Meet Fahad from Pakistan
Name: Fahad Farooqi
Home Country and City: Pakistan, Lahore
Programme of Study: Master\'s Programme in Business Development & Internationalization
Personal Interests: Sports, Training, Movies
Favourite thing about Umeå University: IKSU
Favourite Swedish word or custom: Lagom (Since this word has no English equivalent translation/meaning which could be roughly translated as "just the right amount")
Three words to summarise your time in Umeå: Epic, memorable & dynamic
What is your educational and professional background?
I completed my high school from Abu Dhabi, U.A.E after which I moved to Pakistan to complete my bachelor\'s in Business Administration. After that, I worked for around one year at an Outsourcing Company as a customer care representative.
Why did you choose to enrol in your degree programme at Umeå University?
As a business student, I was looking for universities with solid business programmes at the master\'s level and I found Umeå University to be one of the few universities in Sweden which offer a wide array of business programmes at the master\'s level. At that time, two programmes (Management & Business Development) intrigued me the most and thus I chose to apply for my master’s degree at Umea University.
What do you like most about your programme?
The informal yet formal attitude of the faculty members is something I really admire about my programme where you can easily talk to a professor about any problem you may have in the course. Along with that, all the courses I took were conducted separately each lasting about a month. This really helped me concentrate on each course individually where I could focus on one subject at a time. I think this is really something universities around the world can implement since it only helps a student be more focused in each course.
What is the most interesting thing you learned in your programme or courses so far?
Being a business student studying internationalization, the most interesting thing I have learnt is the staggering number of entrepreneurs in the north of Sweden. Being so north of the world, it is amazing how many entrepreneurs located in this area think about going global with their small companies. I think this just shows how well organized the Swedish system actually is and how their education system/economy encourages entrepreneurs to take opportunities in the market.
What do you do when you are not studying?
I spend most of my free time at IKSU. One of the best sports centres I\'ve been to with a wide array of options from group classes (Bodypump & Spinning being my personal favourites), to team sports (anything from floorball to beach volleyball), IKSU has it all. Other than that, I spend my time hanging out with friends looking for an excuse to have fika while at the same time, have an awesome day.
What is your impression of Umeå and the surrounding areas?
A very beautiful city with a clean environment. I love the fact that I can bike to any part of the city without worrying about getting lost since it\'s a small city. If you are not into biking, you can always take the bus to any part of the city. I think Umeå is the ideal city for a university student since it is known as a student city locally. The best part about Umeå is its surroundings. Located in the north, you have access to ski resorts which are very close by. If you are into nature, then a very beautiful national reserve park is located in a town nearby. You are just so close to nature in Umeå!
What do you find as the biggest cultural difference, both socially and educationally, from your country with Sweden?
I think the biggest cultural difference I found when I first came here is the individuality of the Swedish culture. Coming from Pakistan, where we are more of a collectivist society, I found that Sweden is more autonomous. Also we Pakistanis tend to be loud people, while Swedes are more reserved in dealing with people. Education wise, I found that in Sweden, we as students can be more open to teachers and vice versa where you respect a teacher but at the same time be more informal as compared to how things are back home.
What you would say or what advice would you give to another international student thinking of attending Umeå University?
Do not miss the opportunity to attend this part of the world and really have a proper student life. The city is beautiful along with the local people who are more than helpful. The courses are great with people from different cultures and backgrounds interacting with each other. It is certainly a good way to expand your horizon both educationally and socially. Best of all, everyone speaks English, from the very young to the very old!
What are your career aspirations?
Once I\'m done with my education, I plan to work in a small, global company where I can develop my entrepreneurial skills and eventually plan to start my own international company.