Why did I choose Sweden?: Latin Students in Sweden

Studying in a different country is an amazing experience, Can you imagine studying in a different continent?

Through this blog I would like to share 3 short experiences about Latin Swedish Institute Scholarship Holders.

Sergio drinking coffee and pastries in a cafe.
Sergio is a Medical Doctor – Masters in Public Health with an Specialization in Health Economics – Umea University

Sergio Flores – Honduras

Why did you choose Sweden?

Moving and studying in a country so different from my own is a great place to broaden your horizons, challenge and get to know yourself even better. This is a place where you can gain world-class skills and knowledge, get to know and learn from fellow global thinkers and makers, and broaden your perspective.

Tell me an anecdote you had in Sweden so far

The following conversation:

– “Hey Sergio, come and have some of this Swedish delicacy with us in this windowless cabin in the woods!”

– “Sure!” I proceed to walk into the windowless cabin and got to know Surströmming*.

(*Surströmming is a month-long fermented herring, also known as one of the most pungent foods in the world.)

What do you like most about Sweden so far?

There are several things I like about Sweden; however, I would say the weather is one of my favorite things so far (gasp! but it’s so cold..!). Coming from Honduras, we get sunny and warm days almost yearlong, which is great. Nevertheless, having the opportunity to see the four seasons so clearly throughout several months and witnessing nature elegantly changing colors and vibes is a truly magical experience.

The biggest challenges you deal in Sweden so far?

I would say the biggest challenges so far are:

1. The language. It is more akin to English than to Spanish, as a result of its Germanic roots. If you know English, it will definitely be easier to learn. However, the Swedish enunciation is very different, having a singing rhythm to it that takes time to master.

2. Weather and Sunlight: From Autumn to Spring, you get drastically reduced daylight and very cold temperatures. Dressing properly and taking Vitamin D will prevent negative outcomes. However, if you are not used to it, you might find it challenging to keep your energy levels high and avoiding going to hibernation mode.

3. Academic Self Discipline: Sweden’s education system is world-class, with access to top academic resources, state of the art campus and strong research orientation. However, it is different from other countries in the sense that it won’t bury you under severe stress from several courses at once. You take one course at a time and have plenty of personal study time. It could be tempting to spend this time on leisure activities instead of studying. In order to reach an optimal balance, it is very helpful to work on a personal schedule that prioritizes study time and adhere to it in order to make the most out of your time in Sweden.

What can you tell another Latino that is trying to study in sweden in one phrase

Come and study in Sweden, you won’t regret it! See you soon!

Camilo stands by the sea, a sunset in the background.
Camilo is  Sociologist and is studying Global Studies at University of Gothenburg

Camilo Arratia – Bolivia

Why did you choose Sweden?

Everything started in 2016, I was an exchange student in Gothenburg after the semester I really fell in love of Sweden. Therefore, I decided to apply to Swedish Institute Scholarships and here I am again. To know more you can read my blog No doubts! let’s go back to Sweden.

Tell me an anecdote you had in Sweden so far

It is very difficult it has been almost 5 months here, but I remember that in Stockholm there was a reception for SI scholars and I was on the metro and I was amazed for the colors in the metro that I left my camera on the metro. I was desperate, I was alone there and I didn’t know what to do. I decided to go to the Metro office told them my situation, of course I thought that there was not solution. However, after one hour of waiting sad on the metro, they found my camera and returned to me. Someone honest put it in the lost things!

What do you like most about Sweden so far?

I love everything I am not kidding so it is very difficult to find an answer, of course I know that It is not a paradise, but I cannot explain how good I feel about living and studying here.

The biggest challenges you deal in Sweden so far?

I’ll be honest! to me was finding a room. Here in Gothenburg is really difficult and I was on the queue but anyway I had to live in a hostel for a week and In different places the second until I found a room in a Swedish house (I am perfect here so the wait was worth it)

What can you tell another Latino that is trying to study in sweden in one phrase

What are you waiting ? Come here!

Fabiana sits on steps outside a doorway.
MSc in International Development and Management – Lund University

Fabiana Pineda – Honduras

Why did you choose Sweden?

I chose to study in Sweden because of its quality, research-based education and the wide range of opportunities granted to international students that wish to pursue their masters here. It is also clear that Sweden is one of the best countries to live in, especially if your dream is to live in a place that promotes values grounded on social equality and environmental sustainability!

Tell me an anecdote you had in Sweden so far

There’s plenty of anecdotes to tell, but one of the highlights would be the first snowfall in Lund which occurred a couple of days ago! It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed and having the entire town decorated with christmas lights made the event even more special. The snowfall only lasted a few hours, but it was enough to become a memorable experience for me and all of the new international students in Lund.

What do you like most about Sweden so far?

There are two things I like the most:

1. The people! I’ve met some of the nicest, most helpful individuals in Sweden which has made the transition from Honduras a lot easier

2. Fika and Kladdkaka, my favorite combination <3

The biggest challenges you deal in Sweden so far?

So far, my biggest challenge has been the weather, especially those days when the sun barely comes out (ugh, winter blues)! However, the situation is manageable when you have good friends and vitamin D by your side at all times.

What can you tell another Latino that is trying to study in sweden in one phrase

Come to Sweden, you won’t regret it!

And what about you? Are you from Latin America? or any other part of the world?  Leave your comment and tell us your story!


Written by Camilo

06 Jan 2020