Exchange destination: Jonkoping University
High school: Assumption College Catholic High School
One word to describe your exchange?
What was the worst thing that happened to you while on exchange? How did you deal with it?
I arrived in Jonkoping on a Friday. After travelling for a day and a half all I wanted to do was get to my apartments, relax, and message friends and family saying I made it. However, I quickly discovered that I had nothing. No sheets, towels, dishes, cutlery, wifi -- anything. And the stores I needed to buy these things at were closed, closing, or I didn't know how to get there because I didn't have wifi. I didn't know what to do, but I figured that sitting in my room alone wouldn't solve anything, so I went to the little student house nearby. As it turns out, I wasn't the only one with this problem. I met great people that night who helped me! Later, while laying in my bed without sheets or wifi I thought that maybe I made a mistake going on exchange. But thankfully, the next day everything changed and I’m so glad I stayed. You just have to remember, if you’re experiencing it, someone else is too, and it doesn't hurt to ask for help.
How did you finance your exchange?
I was able to finance my exchange by saving money from my part-time job, and summer job. If anything I over saved. I completely overestimated how much exchange would cost – I was shocked.
What was the biggest cultural shock that you experience?
Initially, Swedish people appear to be antisocial in public. On the bus, people usually avoid your gaze and put their bag in the empty seat next to them so you can’t sit. I thought this was so rude, but I learned from Swedish friends that this is the Swedish way of ‘minding their own business’ and respecting personal space. It’s just important to keep in mind that you’re in a different country with a different culture, and keeping an open mind is essential.
Who was the hardest person to leave when you went on exchange? How did you manage that?
My boyfriend. We spent an amazing summer together and I wanted him to come with me. He was so supportive of my decision to go on exchange that it actually helped me manage leaving! He had done some travelling himself, and told me all about the benefits of living in another country, meeting new people, seeing and experiencing things I may only get on opportunity to.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
School is the main focus for exchange, but not the only focus. It is important to find that balance of school, travelling, and extracurricular activities. It is also important to be organized. Quickly determine your free time and plan trips/activities accordingly – exchange happens quickly!
A sample of the classes taken and credits received:
Health Care Improvement = NURS 4730
Global Health = NURS 4762
Nursing Science, Focusing on Health and Ill-Health Children = NURS 4790