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The Exchange Juggling Act

So the first quarter of the Swedish semester is almost over, which for most people means lots of stress and a lot of overeating to deal. Usually this is true for me as well but this time semester I have taken a much more laid back approach so instead of freaking out over my exams (next week) I have decided to go to Amsterdam instead. I’ve come to the conclusion that making the most of my time in Europe was far more important to me than overstressing about an exam.

I say this even though I have spent the last two week revising for said Swedish Language exam which is both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

The student life at Jönköping University makes this aspect very easy and enjoyable. The university is located right in the centre of the city and all international students are guaranteed housing (which is by far my favourite part) which means you are almost guaranteed to be living with someone you are in classes with. This is what I have been doing with a friend from Mexico. We sit in our shared kitchen and struggle over the best way to study Swedish. It is usually just a lot of complaining.

So here is what I have learnt in the last eight weeks in Sweden. The workload here is much less than full-time studies at UTS which means I have more time to not only discover Europe (I just went on a trip to Lapland, one of the most incredible experiences of my life) but also to make friends and explore Sweden.

And when I get homesick (it hasn’t happened yet but it will) I just have to think that everyone else is having the same struggles, they know what it feels like and I will always have comfort in that. We are all so close now that opening up about hard days is very easy.

So if you are going on exchange, I would definitely recommend Sweden, the experiences are great and the people are amazing. Just prepare for the cold. Because it is always cold. Even when it is warm, it is cold!

Elizabeth May
Bachelor of Management
Jonkoping University
Sweden

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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