your list and research about it. Maybe you will fall in love with it and I will see you around next year 😉 !!!
Vi ses snart,