Meet Magnus from Germany
Name: Magnus Jalner
Home Country and City: Germany, Freiburg
Home University: University of Applied Sciences Worms
Programme (or major subject) of Study: Economics
Favourite thing about Umeå University: Café Lindell, IKSU
Favourite Swedish word or custom: Precis
Three words to summarise your time in Umeå: Let\'s have Fika.
Why did you choose to study at Umeå University?
Umeå was my choice because I wanted to get a closer relationship with the Scandinavian countries since my father is from Norway. I never really had the chance to visit this country and Umeå was the only cooperation university for my programme in Sweden. Furthermore, Sweden is famous for its higher education system, and since I wanted to improve my English as well as my Swedish knowledge I chose this place. Umeå has a really nice campus, which is completely different to the campuses I have seen in Germany. A lot of international as well as Swedish students are coming together here and the atmosphere is just incredibly awesome. The Swedish way of living was always interesting for me because they don\'t have a formal behaviour like the Germans. Coming to Umeå was actually the best choice for me because even as an exchange student, you have no problem to integrate yourself into the society and learn from the Swedish people.
What do you like most about your programme or courses?
I really like the education system here in Sweden where you are studying one course after another and can concentrate deeply on one topic for five weeks. Furthermore, you have to complete one or two assignments in this period and a take home exam or a written exam at the end of each course. This is completely different to Germany where you are studying six or seven courses at the same time over four months and have an examination period at the end of each semester in which you have to write a lot of exams in a short time. Another impressive fact is that you don\'t have a lot of formal relationships. Thus, it is possible to have a coffee with your teacher and call all your teachers and mostly everyone else by their first name. Another nice thing about Umeå University is the Buddy programme, which helps international students to find new friends and learn in an easy way how to live here. I found a lot of really good friends due to this programme and I can recommend it to everyone.
What do you do when you are not studying?
When I am not studying, I spend a lot of time at IKSU, which is actually the most important activity for most of the students. IKSU is one of the biggest gyms in Europe where you have the possibility to book a lot of courses like football, punching, basketball or any other activities. I really like to book the beach volleyball court with my friend Miguel, who is also my biggest rival, and spend some time in the evening over there. Even if I am not studying I like to spend my time at the university because you always meet someone with whom you can have a fika or just sit outside and enjoying the sun, in case it is not snowing. =) Sometimes during the week and most of the weekends I am going to pubs downtown or on campus. Umeå University has three pubs on campus. Two of them are student pubs and another one is open for everyone. But I prefer to go downtown because most of the Swedish people are going there and you will always meet new people and it\'s a lot of fun.
What has been your most memorable moment so far?
My most memorable moment so far was a trip to Hölmon. This is an island in the west of Umeå. I was there with my buddy group and we had a really good time in a wonderful cabin. We went there on a Saturday morning, really early, and I was really close to miss the trip because of some extraordinary circumstances. =) I am glad that my friends abet me to wake up. The nature on this island is really nice and we spend most of the time outside to hike through the forest or to play ultimate Frisbee. In the evening we had a great party just on our own and a lot of funny things happened but what happens on the island, stays on the island. Overall, it was the best trip here and everyone who joined that trip is still talking about it.
What is your impression of Umeå and the surrounding areas?
The city of Umeå is not a big city but it feels like the students are controlling everything. The average age here is not really high and you feel this atmosphere everywhere. The city is very clean and has some beautiful spots close to the river where you can spend afternoons in the sun. Since I am a big football fan I was trying to find good pubs where you can watch the games. All Stars is a really good place to do that because this pub is similar to the American style of sportsbars. Therefore you can have a nice meal there as well. Also the lake Nydalasjön is a really nice place to hang out or have barbecues. Students who are living in Nydala are very close to it and everyone is going at least one time to the lake because there you have the chance to see the northern lights.
What do you find as the biggest cultural difference, both socially and educationally, from your country with Sweden?
The biggest social difference in my opinion is that people in Sweden are not that jealous compared to Germany. In Germany if someone has a new car or something extraordinary, people start to talk about that person and get really jealous. That is something which makes Germany not really attractive. But here in Sweden people don\'t talk about things like that and maybe think if someone has a new car that he was working hard for it and deserves it now. That makes it really relaxing to live here. The biggest educational difference is the system where you have one course after another and not all courses at the same time. I don\'t think one system is better than the other because both have their advantages and disadvantages. Finally, in Sweden you have a closer relationship to your teachers and that makes it really nice to study here because you always get help and they try to find a solution that fits for both.
What you would say or what advice would you give to another international student thinking of attending Umeå University?
You should definitely go to Umeå. The campus, the people, the landscape, everything is just impressive and awesome. The place is nice in summer and in winter as well. It is just a big difference from any winter experiences I made in Germany before. In Umeå everything is working even if there are three metres of snow. The relationship between the students is really close and almost everyone knows each other and there is always something to do during the weekend. And for sporty people IKSU is a nice opportunity to practise their favourite sport or try something new.
What are your career aspirations?
After my studies I want to work for a football club in the marketing section because then I can combine my passions and work with both of them. My favourite sport is football and I am really interested in marketing during my studies. It is my dream to reach that target.