‘My experience with the Swedish education system’

'My experience with the Swedish education system'
Photo: Israel Biramo, Si scholar in Dalarna
NFGL Local Network Dalarna's Israel Biramo reflects on what he has learned from the Swedish education system and how it has changed his mind about the best ways to learn.
Coming from the rural suburbs of Ethiopia to the high tech city of Stockholm was a life-changing experience for me. I remember in my first few days in Stockholm, I was fascinated by the beauty of Sweden. I had never thought I would ever set foot in the land of the great astronomer Anders Celsius. 
I feel that I am on a learning curve, trying to learn as much as I can from the handling of Swedish resources, environmental concerns, social policies, diplomacy, energy exploitation, innovation and so on. But for now, let’s focus on my reflection of the academic world in Sweden. 
Experiencing the Swedish education system, it has changed my mind as to what the best way to learn is. I feel that I am continually progressing and this has boosted my confidence. I was, at first, surprised by way of teaching and the amount of responsibility put on the students. But what I enjoy the most is the interaction between students and teachers. They are not only your academic teachers but also mentors, friends, and advisors, there to guide you in both your personal and professional achievements.
I study engineering and didn’t really think about presentation as a skill. I find it scary to stand in front of the class and present what I did. At first, I felt a little worried when presenting, but I soon realised that no one was judging me. I find this an excellent environment for learning, free from judgement where everyone is willing to help you. I know now I am not only learning engineering, but also developing lifelong leadership skills. 
During exams, I feel that I am judged for my understanding of the subject, and not how well I can memorise formulas, which had never happened to me. 
The interactive learning platforms are also a great asset in the Swedish education system. Coming from a place where technology in education is still in its beginnings, it has inspired me to contribute to helping schools back home using these tools. They make education accessible and pave the way for students to learn more flexibly. Moreover, it makes education efficient and saves a lot of resources. 
For people coming from communities like mine, education is believed to be a powerful instrument for a better future. So, I will try my best to apply my new learnings in my country to help others create a better future for themselves.  

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