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Yen sitter och kollar ut genom fönstret  i sin längenhet.
Yen studying at her apartment. 

From the tropical Vietnam to the cold Sweden

Yen first heard of Sweden trough a friend of hers, who had studied at another Swedish university.
"My friend recommended me to come to Sweden – to experience the nature, the culture and the people" Yen explais.

"I didn’t know much about Sweden before I came here. But when I saw where University West is located, near Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, I thought that that would mean additional opportunities for work and living."

Traveling this far was a first for Yen. Who, before this, newer had left Vietnam. From hot to cold, from 100 million people to 10 million. It’s a big difference! 

One of her fears leaving her home country was feeling homesick. In Vietnam Yen lives with her family, so they are very close. Being away from them and to live alone is a big adjustment.

"My friend, who used to study here, warned me that I might feel home sick. And I was very worried about this. But I went anyway – I took this once in a lifetime chance."

Although Yen have felt quite homesick at times, as her friend warned her of, the good internet access in Sweden have made it easy for her to have close contact with family back home.

"WIFI and internet is available everywhere here. In the store, at the university and the train station. So, I call my family every day. I tell them of things that I do here - when I’m going places and such.

So after all Yen says that the homesickness isn’t a problem.

Yen by a frozen lake in Trollhättan.

Living in Sweden

When leaving a tropical country and got to Sweden everything was new and different for Yen.

One big difference is how you learn to appreciate the sun in another way here in Sweden, compared to Vietnam. Yen explains that in Vietnam everyone always tries to avoid the sun, but here in Sweden everyone goes to lay under the sun in the middle of the day.

"At first, I thought this was very strange. But now I try to do the same! You enjoy the sun much more here. In the winter months you get very little sun, so I always get out to enjoy the sun when I can."

Over all Yen enjoys living here in Sweden.

"In my experience, the best thing about Sweden is the people, the peaceful environment, and the pure air" says Yen. "Everyone is friendly. Pretty much everything is good here, even the food!"

Life outside of the university

Yen walks us trough her daily routine.

"I go to the university in the morning, come home in the afternoon and take a short nap, and then I study from home. In the afternoon I go for a walk by the canal and enjoy the fresh air."

Sometimes she enjoys activities in the city such as Tipspromenad, Christmas market and Christmas tree lighting celebration or borrow a bicycle to visit the local shopping centre - Överby. Yen also enjoys going to the food store. She visits almost every day because the store have a special discount every day, so you can buy really good food for a cheap price.
She also continues to practice her faith while in Sweden.

"Since I’m a catholic I often visit the church here in Trollhättan, where I meet a lot of new people, says Yen. They teach me Swedish and we have a fika."

Yen also really enjoys the fika organized at campus every Tuesday. Where many students from all over the world meet up and play games and fika together.

En vit villa fotad utifrån.
"Vita villan", where Yen lives.

Studying at University West

The facilities are very modern, according to Yen. For example, she compares the library to a Vietnamese coffee shop.

"There every one can come and sit in the beanbag chairs, listen to music, study and enjoy the sunlight. And everyone respects the silence so that you can study and read undisturbed."

Another thing she appreciates about University West is that every course ends with an evaluation, where the students can say what they did and didn’t like with the course. For Yen, this means that University West cares about quality.

The contact with the teachers is another plus.

"When the students need support from the teaches they are really quick to answer our questions", Yen explains. "I really like that there is an effective work and communication, and that we as students get good support."

The future

Before coming to Sweden to study Yen worked for over 20 years in Vietnam. And now that she have studied, she has a lot of newfound confidence and knowledge. She states that most organizations need accountants, people who work with finance and even administration. And now after studying she can do pretty much everything.

"My goal is to work here in Sweden. When I decided to go here, I chose to invest my money here and planned for my future here. If I go back, everything will be the same."

Yen i en traditionell Vietnamesisk klädsel i ett snöigt Trollhättan.
Yen celebrating the 1st day of Lunar New Year in Trollhatan.