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Taichi sits on trainTaichi has been a student in Sweden before. Knowing he liked the Swedish way of studying, coming back for his masters was a good choice. 

“I was an exchange student for one year in Växjö, during my bachelors” he explains. “I liked the learning environment. It was very student driven, there was much group work and I enjoyed being an active student.”

Now having studied at University West for two months, Taichi can confirm that the classes here are the way he likes them – student driven.

“It’s not like the lecturer is talking for one hour and students just sit and listen” he says.

Instead, students and lecturer discuss subjects together, letting the students feel more involved in their learning. Taichi explains that “through us students outputting information we feel like we are deepening the learning.”

Compared to studying in Japan, the amount of group work here at University West is very different. During the time he’s been studying here, there have already been two major group assignments. During which, the students get to practice time management and planning, discuss subjects together and think critically.

One programme – two subjects

The Master in Sustainable Development covers multiple aspects of the subject. And thanks to lecturers, discussions with fellow classmates and some guest lecturers Taichi has gotten a wide range of perspectives and inspiration regarding sustainable development.

Besides sustainable development, the programme also focuses on work integrated learning (WIL).

“WIL is a very new concept for me” Taichi explains. “I look forward to understanding the concept better and to learn how to apply it to sustainable development.”

WIL is a complex subject with many applications. At first it can be a bit confusing… But through participating in a weeklong event on campus, Taichi now has a much better understanding of WIL than when he first started his studies.

“I saw a lot of informative presentations from scholars within WIL, from all over the world. And now I’m very interested in the subject – so I want to combine them and apply them” he says.

Living in Trollhättan, Sweden

Back in Japan Taichi lives in an urban area. So, the closeness to nature is the first thing that comes to mind when asked about the perks of living in Trollhättan.

“When I go to campus I take my bike though the forest” Taichi explains.

The Göta River runs trough the center of Trollhättan. Taichi and his newfound friends go there to rest or to take a fika. “It’s really good for my menta health” he says.

Taichi and his friends don’t only sit by the river when they’re not studying - of course. For example, they often come together to cook and to talk about what’s been happening during the week.

Taichi and his fellow international students at a Swedish Cooking Night, at University West. 

Future plans

Taichi’s future is still unwritten. Having only studied his masters for a couple of months, he’s still learning about all the possibilities out there, within the field of sustainable development.

One of these possibilities is continuing within the university world.

“I’m very much enjoying learning and researching” says Taichi. “So, I’m interested in PhD positions in sustainable development”.

Another path for Taichi might be going back to Japan and starting work there. He sees many possibilities in Japan since the country still has a long way to go to become sustainable.

“People are now starting to notice this as an important subject” Taichi explains. “In Japan, there are not many people who have experience within the field of sustainable development. So, I would like to go there with my narratives and skills I have gotten here in Sweden and contribute to society.”

At a museum in Gothenburg, the UN's Sustainable Development Agenda was displayed.