Blog post by Alice Wojcik
I left Bristol six weeks ago to move to Sweden and study a masters course in Environmental Communications and Management. After graduating from a journalism degree in July 2017 and working as a reporter for a few months, I decided that I wanted to focus on environmental issues and climate change as these are topics that I am deeply interested in.
Sweden is a great place to study the environment because it is a very eco-friendly country and respecting nature is just a way of life here. Being a student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), I definitely fit right in with my reusable coffee cup, veggie lunches and second-hand clothes.
It is a great experience to study with like-minded people with such different backgrounds. I have definitely learnt a lot from my classmates as this course is very international and has a mixture of natural scientists and social scientists.
So far I have learnt about different communicative theories and how collaboration and facilitation can help environmental problems. Later on we will also be doing field work, research projects and studying conflict and democracy. The course is very much a social science with a focus on the environment, rather than an environmental science.
The teaching style here is a good mixture of theory and practical learning. There is a lot of reading to do at home but in the lectures there is group work, role plays and many discussions. The lectures are relaxed and open, many of my fellow students were used to sitting in a huge lecture hall and just taking notes as the professor talked, so it took a while for them to settle in to this way of learning.
SLU is a very small university in a city called Uppsala, which is only 30 minutes from Stockholm and also home to the oldest university in Sweden, Uppsala university. On the website, http://www.slu.se, it says: “SLU contributes to an ecologically, socially and financially sustainable development. Environmental thinking and environmental aspects are integrated in all decision-making and are part of all activities within SLU’s organisational units.”
I chose to study in Sweden because I was interested in the country, I wanted to challenge myself by moving abroad and also – the education is completely free. When I graduated from my bachelors I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do a masters because I didn’t want to add to my debt. However, many European universities offer free courses to EU nationals, including SLU, which is amazing. I do not know if this will be affected when the UK leaves the European Union, so if you are interested, I would advise doing it as soon as possible!
Sweden has started to become my home and living here is an incredible experience. The surroundings are beautiful, cycling around is so safe and easy and everyone is very friendly. Just last weekend I did a three day kayak/camping trip around the archipelago islands and it was breathtaking! Swedes are also obsessed with ‘fika’ which is basically just having coffee and cake with friends, and I have fully embraced this cultural tradition.
I would strongly recommend looking into studying in Sweden to anyone who is interested in environmental issues and wants to experience Scandinavian life.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also be relaunching my blog and posting updates there: https://everchanging172.wordpress.com
We met Alice when she used to come to our monthly Bristol Young Women Catalyst Meet-ups, would you like to join us? Join via this link https://www.meetup.com/Bristol-Young-Women-Catalyst-Meetup/