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Meet Niklas from Germany

How was your first time here in Umeå? Moving to a new city, starting a new program?
I arrived in Umeå on a rainy Monday in August after three days of driving, a night on a ferry I almost missed, because I managed to lock my keys inside the car and the first thing was paying a fortune for parking downtown. All in all, I had no idea, how the next months, maybe years would look like. However, I was very lucky that I was meeting up with another student, who would study BDI program as well. He gave me a small tour around town, had a very nice conversation about how he got here and decided to meet again soon. We´re still friends today!

Nevertheless, after the lectures started and having met a lot of new people (and the weather becoming sunny and nice again), Umeå became more inviting. Especially after having settled the housing issues, I could finally start to enjoy my time up here.

What did you study before you come here?
I got a Bachelor degree in International Business Administration (with a major in logistics). After I graduated I worked as a procurement manager for a FMCG company as well as in Sales within the e-commerce sector.

How did you find housing?
At first through Facebook, since I did not have enough queuing time on Bostaden. Unfortunately, the systems are very strict, so it's more than just tricky to find something. Actually, it looked like I would be homeless after the first two weeks. Luckily, I eventually found a room, since I was very close to giving up and going home.

How do you like Umeå? What is best with Umeå?
Sometimes I miss a buzzing city with lots of bars and cafés. But I must admit that Umeå has its very own charm. I love to have a nice Lunch at Köksbaren every now and then; or having a beer with friends in one of the bars downtown. But the best about Umeå is the different people you can meet. No matter if Swedish or International, most people are very open and it's great to hear their stories.

How do you like your program?
The BDI Program is very interesting, especially when working together in teams. My teammates couldn´t have been more diverse and it was great fun to see how different people are approaching different tasks.

What is best?
The classmates from all over the world.

What has been the hardest?
The huge amount of scientific articles could bore you to death. It's important to motivate yourself and go through them anyways. Having a Bachelor of Arts, it was sometimes hard to move away from practical tasks and questions and to dig into the literature.

Which modules have been most interesting?
My absolute favourite so far was Strategizing in Business Development. We were working together with a local Gas Station Company trying to implement some strategic changes. Therefore, we could apply our knowledge to a „live"-case and learnt a lot about working in (and with) a Swedish company as well.

How does the contact with the teachers work?
Mostly, very uncomplicated. If you have a question, you can ask your teachers directly.

Have you been on exchange studies abroad within the program or are you planning to apply?
I´m currently working on my application for studying abroad. If everything works as planned, I hope to get the chance to go to France for a Dual-Degree -Program

Have you done an internship or are you planning to?
In a few weeks, I will start an internship at one of the world´s leading providers of airline catering.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my free time I either like to cook with friends or to discover Västerbotten. Sometimes I was surprised by how many different things you can find up here, which you would have never expected. Reaching from all kinds of winter activities, to Rally sport or just discovering the surroundings. I´m probably one of the very few people who do not have an IKSU card. But I´m still alive (to everyone who tried to convince me during the last months!!).

Do you have any advice to students thinking about coming here to study?
The first weeks might be tough, especially concerning housing! But hang in there! Even if you feel like there is no way you're going to pass a module, find an apartment, handle the cold or the dark, keep in mind you're not alone! You are not the first to be confronted with those issues and you won´t be the last. However, if you manage to handle all those issues, you will have a awesome and unforgettable time up here.

Niklas Wolf
Varifrån kommer du?
Frankfurt, Germany
Var bor du?
Ålidhem, like most internationals