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The experience of living in a different country has been nice from Amanda, who has lived in Sweden her whole life. In the Netherlands she got to explore and see new things and she developed a lot as a person.

“You might not know anyone and you’re somewhere that you might not have been before, which makes you find new comfort in the day-to-day life. At least, this was the case for me” she says.

New friends, from all over the world

Amanda has met many new people during her exchange. This has given her a better understanding of how people from different parts of the world have different cultures and customs.

“I have gotten friends from all over, for example from Brazil, Wales, Germany, and Switzerland, who all of us bring different experiences. We have so much fun together, it’s insane how fast you get close to people. It’s probably especially so since all of us are going through the same experience of being away from home.”

And it is with her new friends Amanda has had the most fun during her time abroad. They have been visiting different cities and places, going out to bars and parties, and, of course, studied together. These are also the moments Amanda will miss the most when coming back to Sweden.

“It will be so weird to have spent so much time together with people and to then separate. I will miss all the fun things we’ve been doing and the vacations between the studies - travelling to different places and exploring.”

Surprises about living in another country

The big differences between Sweden and the Netherlands was a surprise for Amanda. For example, she learnt that Sweden is well developed when it comes to things such as digitalization and recycling compared to the Netherlands.

Another surprise was the way of studying.

“I was surprised by how different our way of studying is, everything from the number of courses you study, to the way courses are built and the way they grade you.“

This presented a challenge for Amanda, who sometimes found it hard to adapt to this new way of studying.

“At home, I’m used to studying one course at a time and being responsible for my own studies. Here I have studied several courses at the same time and had homework to do every week.”

Tips for other students

Amanda recommends everyone going abroad to start looking for housing in good time. For her, this was quite difficult.

“I’m sure it’s different depending on where you are going, but in the Netherlands it is very hard to find a place to stay. The student housing the school provided was full quickly, so I had to find a living on my own. So, I recommend anyone going abroad to start looking for housing early.”

She also recommends saving money before your trip and to research the place you want to go. In that way you can know what to expect, in terms of where the university is located and what the city has to offer.

“Also, when you get to the new country, have an open mind. I tried to say yes to everything to really get to know people since I didn’t know anyone here.”