"Newfoundland feels like my own little province." - Elin
What department/faculty do you belong to? Psychology
What country are you from? Sweden
How long have you been studying at university? Three Years
1. Why did you choose to study abroad, and particularly why did you choose to study at Memorial University?
- I study psychology at home and I felt that to become a psychologist I needed more experience, because then I could gain more perspectives. I figured doing an exchange would be a way to get that experience. I came to Newfoundland because I was offered a scholarship through the North2North exchange. I applied to Memorial out of all the places in Canada because I got in contact with a Swedish sociology phd student here and she offered to help me with my travel and class arrangements. I was offered this North2North scholarship as well as an internal scholarship from my university in Sweden to go to Cleveland. I looked up both places on Wikipedia and Cleveland had the seventh highest crime rate in the U.S versus St. John's, the safest city in Canada.
2. Tell us about an interesting adventure, site, or trip you have experienced while studying here.
- I just recently got back from Gros Morne National Park. That was amazing, to see all the different scenery and vegetation all in one place. Before I came to Canada I wasn't really an outdoor person. Generally here Canadians, no matter what their personality, like nature and hiking and camping. It was amazing going to Gros Morne and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who comes here.
3. What do you find is the biggest difference, culturally or educationally, between your country and Newfoundland & Labrador/Canada? What is the biggest similarity?
- Well the big difference is the education system. In general in Sweden you study more like a grad student here studies. You do longer exams and more essay questions. I never ever had multiple choice or fill in the blanks on a university exam before. So the way you have to study to get the knowledge is different. Also, in Sweden you do full courses one at a time. First you take an introduction course for five weeks, do some papers and the exam, then continue with the second course. Here you take a couple first year courses and maybe some second year courses at the same time. In Sweden you get very precise knowledge because you have to choose your courses carefully otherwise it takes too long to finish. Here you get a wider perspective and you can narrow it down. In Sweden you can specialize very fast. St. John's is very similar to my own city. There's a lot of culture and music going on. It has been easier to adjust because it is kind of similar to home.
4. What would you say to another student thinking of studying at Memorial or in Newfoundland & Labrador/Canada?
- Come! I was walking to the university today and thinking I love this city, I'm gonna miss this city. It's a great place for an international student or an exchange study or anyone coming from somewhere else because people are so friendly. It's small enough to get to know. I feel like I know this place and people, I bump into people. It's good if you come from away and you want to feel at home. And it's so beautiful; it really is like a treasure because it isn't a major tourist destination. It feels like my own little province.
5. Upon reflection, what do you think the experience of studying abroad has brought to you?
- A lot of things. I definitely think I reached my aim with widening my perspective and becoming more aware of differences and similarities. I can understand why people do things differently now. I feel like I grew a lot and that this experience opened my eyes a lot.