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Published: 13 Apr, 2021

Why should you study at Umeå University?

PROFILE 2020 was a record year for the total number of students at Umeå University. Current students Almy, Moa and Simon say that it was a spontaneous decision to apply to the university, and distance learning and the lack of social interaction hasn’t stopped them from following their dreams. “I was sick of my previous job and I wanted to try something that I’ve never done before,” says Almy Kjellberg Olofsson.

Text: Maja Wik

Moving to Umeå and starting university studies was an impulsive decision for Almy, who wanted to get away from her everyday life in the big city of Stockholm. A longing for the life of a student, trying something new and being closer to nature was decisive in her decision to move up north and enrolling in the bachelor’s programme in strategic communication.

Almy began the autumn term with traditional on campus-based studies, but after a while the decision was made that the campus would shut down and she became a distance student like everyone else.

“Sure, everyday life can be a little boring and I’m longing for social life, and I miss the falafel wrap in the Humanities Building that makes my days better,” she says.

Having set plans

Things that help Almy during this challenging time is to have set plans for the day. Exercising has become a way to start the day to find the motivation to study.

How do you retain your motivation?
- I like to reward myself with sweets, or talk to my classmates about the assignments to be able to help each other.

Almy is happy with her choice to move to Umeå for studies. She’s very grateful about the fact that Umeå offers wonderful nature and access to excellent gyms and outdoor life. She’s also pleased about how the professors have responded during this situation and that they’re doing the best they can for their students.

Almy Kjellberg Olofsson

Age: 21 years old
Studying: Bachelor’s Programme in Strategic Communication
From: Stockholm
Hobbies: Exercising, music and cooking
Favourite snack food: Ice cream, All sorts!

Moa Hjorth from Borlänge, Dalarna, was all set on a sabbatical year filled with working and orienteering after high school before it was time to apply to the master of science programme in engineering physics. But the pandemic happened, the orienteering competitions were cancelled and it was more difficult to get a job. Therefore, Moa felt that it was better to apply for university studies directly after high school.

“I’ve visited Umeå once before and I remember thinking that the city was cozy and perfectly sized, and then I realized that I wanted to study here”, she says and also explained that she liked that it was close to fantastic places outdoors for orienteering along with good winters with opportunities to go skiing.

I’m impressed by the great dedication that all the students and the teachers have.

Moa feels that she truly has found the right programme for her and the right city to study in, and there hasn’t been any difficulty to keep her motivation level high. But she tries to recreate a normal school day at home so she can be effective with her home studies. Moa explains that the best part about the university is the unity, and the campus is cohesive and located in the same place unlike other universities.

"I’m impressed by the great dedication that all the students and the teachers have, in spite that everything is done online," says Moa. She also explains that the education is of high quality and that she learns a lot from her teachers.

Moa Hjorth

Age: 20 years old
Studies: Master of Science Programme in Engineering Physics
From: Borlänge
Hobbies: Orienteering, skiing, outdoor life
Favourite snack food: Popcorn

Simon Högdahl has wanted to study for a long time but never really figured out what he wanted to be. His prior experience of working in a store as a salesman made him realize that it’s more about helping than selling, and he thought it was really fun to meet so many different people. That’s when he started thinking about becoming a social worker. Simon grew up in Umeå and is thankful to study in his hometown so that he can be close to his family.

“The best thing about Umeå is that the people here have good values,” he says. Simon thinks that Umeå is a safe city and that it’s reassuring to live so close to friends and family.

Thankful to be able to study

When I asked Simon if he has any tips or tricks for prospective students, he laughs and tells me that he is the one who needs advice.

“But it’s always ideal to study well in advance and not wait until the last second. I’ve learned that lesson by experience.

I miss sitting together with my classmates and having discussions.

Simon usually sleeps in late in the mornings, and then he studies as long as he can manage.

“I think it’s okay with distance learning. Obviously, I would much rather meet my classmates, as I miss sitting together with them and having discussions”, he says. But he also says that he’s grateful for the opportunity to study with virtual meetings.

Simon Högdahl

Age: 29 years old
Studies: Bachelor of Science in Social Work
From: Umeå
Hobbies: Exercising and music
Favourite snack food: Varies all the time, but "West Coast" potato crisps are good