When choosing and applying for a programme there are many questions arising and everyone has different expectations of the programme and studying in Sweden. Therefore, I asked a couple of my classmates from different countries all over the world (Uzbekistan, China, Russia, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, France…) to summarize what you might expect and how it actually is in reality.
Different learning system
The different learning system is what is probably the most surprising thing my classmates agreed on. Most of my classmates agreed they weren’t expecting such a low number of lectures and so much time for self-studying. In Sweden, you either have one 5-week course or two 10-week courses. The focus on the subject is then more intense. There is a lot of self-studying, so in reality, if you only have one course, you might only have about 4-8 hours of lectures/seminars on average per week and the rest (maybe 25-30 hours) is reading articles and working on projects. Of course depending on your study pace, it might take longer time for some to read and write academically in English. Also, the lecturers‘ goal is for you to pass and learn something from it, as one of my French classmates said „they are not trying to fail you as in France“.
Practical vs. theoretical
Some of my classmates agreed on expecting the programme to be more practical rather than theoretical. I think it depends on each course, but overall speaking, the articles, lectures and seminars are theoretical and oriented on discussing different approaches and academic theories. However, the study visits, case studies and guest lectures bring more practical insight. I think the main goal of this master is to develop the knowledge we already have from our previous studies and to analyse different approaches and sides of the picture and create our own image of the problem or industry. Some of my classmates were expecting a more job oriented study, but on the other hand, some that have studies only a part of tourism industry (e.g. hospitality) feel it gives them a broad picture on tourism.
I was looking forward to studying and meeting Swedish students, but also international. This year, our programmme consists of students of 15 nationalities with diverse age and background, with only 4 Swedish students out of 19. It brings many benefits such as learning how to work with people from different cultures, having diverse views on different topics and learning from each other’s background and past experiences. Also the lecturers are from various countries (Greece, Russia, Sweden, …). They are friendly and close to the students, supported by small details as that we call them by names and they engage with us in different activities.
Eventhough many things were not as we imagined, we enjoy this programme, working with each other and learning from one another. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or contact us 🙂
(Title photo by Ioanna Farsari)