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My original plan was to do one semester abroad and so I decided to go to Linnaeus University. After spending a first month there, I decided to stay for one more exchange semester – and now I am doing my entire 2 year master programme there. And here comes why:
Linnaeus university is a young and very innovative university. There are nearly endless possibilities of programmes and courses to take, and also additional courses, open lectures, trainings, and workshops.
The university is located outside of the city center of Växjö, but therefore they built an entire campus there, with most of the students living directly there. All university buildings are very close by, and so are the library, 3 student pubs, a gym, small grocery stores, cafés, restaurants, and other food places. Larger grocery stores as well as a fast food restaurant are located directly next to campus. You can even find an outdoor gym, tennis courts and sports fields on campus. Even though there are many university buildings and student housings, there are small parks and forests on campus – and even a castle. A lake is close by and the busses take off every 10 minutes to bring you to the city center. But you can also take your bike or simply walk there.
The quality of the lectures I attended was really high, the lecturers were friendly and understanding, and the classes are with a maximum of 30 students really small, which makes it easy to follow the lecture and to ask questions.
The study system at the university is completely different to the study system I was used to in Germany. Throughout a semester there are 4 modules. 1 module is taken for 5 weeks, in which you have lectures, usually write a small group paper and usually there is an exam at the end of the course. This system makes it really easy to follow and to be well-prepared for the exam, as everything is building up on each other. When attending the lectures, you can find out which field of the module you are most interested in. You can pick this field for your paper. For writing the paper you need to understand the topic in depth and do research. And this is the perfect preparition for the exam. So it is not necessary to spend plenty of time studying by your own as you already learn a lot by just attending the lectures and writing your paper. The instructions are really clear and the lecturers are understanding. Which means, when you’re struggling to complete an assignment, they will assist you and take your personal background into account.
For the exams there is plenty of time and they mostly consist of open questions, where you cannot just copy-paste what you have learned in the lectures, but you need apply that knowledge to answer the question. There is enough time, so when being well-prepared you should be able to pass the exam with a good grade. The grading for all kinds of assignments appeared to be pretty fair to me.
When studying on your own, you can access the very modern and large library with different spaces. So you can choose to sit with your friends or be in a quiet room. There are also lots of well-equiped rooms for group works and when you want to have fika with some friends, there is a café located in the same building. The library has an immense amount of literature present and the online library is very extensive as well. To nearly every topic you can find literature there. When the library is closed, you can just access one of the university buildings and study there. There are special rooms for particular study fields, for example a workshop for the design students, computer rooms, language laboratories, and video conference rooms.
Also, the services provided by the university are amazing. They have long opening hours and help with nearly every kind of question. They also answer very fast via email. There are several offices for particular issues, for example the International Office, an info desk, a student welfare office, etc. There are even free language courses you can take. And so many interesting additional lectures and seminars that you won’t be able to attend everything.
Also studying there as an English speaking student is no problem at all. The staff and lecturers all speak English, they offer multiple courses and programmes in English, and most of the literature is available in English as well.
Because of the study system, you can be flexible with the courses you take and there are several retries after the module in case you did not manage to pass an exam in the first try. And there is a possibility to switch modules or take a semester off, or do an internship, etc.
As nearly all students live on campus or close by, the student community is really strong. It is so easy to fix appointments with friends short-term, everyday there is a party or some group activity to attend, and the associations and nations on campus also offer a lot of different trips and events.
Also the atmosphere on campus is really good. Everyone is friendly, ready to help each other out, etc.
The only problem at this university is the housing situation. Especially in the autumn semester it is really hard to find an apartment on campus, as there is limited space available. But in case you cannot find an apartment on campus, the student union will assist you, there are several possibilities to live close by as private people subrent rooms, and worst case there is even an emergency housing provided.
I can honestly recommend studying at Linnaeus University to everyone. It is a great experience to study there and to be part of the student life and to experience the nearly endless possibilities you have. Also I really felt that the university and all its institutions tries to help and support their students as much as possible to make their studies and their stay there as smooth and easy as it could be while offering high-quality programmes and courses.
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