Nur from Indonesia
How did you find out about your programme?
"First, when I did my Bachelor’s in Sociology I was working as a research assistant at a university in Indonesia. I was looking for a Master’s degree in Sociology. I specifically searched for programmes offered in Europe. Then I found some programmes that captured my interest, one of them being the Sociology programme at Lund. What I like most about this programme is that its content matches my future career goals. That’s why I ended up here."
What do you love the most about your programme?
"It's not just the courses that I like, but it's also the interactions between the lecturers and the students. The interactions are not that rigid as compared to my schooling in Indonesia. It's new to me. It gives me a lot of opportunities to grow as a person and to grow as a social researcher. The professors make me believe that I am capable of being a social researcher. They guide me in a non-hierarchical way, it's a great learning opportunity."
What advice would you give to someone in Indonesia who wants to study at Lund?
"I would like to tell them: be organised and have a plan when you come to study. Lund University is a very independent learning environment. The specific courses and paths you want to take are up to you. There are so many courses – both methodological and theoretical. If you don't have a specific study plan then you might get overwhelmed. Trust yourself, let yourself grow. Learn within this new education system - it's totally different from Indonesia."
How is the system of education different in Lund from Indonesia?
"In Indonesia, we don't do one course at a time like in Sweden. During a semester in Indonesia, we would have three or four courses at a time which is a lot. It’s a new way of learning. Sometimes we need to adjust ourselves to the new system. I think it makes things easier here at Lund since we focus on one course at a time."
What is it like to be in such an international classroom at Lund?
"Oh wow! It's interesting. We have a lot of group work here at Lund, which is always going to be an interesting experience because we have a variety of people from around the world. We all have different backgrounds and yet working together is going to enrich each of us. The ways in which we approach the issues in sociology are very different, but learning how other people solve problems can be a benefit. However, sometimes we have challenges and some days the way we want to work, or the way we want to solve our cases sometimes diverge. But that is your opportunity to grow! To learn and work together, in an international environment is a challenge, but it's worth the struggle!"
What do you do in your spare time at Lund?
"I gather with a small group of friends that I study with. Sometimes we have potluck dinners. The East Asian Student Association is also very helpful to help us adjust to this new environment. I have a great network of friends through that association. I also often gather with my neighbours to have dinner or explore Lund together. I live in an international student house, so it's quite active. There’s always something going on."
What surprised you most about Sweden?
"Before I got here, I expected that Swedes would be very cold and not very welcoming. But then I met my friends from my programme who are very helpful and very welcoming. They aren’t cold at all. We work together and there isn’t a communication problem. Whenever I needed help from the Swedes, they helped me. The reality versus what I thought are very contradictory."
What are your plans after you finish your studies?
"One of the main reasons I have studied in Lund is that the method courses that are offered in this programme are helping me to become a social researcher back in Indonesia. I want to enrich myself and sharpen my skills in social research because I want to be a professional social researcher."
Does the Sociology programme at Lund help you follow your plans after your studies?
"Yes! There are so many method courses available here at Lund. If I could take all the courses, I would. I can only take so many, but they are all very useful. I also use the opportunity to exchange knowledge with my friends. We share our experiences and our knowledge with each other. It's a way to both connect with my friends and gain some knowledge that can help me in my career at the same time."