Why I chose Södertörn University for my international studies
The first time I was asked this question was in a ‘fika’ get-together with my coursemates. Most of us were meeting for the first time, and everyone was anxious in learning from each other’s experiences and thoughts. The question was simple for me to answer because I knew exactly why I chose Södertörn University and those reasons were manifesting right from my early days of arrival to Sweden.
However, to understand these reasons, we have to start from the beginning:
Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat
I was born in Aba, a commercial city in Nigeria. Aba, often referred to as ‘African Japan’ to describe the ingenuity and technological/engineering innovativeness of the locals, is a popular manufacturing hub and arguably the commercial capital of Eastern Nigeria. Back in Aba, you would definitely get to know about countries like China, Japan, America, United Kingdom and the likes but without any reference to Sweden. This is simply due to the very high business relationship between Aba traders and their counterparts in these countries. Almost the same case with Awka Anambra where I had lived during my Bachelor studies at Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Sweden has not always been the abroad study destination for Nigerians, and some say it is because Sweden is generally viewed as a quiet country, which may be true. Okay, back to my journey to Södertörn- I moved to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria one year after my Bachelor studies to work, and I worked here for three years both in the private sector and in an international organization before my ultimate progression to Sweden. It was during my employment in Abuja that I had my first real exposure to Sweden even though I had always known about the country, and when I decided to pursue international studies, I started my search. First search destination is Google. And in my search, Södertörn University wasn’t among the first ten institutions in the list of loudest study places in Sweden, a curiosity that led me here.
Young and Modern
In Sweden you will find universities that are over 200 years old. Yeah, many of them. And without being told, you should know that traditions and ‘way-of-doing-things’ will be the order of the day there. I choose Södertörn University. It is one of the youngest institutions in Sweden, and modernity has its way allowing dynamic and innovative thinking, especially in our ever-changing technology-driven world. That is what I needed for international studies, and Södertörn University gave it to me completely.
Think Outside the Box
As someone with both academic and professional background in Communication, I knew I wanted to continue in that line for my international studies. But I needed to study in a place I would be allowed to explore my research questions and interests across disciplines, and just think outside the box. Södertörn University was just perfect for this. Here, you’re trained to strengthen your thought process to question even outside the regular, and this is amazingly part of the university ethos. For example, why other universities offer courses in Communication studies, Södertörn University offers the opportunity to study Communication not in isolation, but as Communication, Media and Cultural Analysis.
I am a Global Citizen
To make you understand this quickly, here is an example- I study in the Masters programme, Communication, Media and Cultural Analysis, and in my class of about 25 students, we have nationals from at least 15 different countries. In Södertörn University, you meet a multicultural environment and the full interpretation of the concepts of diversity as strength. This is what I had always wanted, to live my full global citizenship with friends and colleagues from all over the world.
Scholarship Scholarship Scholarship
As a Non-EU student, I am expected to pay tuition fees in Sweden, and this if converted to my local currency, Naira is very expensive. I needed a scholarship. Some institutions offers 50% scholarship, some offers 70%, but guess what, Södertörn University offers 90% tuition fee waiver. And, let me tell you a secret, very quietly, Södertörn University scholarship is very easy to win, in fact, it is one of the easiest academic scholarships to win. Don’t say it out loud so the management will not hear and make it harder! I tell you this, because I was sent this email, few months after I applied for the scholarship:
I know I have not exhausted my list of reasons, but I want to keep it short. With Södertörn University, you would eat your cake and have it, lol. Personally, I love Stockholm, and with the school being located in the heart of Flemingsberg, in the south of Stockholm, you enjoy being part of a small community and a big city.
Author: Amaraizu Genius