– I came here directly after receiving my Bachelor's degree in Water Resources Engineering from Hawassa University, Ethiopia. I am now doing my second degree at the International Business Programme, in Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics (Umeå University). I am now on the way to join the real world. did you choose to enrol in your degree programme at Umeå University?
– I realized that I am interested in Business and Economics while I was in engineering school. I wanted to study that outside of my country in order to expand my world view and to get the other world experience. Then I found out where the prestigious universities in Europe were especially in Sweden. Afterwards I began looking for courses and programmes to start my application process and I found the International Business Program in Umeå University and then chose it as my first choice since it was quite suited with my interest.
What do you like most about your programme?
– In my point of view the International Business Programme will lead you to understand the international business environment in a simple way. Since the programme consists of a variety of courses it gives you a chance to understand different disciplines in a single package. It makes you multidimensional in your business and economics knowledge and as a plus; the programme coordinator is amazing with her amazing support to all of the students.
What is the most interesting thing you learned in your programme or courses so far?
– My programme gives me a ground for continuous inspiration, nurturance & motivation to take part in the business environment, which is really great. A learning experience that has been quite awesome is having direct conversations with the professors in the middle or after lectures. What's more, it's so interesting to listen to different international student's perspectives while in group discussions or in seminars on a given topic. This makes me being able to conquer all the above multi-skills, to embrace and enhance my confidence in the business arena, both in the presence and in my future professional endeavour as an entrepreneur.
What do you do when you are not studying?
– While I was back home I participated in a lot of extra-curriculum activities that made me develop and enrich versatile skills. Since I joined Umeå University I have got the chance to actively participate in vibrant student forums like Association of International affairs (UPF) and Amnesty International, those are only a few on the list. Plus the Buddy group activities have let me to have a lot of international friends from all over the world.
What is your impression of Umeå and the surrounding areas?
– Umeå is a typical student city, neither quite big nor small, and it's a highly environmental or eco-friendly city. I am impressed with the municipality, of how hard they are working, to make the city much better for the residents and students. I was proud to be here while Umeå was inaugurated to be the European Capital of Culture 2014 and I am glad to get a chance to be the Ambassador of Umeå in this historical event. It is an honour for me, as it shows how much the city is open for international students and appreciates diversity.
What do you find as the biggest cultural difference, both socially and educationally, from your country with Sweden?
– In my perspective the most visible difference is that Swedish people are independent; but after they know you, they will be more socializing and welcoming. Educationally, of course Umeå University offers a world class education. A main difference in the curriculum from Ethiopia is that student's take a single course at the time, not simultaneously with other courses, and the courses are comprised of more practical based exercises and assignments. It leads to increase the student's efficiency in a specific course at the time of studying. I believe this is a great system for students and I have already experienced the benefits of it.
What you would say or what advice would you give to another international student thinking of attending Umeå University?
– Come and enjoy your abroad experience as a student in Umeå. Don't be too afraid of the weather as it's also part of your new adventure with luxurious school facilities.
What are your career aspirations?
– I want to join a business world to create value using my educational background.