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Student Exchanges in Sweden: the international edge

Student Exchanges in Sweden: the international edge

Published: 10 Aug 2012 16:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Aug 2012 16:01 GMT+02:00

Sweden, with its high standards of research and education, its reputation as the home of the Nobel Prize and with hundreds of university courses taught in English, has become a major destination for exchange students from around the world.

One of the largest higher education institutions in Sweden, Linköping University is situated in a pretty cathedral city with about 100,000 inhabitants, less than two hours south of Stockholm. It also has a campus in nearby Norrköping. With its high-class education and a good choice of activities in a city perfectly suited to the student lifestyle.

The university has long-held ties with over 400 establishments all over the world. Each year it welcomes some 1000 students through various programmes, while at the same time, some 400 Linköping students go abroad, and it is perhaps another sign of the times that the numbers both ways are higher in 2012 than ever before.

Students on exchange programmes here can pick from a broad range of subjects, and stay for a period of anything between three months and one year, during which time they are actively encouraged to take an active part in local student life.

There are plenty of courses in English on offer at Linköping, within the areas of Engineering and Computer Sciences, Environmental Studies, Natural Sciences, Education and Social Sciences and Humanities, making it ideal for foreign students and an ideal preparation for the global jobs market.

“Linköping is ideal in many respects for these students. We have close connections with universities in the Nordic region, as well as others all over the world. We can offer them a very good education, excellent teachers, a busy student life, and the town itself is a reasonable size for exchange students to be able to integrate themselves in,” says Lisa Dobrosch, international coordinator for incoming exchange students at the university.

The fact that Linköping is a medium sized town is a clear pulling point. Although it doesn’t have the traditional “nations” like the oldest universities in Sweden, exchange students are actively encouraged to join the numerous clubs and societies which in turn benefits all sides, according to Dobrosch.

In practical terms, for those thinking of coming to Linköping as an exchange student, wherever they come from, there is a strict process for handling applications.

“We have exchange agreements with partner universities all over the world” says Dobrosch. “First, the students have to apply for a place at Linköping through their own university. Then, when that is approved, they are offered a place here.”

In terms of costs, the actual study fees are free, regardless of where the student actually comes from. However, in some cases the students are still obliged to pay for their studies at their own university, even if they aren’t there at the time. This is true for example, of American students, while others can receive grants and stipends from their own country.

The majority of the exchange students at Linköping are from Europe and come to Sweden via the Erasmus programme, which accounts for more than half of all exchanges, both incoming and outgoing.

Erasmus (EuRopean Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) is an EU initiative in higher education, which was first introduced in 1987 to help the movement of students across European borders. Since then, over two million students, around 60% of whom are female, have taken part in the programme.

 Although Erasmus tends to supply the majority of exchange students at Linköping, there are several other co operations in place throughout the world, and currently in the faculty of arts, there are students from all over the Nordic region, as well as Taiwan, China, Singapore and South Korea, as just a few examples.

“In our region, Nordplus is one of the most popular programmes. We have a long tradition of receiving students from the Nordic Region via this programme,” says Dobrosch.

Nordplus, similar to Erasmus, is a cooperation designed to help strengthen the Community and the Nordic-Baltic identity based on historical, cultural and democratic solidarity. Linköping is involved with many groups within this project, though predominantly those including economics and engineering students. 

The Nordplus programme supports exchanges and networking between the five Nordic countries, the autonomous territories of Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland, and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Ideally located in one of Sweden’s academic hot spots, Linköping offers excellent educational facilities that underline its longstanding reputation, inside and outside the classroom. It is little wonder then that it is such a magnet for foreign exchange students.

To find out more about Linköping University, visit www.liu.se.

For general information about applying for student exchanges in Sweden, visit www.studyinsweden.se

Article sponsored by Study in Sweden

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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