Brand new international students get “oriented”

[2012-08-31] Hundreds of eager exchange students and international degree programme students were overflowing on campus during the start of the four-day Orientation Course on Tuesday at the large Aula Nordica auditorium hall. They received a warm welcome and an overview of life and studies at Umeå University.

On Tuesday 28 August, new international students attended the start of the introductory Orientation Course in Aula Nordica. There were excited and hopeful faces in the large auditorium as Anders Fällström, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education, formally welcomed and wished them all an enjoyable and memorable experience at Umeå University. Professor Fällström shared his own personal experiences as a student abroad in Moscow, Russia and in Michigan, United States.

One of the new students in attendance was Jiangu Zhao, an exchange student from Shantou University in China. “My hope is to learn as much as possible about Sweden and to travel around Europe,” he said, when asked about his expectations for the upcoming academic term.

The first day continued with practical information from the International Office to make their arrival as smooth as possible including: housing information, an introduction to the Swedish way of studying and university library, including a summary of the highly popular buddy programme for group social events. Later that evening, students were invited to play the highly popular Swedish bat and ball game called “brännboll”.

Nii Lariey Quarcoo from Accra, Ghana is beginning a master’s programme in finance at the Umeå School of Business and Economics. His first impression of Umeå was weather related, as he was somewhat shocked by the brisk 13 degree day in Umeå. He selected Umeå University because “there was a lot of international appeal to study here.” His hope is to continue towards a PhD degree and a teaching career.

Another participant at the Orientation Course was Anne Thiele from Germany, on exchange from the University of Göttingen. “I decided to study on exchange here because my biology professor highly recommended Umeå University,” explained Anne. “I am excited to get to know new people and study new subjects that aren’t taught at my home university.”

The orientation course continued over the next three days featuring presentations on a wide variety of relevant topics including: cultural differences, sports and recreation, host programme, academic resource services, health services, and information from the student unions. A social event was held every evening, giving students the chance to have fun, make new acquaintances and discover the city of Umeå.

The autumn 2012 term formally begins on Monday 3 September. A Welcome Fair for new students - both Swedish and international – will be held in the Universum building on Thursday 13 September from 10:00 to 15:00.
Welcome Fair for New Students

Photos by: Christina Hülsmann

Editor: David Meyers

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