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Elaura Crickmore-Tait and Katya Palacios - excited new students!

I meet Elaura with her roommate Katya Palacios from San Francisco in the US just as they come out of this morning's introductory session. They are elated and expectant:

- It is exciting to come to a new place and new school. It is the first time I study abroad and my university is quite old fashioned so this feels so modern and quite a lot bigger, Katya says.

- And we have been so well received today - everyone is so welcoming and it was so good with all the information we already received. For me, this school is smaller than home but much better reception here than when I was in France last year, comments Elaura.

Longing for Europe
So when I meet them, they have been welcomed by Vice-Chancellor Martin Hellström, given information about the campus, how to find their schedule, IT systems, the library and more - simply the most important things in order to get started with their studies in the best way. Elaura will study International business while Katya is studying Political Science.

- I hope to learn more about politics, political governance and how different countries in Europe work so that I can bring that knowledge back to my university and then be able to participate in discussions in a better way, says Katya.

They both longed to live and experience Europe and to have that experience on their resume. Elaura may want to stay there even after this semester.

- Maybe I like it so well that I stay another semester here at University West or it would be fun to do internship in any business, maybe in Gothenburg.

Want to learn Swedish
They have both already learned the first Swedish word – “fika”. But they would like to learn more and they had hoped that there was such a course at the university but they have already found other organizations who arrange it in Trollhättan. They also want to know more about the Student Union.

- It feels important to contact them and try to get involved in something through them, says Elaura.

IKEA next
Soon it's time for the next thing in the program for this first day. Together with the other students from Italy, the Czech Republic, Turkey, India, Namibia, France and China, they will go to IKEA in Uddevalla.

- I long to buy a pillow - there was no one in my room so last night I slept on my "travel collar", says Katya.

- And we also need to buy a bathroom rug and cleaning tools, Elaura adds.

The list seems to be long so it feels like a very appropriate program point in the beginning of their stay.

Text and photo: Anna Hallberg, Communication Department

Updated by Anna Hallberg