How has your time at Karlstad University been?
– Having only studied at KAU since January, I already feel comfortable in testifying to the warmth shown by the university to international students like myself. The place feels far more intimate than my city-wide home institution and from day one I have felt at home here. Beyond “hello”, “goodbye” and “thank you” I don’t speak Swedish well; silly as I must seem however, student and staff here have been patient with me and if I am part of a conversation will often immediately switch to English for my benefit. Outside of university, this is not really reflected however, with most international students banding together in our student flats away from university; at clubs and bars you obviously get a variety of people but more can be done to lessen the divide between international and “home” students.
Have you enjoyed your studies?
– I certainly did not choose to study in Karlstad because I enjoy being cold! The courses offered by the university were by far the most stimulating out of the list of other European institutions I considered. Back home I am a two-year undergraduate of Photography at Coventry University, the highest ranked course of that subject in the UK. I had high expectations moving to Sweden but I have not been disappointed at all. The course I am currently submitting my final work for, ‘Cut/Uncut: The Theory of Editing’, strikes a great balance between learning practical elements of film and the compelling theoretical study of such. Add to that the presence of dedicated classrooms, good technical facilities, an equipment store and lectures to rival any others I’ve experienced and yes, I’m very satisfied with my studies thus far. I am excited to see what part-two of my semester brings.
And how do you like the city?
– I have heard some people complain about Karlstad, specifically the size of it; growing up in London, I can certainly see what they mean. That said, I actually prefer the intimate feeling of the city, there are far less people, it is very easy to navigate and I always feel safe doing so. Plus, for those times that one does want to explore other parts of the country, having a well-connected train-station so close is a big plus. Coming from a city-based university, I am glad that KAU is kept separate by a short bus ride; it is very clear that the university is held as an important place of study and a tight student-community.
– The time in Karlstad has been great, both inside and outside of university. I really liked my studies and the open climate at the university. The city might seem rather small but has a lot more to offer than the first look reveals. I started my time here in winter and you really see how life “warms up” once you get to warmer seasons.
– My time at Karlstad University has been amazing. I have made meaningful connections with different people from all over the world! I really have enjoyed my studies here, it is a lot different from back home in Canada in that there is a lot less class, and the classes that I have taken have been much more informal, which encourages discussion. I like the city, though I’ll admit I have been travelling around a lot outside of Karlstad, but it’s a really nice city to live in, and overall, I am very glad I chose this university and city to study abroad in.