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Why did you apply to us at University West and why IPPE?

I was looking for an interdisciplinary programme, which combines studies in Politics and Economics. I enjoyed learning some basic contents in these subjects in school already and was (and am) curious about learning more about it. Furthermore, I knew I wanted to study abroad to gather new perspectives and to get to know another country closely. When I found University West´s IPPE programme it sounded just perfect.

Foremost, I liked that the programme that, according to the syllabus, had a lot of international aspects. Previous experience showed me that other universities´ most “international studies” (e.g., International Business Administration) include the international aspects only in the last year of the programme. This is different here. The IPPE programme includes international courses/contents from day 1 on. For example, I enjoyed very much the International Politics and Globalization course in the first semester.

Another aspect I liked from the beginning was that University West is a relatively small university. The familiar atmosphere and the clean and modern buildings create a great place to study.

Is it what you thought it should be and how was that or is it different?

Yes, I feel like I chose the best opportunity I could have chosen. At the end of my decision process, some other international schools competed. However, University West matched the most with my wishes for my studies. I was positively surprised by how friendly the staff and lecturers are. Lecturers listen to your questions, ideas, and try to provide assistance to support you. (I know from experience this cannot be taken for granted).

What is the most exciting thing you have done during the studies?

Since I am in my first year, I have not had any major projects or internships yet. However, I really enjoyed the International Politics and Globalization course in the first semester. In this course, you learn about international relations and how to look at international events through different lenses and thus interpret these incidents differently. This course broadened my mind very much.

I am really looking forward to doing an exchange semester abroad. Here we are given the opportunity to choose between doing an internship or studying at another university.

Can you describe the environment/culture at the university?

I really like the familiar atmosphere at the university. The library is a great place to study, and one feels welcome and comfortable within the buildings and uni-areas. I experienced at other universities that during examination periods it is always a struggle to find a study space in the library or elsewhere in the university. I love that this fight does not have to be fought here. There is always a space to study available at the library and if it is not there are several other nice and cosy study areas everywhere in the buildings and for group meetings, rooms can be easily booked.

The culture within the programme is international since students from all over the world take this English-taught programme. When we look at the language aspect everybody from students and lecturers to service-centre and library staff speaks English. Anyway, some knowledge in the Swedish language and culture is beneficial to be able to read all signs, to have access to all information provided and to be able to communicate better with other Swedish students. To gain basic knowledge in the Swedish language and culture the University provides a course, at the basic level.

What do you think about the student life in Trollhättan?

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, student life is currently quite restricted.
In the summer, the restrictions were not the same as now. Right at the start of the autumn semester, the “inslussningen” is a good place to get to know people. This is a 2-week-period, where several activities are planned by the student union. After that one can join the Student Union and become an active member of it. They organize sittnings (parties) and pubs in the student union building and other events during the year. Overall, it is a good place to make friends.

Within the student union, the International student´s committee (ISC) is currently brought back to life by other students and me. I hope we can establish a helpful pillar to make international students lives at University West easier and even more fun. We try to provide helpful advice concerning the everyday lives of international students, as well as connecting them with other international and Swedish students through activities and events.

By train, it takes approximately 30 minutes to travel to Gothenburg, which is a great place to do some sightseeing, shopping, to spend a nice evening, or many more.

Trollhättan is surrounded by beautiful nature. Doing outside sports activity together with some friends is a good way to spend sunny days, as well.