Why study in Sweden?
Studying in Sweden is different compared to studying in many other countries. The Swedish universities have an open climate and a strong focus on group works. The education is student-centric and personal initiatives and independent thinking is important. By encouraging students to develop their innovative mindset and team work abilities, the students will get valuable skills for the future. Many multinational corporations such as Volvo, Scania, Ericsson, IKEA and H&M are founded in Sweden. By taking the opportunity to study abroad in Sweden you will to get to know a new culture while at the same time receiving valuable knowledge that paves the way for an international carrier.
Sweden is a Scandinavian country in the northern part of Europe and is the fifth biggest country in Europe measured in geographical area. The population is relatively small compared it to the area, 9.5 million people. Recently a survey was conducted for those countries that use English as a second language and Sweden was rated as number two. Since Swedish people in general have very good English speaking skills it is it makes it easier for foreigners to get to know locals and adapt to the Swedish society. If you want to develop your skills in English, this can also be a good reason to choose Sweden.
Sweden is famous for its beautiful and different kinds of landscapes. Sweden can offer everything from modern cities to skiing resorts in the north. During wintertime you can witness the interesting phenomena northern light or stay in the famous ice hotel in Jukkasjärvi. In other words, there are a lot to experience within the Swedish borders. The country also has a good location if you are interested in travelling since all of Europe’s cities are in an accessible distance.
Gothenburg is a beautiful city located on the west coast, or best coast as we sometimes call it, down south in Sweden. It has a population of 550 000 which makes Gothenburg the second biggest city apart from Stockholm. It has around 1000 cafes, 400 restaurants, 240 trams, 20 museums and the biggest amusement park in northern Europe, Liseberg. An easy 30 minute tram ride away you will find a fantastic archipelago that Sweden is very famous for, consisting of more than 10 000 granite islands rendered smooth during the ice age. Since Gothenburg was founded in 1621 as an industrial city it has also become a creative center for innovation. Due to the city’s advantageous location in the centre of Scandinavia, trade and shipping have been important factors when it comes to the economic growth of Gothenburg. Actually, today Gothenburg’s port is the largest in Scandinavia.
In Taiwan, cash is king. This is not the case in Sweden, and especially not in the bigger cities like Gothenburg. The Swedish society is becoming more and more cash free and here you usually pay with your Visa or Mastercard. There are plenty of opportunities to get use of your credit card in Gothenburg, for example the city has plenty to offer with various museums, good restaurant, a well known opera house and Scandinavia’s largest shopping centre, Nordstan.
Wherever you will end up staying in Gothenburg you will get by fine without a car or scooter. The public transport is well connected and you can buy monthly cards to use at buses and trams.
The atmosphere in Gothenburg is very easy going with a strong coffee culture. This will become very apparent after walking past the hundreds of cafés with people enjoying their freshly brewed coffee.
If you will attend the exchange program you will get the opportunity to study at one of Sweden’s’ top universities: Chalmers University of Technology. It is a fairly big university, around 10 000 students go there, and it has a convenient location close to the city center of Gothenburg. As the name indicates, Chalmers is a technical university that educates engineers and architects within a wide range of fields. At Chalmers you will get to know people from all over the world and there are plenty of ways to meet new friends through student activities and events.
Something you will have to be prepared for when moving to Sweden is the fact that we don’t eat out as often as in Taiwan. Since food at restaurants is really expensive we usually only eat out at special occasions or when we feel we can afford it. Usually, students bring their own food from home in a plastic box that they heat up in one of Chalmers many microwaves. This can be a challenge for many foreigners, but being able to cook is somewhat a general knowledge. Why not start learning now?
Programs in Sweden are designed to get the student thinking and applying their knowledge. Generally, one course consists of group projects and/or a four hours final exam. The academic calendar follows a quarter system starting in the beginning of September where each quarter equals one study period. This period usually consists of around eight weeks followed by examinations, holidays and re-examinations. Normally you will attend two courses during each period, which means eight courses a year for full time studies.
You don’t know how to speak Swedish? That’s fine, all master’s programs at Chalmers are taught in English and everyday life can be managed on English alone since most Swedes speak good English.
One of the advantages of being a part of the exchange program from NCTU is that you will get to run your own office in Gothenburg, NCTU Europe. In the office you will host events with various themes and inform Swedish students about Taiwanese culture and how it is to study in Taiwan. Working in the office you will give you a valuable working experience while at the same time new friends from all over the world. To read more about the office at Chalmers go to: http://www.europe.nctu.edu.tw/
Read more about Chalmers on their official website.