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Shingai Douglas Gwatidzo

Why did you choose to study at Umeå University?

The university has an excellent reputation (for a few years running) for the most satisfied International students and with such a reputation, it was without doubt that my satisfaction as an International student would be guaranteed.

What do you like most about your study programme?

The cultural and educational diversity of the students in my programme offers a rich "Smörgåsbord" of knowledge and expertise. This has given me an opportunity to appreciate the importance of multidisciplinary team working and collaboration when addressing global health issues.

What do you do when you are not studying?

I try to maintain a healthy social life through FIKA (which I have grown to appreciate the importance of to Swedes and never to turn down an invitation), IKSU and the occasional night out with friends.

What has been your most memorable moment so far?

The day I learnt how to ski! As an adrenaline junkie, this was my chance to embrace the cold Swedish weather and try something new. It has since become my obsession so I definitely cannot wait for the next winter.

What is your impression of Umeå and the surrounding areas?

I was pretty impressed with the mix of modern architecture/art and the beautiful picturesque surroundings of Umeå i.e. from the Sculpture Park, the art exhibitions and Lake Nydala. All this offers a conducive atmosphere for studying as well as relaxing and maintaining a healthy social life.

What do you find as the biggest cultural difference, both socially and educationally, from your country with Sweden?

Socially, in Sweden it might be an unwritten rule but it is important to observe one's personal space and not seemingly appear as invading one's privacy. Whereas in Zimbabwe, you could smile at someone one minute and the next minute they are asking about your family tree. Education wise, more flexible and offers an opportunity to maximise one's potential.

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

Don't think twice about applying and Välkommen till det bästa universitetet i Sverige!!

Favourite thing about Umeå University:
Everything I need I find it in close proximity

Favourite Swedish word or custom:
Bra jobbat!! Crayfish party

Three words to summarise your time in Umeå:
Epic, Exhilarating, Awesome

Shingai Douglas Gwatidzo
Where are you from?
Zimbabwe, Harare