Hi! My name is Vappu and I'm the student ambassador for the Master's programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about the programme, courses, student life, and life in Lund and Sweden via the Unibuddy Platform, where you can chat with me (see below). Please note that I cannot answer questions about the application process, scholarships, or residence permits.
Why did you choose Lund University?
"I chose Lund University primarily because of my interest in the programme (Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science, a.k.a. LUMES) itself. After completing my Bachelor’s degree in public administration, I knew I wanted to specialise in sustainability but in a science-oriented and multidisciplinary fashion to get a more comprehensive understanding of the various complexities of environmental issues; hence LUMES seemed like the perfect option. Moreover, I wanted to move to a place that is not only truly international but is also a student city with rich student life and opportunities. Additionally, the fact that Lund University is known for its high-quality research and education also motivated me to come here."
What are your first impressions of your programme? Does it meet your expectations?
"So far, LUMES has been nothing short of amazing. Already within the first eight weeks we have touched upon so many different aspects of sustainability and have learned about a large variety of environmental issues, which has taken me by surprise. However, I was not expecting to have as many lectures as we do, although I view it as a positive thing as they not only complement the readings and assignments, but they also give a clear baseline understanding of that day’s topic. Moreover, I think we have a very strong community feeling at LUCSUS (our research institute, the ‘headquarters’ of LUMES) amongst students (between first- and second-year students) as well as staff. I feel like everybody truly looks after one another and helps each other out. All in all, LUMES has met my expectations, and I truly feel like I am in the right programme for me with inspiring, like-minded people."
What have been the highlights of your first months in Lund?
"The main highlight has been our field trip to Breanäs as a part of the first course in my programme. Not only did we get the opportunity to apply the acquired knowledge ‘out there’ in practice, but I also felt it was a wholesome bonding experience between everyone that brought us all closer together. In addition to this, other highlights include getting to experience my first ‘sittning’, joining a choir and meeting new people there, going to an extremely fun karaoke night at Smålands (one of the many Student Nations), and attending big events, such as the Malmö Festival, Kulturnatten, and the Alnarp Harvest Fest."
What do you think of the teaching style in Sweden?
"So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Swedish teaching style. In my personal experience, most people tend to study from morning until sometime in the afternoon, which leaves the evening free for you to do whatever you want or need: to socialise, do sports, join student activities and events, or just simply to relax. Therefore, the Swedish concept of ‘lagom’ (‘not too much, not too little’) is very prominent and I feel contributes to a healthy work-life balance. Furthermore, what has been a very positive surprise is the emphasis on understanding the big picture, on having space for your own critical thinking, and on group learning. I’ve felt that these aspects have contributed to better learning outcomes for me, as opposed to memory-based and individual learning, which most of my previous education has consisted of."
How international is your programme?
"In general, LUMES is a very international programme. My ‘batch’ (meaning the specific admitted group each year) consists of 59 students, me included, from more than 24 different countries from almost all continents. However, the most popular nationalities across the most recent LUMES batches tend to be German, Danish, Hungarian and Italian."
What are you most looking forward to in your programme?
"I am most looking forward to learning more about sustainability and environmental issues from points of view that I did not get to explore in my previous studies. Since LUMES aims to provide a holistic, adequate, and multifaceted view of sustainability, I believe this will help me tackle environmental issues better in my future jobs and career in general. Furthermore, I am also very excited about all the group assignments to come. Since we come from many different countries and from a variety of backgrounds, I feel group projects are an exciting opportunity for peer learning and exchanging different types of knowledge, whether that be academic, practical, or personal."
Stay tuned! A more comprehensive testimonial from this student will be published once they have completed their first semester at Lund and have more insights to share about their programme.
Have more questions for Vappu?
You can chat with her/them and other current students directly via Unibuddy by clicking the card below.