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"Be open-minded and step outside your comfort zone"

Szu Chi from Taiwan studied at Umeå University during the Spring 2023 semester. She appreciated the change to learn different perspectives from students all around the world.

Why did you choose Umeå University?

Living in Europe was always on my bucket list, integrated safety considerations, cultural landscape, languages and living quality, Sweden is one of the few options left. The main reasons why I chose Umeå University are the buddy programme organized by the university, which is strongly recommended by the other students from my home university. Also, there is not much chance to live so close to the Arctic Circle in my life, it is a whole new experience for people who come from tropical countries like me!

What do you like most about your studies in Umeå?

There are a lot of places to study and relax, except for the library at the university, and tables around the campus, there are also a lot of places like the tables surrounding the lake, bench beside the main river at the city centre and grasses all around the city.

What is one difference between education in your home country and education in Sweden?

Big difference! In Umeå I only need to focus on two to three courses each semester, I can spend more time studying these courses, but in my home university, I have to take around six to eight courses at the same time. There is also more seminars here, so it's a good chance to share different POVs from students all around the world.

What has been the most challenging aspect of your exchange experience?

The content is very different, as the education system and content are different from what I experienced, some knowledge or concepts is common for others, but it's new to me, so it takes more time to catch up.

What has been the most memorable moment so far?

The first time I saw the Aurora, the night was wonderful and incredible when the Aurora was 'dancing' in the night sky. Really amazing!

What do you do when you are not studying?

There are a lot of things I can do, I enjoy walking or biking around the city, picnicking beside the lake, hanging out with friends and sketching in the city centre etc. Having an 'international dinner' is also a thing that I would do when I'm not studying, it's exciting to taste and share homemade food from different countries.

What are your favourite spots around Umeå and/or campus?

Lake Nydalasjön!!! It is a fantastic place for a variety of activies. Whether you want to hang out with friends, chase the aurora, cross-country ski in winter, do SUP in summer, or just walking in the trees, the lake offers a wonderful sedng for all these experiences.

What will you miss most about studying here at Umeå University?

The strong connetion between students, the study environment on campus, and the opportunity to have re-exams!!!

What would you say or what advice would you give to another international student thinking of atending Umeå University?

Be open-minded and try as much things you want to, step outside your comfort zone. But also keep in mind that you have the right to say "yes" or "no" to any things, don't feel too much pressure to get to know new people, just go with that way you feel good! 

Name: Szu Chi, Chen (Una)
Home University: National Taiwan University
Major subject of study: Anthropology, Archaeology
Favourite Swedish word: Lagom & Allemansrätten
Favourite custom in Sweden: Fika!!!
Three words to best summarise your time in Umeå:
Unforgettable. Nature. Eye-opening. 

Further information

Buddy programme

Be part of a multicultural community engaging hundreds of students.

Experience Umeå!

Here are the top 10 reasons to live and study in Umeå.

Published: 2023-06-02