Sophia - Stockholm University

B Advanced Business (Honours)
Semester 2, 2022
The Autumn exchange has dramatically broadened my life experiences and exposed me to new opportunities in different places.


I was excited to exchange ideas with different people all over the world and hear their perspectives. Although daunting, situating myself across the opposite side of the world was an achievement that I wished to reach as I wished to expose myself to uncertainties, risks and discomforts. Growing within my career path is essential to me, thus I believed that experiencing studies abroad would only provide benefits to my future academic life.

Personal Development

It goes without saying these 5 months spent abroad in Sweden has been one of the greatest adventures of my life so far. The Autumn exchange has dramatically broadened my life experiences and exposed me to new opportunities in different places. I obtained a massive amount of life and learning experience through my friendships with local students, experiencing cultural insights that I would not have experienced otherwise. International collaboration and understanding were an invaluable contribution to my personal self-development both in education and everyday life.

Academic Development

Although at times, it can be tiresome or challenging attempting to adapt to a new and unusual educational system, particularly with non-native English speakers, however, the weekly lectures and seminars were perfectly informative and provided opportunities to discuss with classmates and explore personal opinions. With a wide range of cultural backgrounds, with students originating from other international universities, my fellow peers were very open and willing to share their perspectives and opinions.

Professional Development

I have learnt the importance of acknowledging your own ignorance as having the opportunity to observe various culture’s ambitions, dreams, or opinions, taught me to embrace complementary differences and similarities. In this way, in a professional development setting, embracing my host universities activities and taking any opportunity to expand my social network within Sweden has led me to consider undertaking future employment opportunities in a foreign country.


For 1 semester, excluding external travel plans made, I spent approximately $12,000. Once I was issued an invoice for my accommodation for the semester, I used an active excel sheet that tracked my weekly expenses to ensure I met my budget. My advice to future students about costs or budgeting is that to fully enjoy your semester abroad, it is worthwhile to ensure you have an extra $2,000-$3,000 spending on hand if required, as often you will organise travels or external trips with friends which will require expenses not originally budgeted for. Weekly Expenses: Accommodation: $166Groceries: $100Transport: $25Events/Socialising: $100


The funding was extremely beneficial towards the experience as the funding received aided in paying the student accommodation fees accumulated for the semester. In this way, I was able to spend the savings I had accumulated for the exchange on other necessary expenses such as transport and weekly groceries.


The accommodation options were presented to me through an email link that was sent once I received confirmation of my admission to Stockholm University. I was living in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom shared corridor room with 9 other students on one level (4 levels approximately were in each building). The building was one of many within an area that mainly consisted of thousands of other international exchange students. The room was spacious and provided everything that I needed for comfort, including a bed, table, desk, chair and storage space. The shared kitchen was kept extremely clean throughout the semester due to delegating weekly cleaning roles and the private bathroom was also highly beneficial in comparison to shared facilities. Living in an area where there are many other students living was a key highlight for me as finding events and socialising with others became easy. Thus, my advice is to always find accommodation surrounded by other university students, even if the quality or conditions may be lower than other offerings.


Personally, it has been one of the most life-altering, impressive and exciting periods of my life. From traveling with friends all over Europe to studying with local students, I have undertaken a semester abroad that has led me to consider a new life path of working and living overseas in Europe. The highlight of my experience occurred once the semester abroad had concluded, whereby I was able to visit the close friends I had made in their home towns as we all gathered once again. Forming international friendships continued to expand opportunities for me post-exchange, not only during my semester abroad. Seeing their families and friends, along with eating home-cooked meals and visiting landmarks, I was able to strengthen the life-long friendships and connections previously formed.

Advice/Top Tips

Participating in an exchange program is extremely rewarding as well as challenging at times, however, it is an unforgettable experience that is not worth missing. The experiences you will fulfil will be unique and incomparable to many opportunities presented throughout a student’s university journey. Although adapting to a new culture presented its own challenges, selecting a host university that is situated in a country where the culture, norms and processes is entirely different to your home university is highly beneficial. Doing this forces you to get comfortable being uncomfortable, and will strengthen your experience adapting to new countries. In saying so, I suggest fully embracing the new culture, such as participating in local activities, trying new foods and seeking community groups. All these factors improved the experience and eased the daunting tasks of adjusting to the new conditions of life away from home sufficiently fast.