Hi! My name is Barbora, and I'm the student ambassador for the Master's programme in Media and Communication Studies. 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.
About the programme and the teaching style
How did you find out about this programme?
"When I was choosing this programme, I already knew Lund because of my previous programme – Master’s of International Marketing and Brand Management. The reason why I came back was that I really liked it here, so it was a very straightforward choice for me. I had very high expectations of the quality of the education, and I had a very good experience there, so I thought why try something new? Why go to some new place when I just know that I would feel good here!"
Why did you choose this programme?
"I was looking for a programme that would not be related to marketing anymore because I wanted to change my specialisation a little bit, but I still didn't want it to be something super random and super out of my area. That's why I felt the Media and Communication programme could be similar enough for me to be able to navigate it, but different enough that I could experience new things and dive into some new waters."
What do you think about your programme so far?
"I think it is pretty much what I expected. I have to say that it is a different experience from my previous degree, but I expected the programme to be quite theoretical and that's also why I chose it in the first place. I was interested in doing a PhD and I wanted to get a programme that is more leaning towards that rather than practical communications skills. I have met some very great teachers who helped me understand a lot of new things and see things very differently."
What is the best thing about your programme?
"The fact that you can work on a really broad variety of things based on what you're interested in, so it's not a very narrow view of Media and Communications. It also deals with power relations a lot, politics and value judgments. I feel that the programme is trying to make us think critically and understand the world from a different perspective from what we might maybe have in our heads already."
Why should prospective students choose this programme?
"It can really broaden your horizons and make you think in ways that you never even expected or knew that they existed. It definitely is a programme that will help you get an academic career. So if prospective students are interested in doing a PhD, that's definitely the programme for them! The fact that you can really work on whatever you're interested in, whether it’s popular culture, movies, gaming, social media or political communication. It really gives you so many opportunities to write your essays about whatever you are interested in."
What is your favourite course and why?
"My favourite course must have been Media and Communication Methodology because I like research a lot. It is a very interesting course, even if you don't necessarily want to be a researcher. It is about the philosophy of how to do science and I think it was super interesting to see that maybe the way science is done should not always be taken for granted. There are so many different ways you can do science that help you see inequalities that you maybe would not see if you did science the way that many universities are doing it at the moment. And if I were to choose from the theory courses, Media and Political Engagement was very interesting. It was about how new media and social media platforms help engagement in politics in all sorts of ways, whether it is activism or how politicians use media to communicate with us or even how media themselves change the landscape of politics."
Have you been able to gain any practical experience during your studies so far?
"We have an internship period which can be up to one whole semester in the third semester, so the next semester for me now. Although this programme is rather theoretical, you still do get practical skills in doing research. It depends on your career ideas and even if you don't want to be a researcher, you can still use the knowledge of how to do research interviews or text analysis. These are things you can use when you work in communication or in media and creative industries. So it's not really media production skills in terms of making clips, movies or podcasts, but we do practise how to research them."
What do you think of the teaching style?
"I like it because it's a flat hierarchy. You feel like there is not a huge barrier between you and the teacher and you can approach them whenever you have a question or concern. I feel that they are always helpful and open to questions. I also feel that they genuinely want to know our feedback on their teaching and on the course as a whole, which I really appreciate."
How “international” is your programme?
"I don't remember the exact numbers, but there are 30-something people in our programme and there are around 20 nationalities from all continents! And the beautiful part is that despite being from different parts of the world we are still quite similar! It really shows how all our differences are not as important as we think. There are more similarities between us than differences and I think this is one of the biggest takeaways from studying in Lund in general."
Thoughts on being an international student at Lund, spare time, Sweden and tips for prospective students
What it is like to be an international student at Lund University?
"I want to say easy because so much information is provided in English, which means you do not need to speak Swedish to get around. This is the case for most people everywhere, even in your everyday activities like going to the store or going to the doctor. It is easy to communicate with people and feel at home, so I think it's really a good place for international students. There are also so many opportunities to find international friends. International students have a huge community and I got to know so many people. It’s really easy to socialise, nobody has to be afraid to come here or they will have trouble finding friends. The university does a lot to make international students meet other students, make them network and find friends because it's not always easy to be an international student in a country abroad."
What do you do in your spare time?
"I'm thinking of joining some student associations here. I spend most of my time reading but there are definitely many more opportunities. I like going to the 'Nations' with my friends and hanging out. Being a Lund University Ambassador is also very rewarding."
Do you have any advice for other students that are considering coming to Lund?
"I think they should just try things because they might be surprised at what they will find out on the way. Do not be afraid of anything because you can always find help with anything. I really appreciate that everybody is helpful: your teachers, your programme coordinator, your friends, the university’s health services. So if people might be a little bit insecure about whether they should come or not, I would say they should definitely come because this is the best place to experience international studies even if you're a little bit afraid of it."
What surprised you the most about Sweden/Swedes?
"I would say that the biggest and most pleasant surprise is how polite everybody is. People do not rush everywhere, they are very calm and don't get openly angry that easily. It’s nice to be around them, it's a very calm atmosphere to walk around the city. Where I come from, people are not always this way, everybody is rushing and is a little bit annoyed all the time. Here it's very nice. and I would say this was very surprising to me in a good way. I feel like Swedes know how to enjoy life, they take time to celebrate things, to enjoy the sun when the sun is out, they just take time to enjoy!"
Future plans and career preparation
What are you planning to do after your studies?
"I'm thinking of doing a PhD, but that's not sure yet and it might take some time before you get a position. In the meantime, I'm thinking of working maybe in an NGO in some communication position or maybe something related to politics."
To what extent does your degree programme prepare you for a career in your field?
"If I do the PhD, that's very straightforward because the programme is very research-oriented and very much theory-oriented. It helps me understand how research should be done, which is a huge part of one’s academic career. But if I work in an NGO or in a political organisation, the programme would have helped me to see inequalities. I think that the Social Sciences faculty is where you get to understand, and it can help anybody even in their personal development to have more empathy for others. It might help you understand the world around you better and the people around you better."
Have more questions for Barbora?
You can chat with her and other current students directly via Unibuddy by clicking the card below.