Master Degree in informatics at Halmstad University, Sweden by Mariano
I will start up saying that Erasmus project was the most amazing thing I could have done. If you have the opportunity to do it, just do it, don’t think about anything else.
I decided to go to Sweden in a rush. I was finishing my last course and I went to the international office from my university to check whether there were still some vacancies left for the program. They told me you have to chose for only two destinations: one was England and the other was Sweden, they suggested me that England is more expensive but you will learn the best English, however Swedish speak very good English and it is a totally different style-life. So I chose the different.
I arrive at the end of August, one week before the classes start. There were activities (called “Nollning”) for the new students and of course for exchange students. In order to meet each other and know the Swedish culture we played different types of games, we walk around the city and visited the important places and buildings.
Student life in Sweden: where to live?
There were two options for living: sharing a 3-bedrooms flat with 3 other students or live in a sort of residence where were many more students. The flat is fine if you like to sleep calm and have your own kitchen, things you don’t have in the resident, however the good thing of the resident is that you coexist with a lot of student and you life the international experience much more in deep, so if now some one asks me “would you chose the resident” I would say definitely yes!
The international life in Sweden: what to do?
When you go abroad and start living alone for the first time in your life, you realize some things that you would never imagine. In my case I learned that I can live without TV. Some flats have TV others do not. I was so upset when I realize the amount of hours I spent in front of that silly box, that since then I don’t want TV any more. Four years and counting…
The other thing I realized is that I am pretty good cooking. I develop that skill searching on internet how to cook and of course with my Nintendo DS and the game “Cook with me”.
There is still another thing I’ve learned, I don’t need much of my belongings to live and how simple life can be. Just good music and friends.
In my stay in Halmstad, I went to practice Aikido with my Spanish friend Enrique. Amazingly, the Aikido sensei and the other classmates agreed to switch the class into English just for us. We met really good people there. If you can do an extra activity out of the university I highly recommend getting in touch with other Swedish.
Sweden is a good place to learn English
I did a one year Master in Embedded System (60 ECTS). At the beginning was quite hard for me because my English was not fluent enough (beside I though it was). The first semester was plenty of home-work, so I couldn’t enjoy the best moment of the Erasmus, the first parties when the groups start to form. Anyway, after that, in the second semester I enjoy it double.
The thing I enjoyed the most is going out for a ride with my bicycle. As you my know, up there in winter there are like 7 hours of sunlight. I spent a lot of hours closed in my flat, so when I had the opportunity to see the sun light and going out, I took my bike and went to see the country side. It has a wonderful place to discover. You can go everywhere with your bike, there are special tracks for them.
Get the most out of your erasmus: travel in Sweden and discover northern activities
In March I went to Kiruna, the last city above the Polar Circle, I went up there to see the Ice Hotel and do some others activities like dog sledge. I specially recommend for those how live in warm countries. Ah! If you want to see the Northern Lights you should go in December, you will have more probability to see it.
In the second semester we traveled a lot. We rent a car every two weeks and we went to Copenhagen, Lund, Helsingborg, Gothenburg, Oslo, Jonköping and Stockholm.
If you are wondering if life changes after participate in one of these programs, I have to say without doubt that it does… and a lot. So chose a destination and go for it!