Leaving home is always challenging. And for me, it was more painful as I had to leave my family, my school friends, and my city, where I had been living for my lifetime. Despite having one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world and an admission letter from a reputed business school, deep inside, I felt so lonely when I said goodbye to my mom – probably for the last time in next two years.
(Kitesurfing in Lake Vättern, Jönköping. Photo: Anup Banerjee)
Well, I had a previous experience of studying abroad before coming to Sweden. But this journey to Sweden was so special to me. We were a group of Swedish Institute Scholarship holders on the same flight till Stockholm Arlanda Airport, but after that, it was only me going to Jönköping. All I knew was that I had to take a bus to reach my destination within the pickup service time.
Jönköping: A Tranquil, Cozy, Green City
If asked to describe Jönköping in three words, I would definitely choose the above-mentioned ones. Comparing to my home city, Jönköping is much smaller in terms of the city area, population, and so many demographic factors. But if you overlook those materialistic factors, you will see Jönköping is waiting for you with all the natural beauties in a tranquil yet smart setting. One can literally travel around the city by riding a bike.
And if you are someone lazy like me, you can always buy a monthly bus card at a very special student price and go anywhere in the city, even further to the adjacent Gränna and Huskvarna. Simply download the official app of the bus service provider to your mobile, and feel relaxed. It does not matter whether it's raining or snowing, the buses will always be there at the specific time, from dawn to late night.
(Frozen Lake Munksjön Jönköping, Photo: Anup Banerjee)
Jönköping University and life as a student
Jönköping University (JU) is located at the center of the city. It takes around 5 minutes to reach the central station from the university. And within one hundred feet from the university, one can find the beautiful lake Munksjön and its amazing bridge that connects two parts of the city. The shopping center, restaurants, superstores, and gym all can be accessed within a walking distance from the university.
The university has four schools which offer professional oriented courses and programmes for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. With numerous research centres, it has contributed to a great extent in all relevant fields.
The business school of the university is known as the most international business school in Sweden and attracts hundreds of students every year from around the world. It has been regarded as one of the most important places to study and to conduct research on family business and entrepreneurship. The library of the university serves the students with a lot of course and non-course books as well as with a huge collection of journals and other academic papers.
(Jönköping University Library, Photo: Anup Banerjee)
Life as a student of JU is so lively. Apart from all the class lectures and coursework, one can find ample opportunities to get involved in the student associations or projects and thus can sharpen his/her holistic capabilities.
From the week-long kickoff to the end of the semester, there’s hardly a single week when nothing special is happening on the campus. With a coffee at only 5 SEK, you can never feel tired here, and even if you feel so, there is a student-run bar where you can go once a week, have a beer, and dance with your friends like nothing else matters.
Gastronomy in Jönköping is quite student-friendly. You can always find student discounts being offered in almost all restaurants, whether it’s offering lunch buffet or a kebab pizza. Even if you feel that you are not going to ask for any student discount, in most of the cases the cashier will ask you, “Are you a student?”
For traveling around Europe, Jönköping offers numerous options for the students. Student union offers multiple tours for the students throughout the semester. It’s also very easy to travel to Stockholm, Copenhagen or Oslo, by bus or train from Jönköping. Being on the southern side of Sweden, you can merely quote “Winter is coming” from Game of Thrones, but, actually I find it much warmer in Jönköping than many other places in Sweden.
(SI NFGL Local Network Jönköping, Photo taken by a JU friend)
SI NFGL Local Network Jönköping
As I said before, leaving family is always challenging. But when you know you have a family with such amazing members from around the world, those challenges would fade every day.
Every one of us shares similar values, compassion, and most importantly an interest to contribute to the knowledge and capacity development of self and peers. Last semester, we organized a workshop partnering with Science Park Jönköping, as well as visited Kinnarps AB’s Jönköping office to get an in-depth idea of daily operation and management of a global company. This semester, we are working to do something in bigger context.
While I was selecting my universities before applying to Sweden, the most common question I faced from my friends was, “Why are you going to this small city?”
I used to argue with them about the internalization of the university, accreditation of the business school and so forth. But, I had no clear picture about the lifestyle or the facilities this city provides to the people. The only things that I can refer to are some promotional videos of Jönköping posted on Youtube. I was a bit skeptic about the beauty of Jönköping that those videos cover. But, now after living here for the last couple of months, I feel like those videos just covered only a tiny percentage of the beauty of Jönköping.
Jönköping is much bigger to record in a video, to express in voice and to feel with all sensory nerves. To know it to the fullest, you have to come here, and I strongly believe, the amazing people of Jönköping would really love to welcome you with all happiness and smiles.