4. Study at University: Interview with International Coordinator Holly Xiao

The first interview in our podcast! In the future there will be many more interviews to come.

Holly Xiao, 肖书媛 came to Sweden 2009 and studied as a exchange student for two years. She has a master degree in intentional business and now works at University West as a International Coordinator. Her main job is to take care of Chinese exchange students.

What kind of help international can Office do for newly arrived students?
– Pickup service upon arrival day
– International helpdesk
– 3 Introduction days
– Accommodation
– General information
– Show around town

How is it like to study in Sweden in comparison to China?
– Sweden has group assignment
– Few hours study but many books to read
– More self study
– More about using information and giving your own idea.
– Cooperate not compete

Exams
– Exams after course is finished compared to China where all exams are at the same time in the end if the term
– Too long time at examination days, 4-5 hours, normally it just takes 2 hours. (Can also bring food, drink and go to toilet)
– Questions is to see you get the general idea and can use your knowledge.

English level
– Many Chinese people are shy and afraid to speak
– Can improve if you just keep on trying
– Can understand and follow just difficult during the first weeks

Hollys personal opinions about Sweden after living here during 4 years:
-People are really enjoying their life’s here.
– Job is not everything
– Don’t live in a frame, take things more as they comes (Compare this to China where some people already plans what they will do when they are 20, 30, or even 40 and so on)
– Enjoy your spare time a lot
– Good working conditions with long vacation of 5 weeks

How to make more friends here:
-Take the initiative
– Be brave
– Invite people over for dinner
– Swedish people are also shy

How to survive winter in Sweden:
– Not that cold compared to China
– Darkness is the worst part
– Have a strong heart, make a lot of friends and have lots of activities

The biggest problems for exchange students during their studies:
– To integrate in the Swedish society even though is has been some positive progress the last couple of years.

– Don’t forget to bring insurance paper to hospital. If you didn’t bring and paid international office help you get your money back from insurance company.

– In China people are used to take medicine when sick. In Sweden the doctor can tell you to go home and rest for some days.

– People forget to register to the exams and then they have to take next exam instead. Register at least 3 weeks before the examination day.

– Some students can’t get their deposit for their apartment back and it’s because they don’t clean well. Sweden is a very clean country.

– In general Swedish people greet friends with a hug. Once again Swedish people are also shy, in this aspect Swedes are similar to Chinese people.

Final Notes:

WeChat ID: “Welcome_Sweden”
QQzone: 中国留学生在瑞典

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