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When choosing which country to study in, two factors were especially important for Tehere. First, the country needed to be developed within the field of IT. This would of course help Tahere to develop herself.

“And also, it was important that I can support myself financially. And Sweden was the best choice for me” Tahere explains.

That the choice of university later fell on University West, depended on the programme content.

“I choose between different programmes, at different universities. But, my focus was on whether or not the programme included full stack and some programming. This major and field of study was important for me” Tahere says.

Studying in a new country

Tahere arrived in Sweden at the end of summer 2022. Now, she has studied for a bit more than one semester. So far, the studies are very different from what Tahere has earlier experienced back in Iran.

“When I studied in Iran we focus more on reading - studying without any practical projects or anything like that” she explains. “But in contrast, in this in this country, we focus on more on practical learning and how we can deal with challenges.”

“Sometimes we feel a lot of pleasure” Tahere says. “For example, we had a course where we had to cover everything on full stack in one month. That was so stressful.”

The assignments Tahere and her classmates are given, even when stressful, feel close to work life. Because they had to cover and deal with many challenges it felt very efficient.

“This situation will happen in our work. Maybe we will get some assignments like this in our career that we have to deal with. So, this environment prepares us to work, to be ready for our career and job.”

Working together, in groups or teams, is very common in the Swedish education system. As well as at many workplaces all over the world. This is yet another way of bringing the experience of education closer to working life. Tahere has found it helpful.

“Working in groups is so beneficial. When studying, but also in work” she says. “This has been so efficient for us, because we can discuss problems with each other and brainstorm solutions.”

This is something pretty new for Tahere. In Iran, group works are not common, and the study environment is much more hierarchical than in Sweden. She explains the difference with an example.

“For example, at my university in Iran, we must call each other by last name or title. Also, we cannot ask our questions during class in a simple way.”

Tahere explains that she, at first, found it difficult to get a grip on the more informal student-teacher-relationship at University West.  

“When I came here, I asked the lecturer questions by saying ‘sorry, I have a question’. They then would ask ‘why do you say sorry, I'm here to help you’.”

As a result, Tahere and her classmates now ask questions in a more relaxed way, and without any apprehension.

“Here, I see my teacher more as my friend, who is here to help me to improve myself.”

Living in Trollhättan

Coming to Sweden, Trollhättan, was a big change for Tahere. Having lived in both smaller and bigger cities back in Iran, the quietness of the streets here was still a chock.

“People here go to sleep so early. In Iran we do not have the same habits” she says. “Because I lived in in one of the warmest places in Iran, people usually went out at night because the weather was better then. One night I went out here, at eight at night... And I didn't see anyone!”

Another thing that differs a lot from her home country is the nature. “I really like it here because of the woods and the nature”.

After graduation

After her studies at University West are finished, Tahere’s goal is to go back to work again. Now with new skills.

“I need to gain some more experience, because at this time my knowledge is theoretical. I need experiences related to my studies” she explains. “And afterwards, I want to get my PhD.”