Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hello again!

After a short break, a little update, If your curiosity is not satisfied yet with information provided on this blog, and you'd like to read something more (or just simply somebody's else opinion) don't hesitate to visit this website:

It is made by another student living in Borlange, Olga. It is really worth visiting and full of information. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


To make your look at Dalarna University more differential, we prepared short interviews.

First, with Anita Purcell Sjölund, lecturer at Dalarna University. 

Budding Borlnge: What is your style of teaching?
APS: It is something could be called experiential method learning. And basically it is where you learn by doing. And another style is problem based learning. Where through activities you are presented with the problem and through activities you work to solve the problem. So I am putting the theory into practice. The ideal is not to teach you the theory in seminars, in the sense that I would stand in lecture. But to put the material up before the seminar, so that you could read that.  And then come to seminar and do activities so that you can practice the theory and find the advantages and disadvantages of the theory.  So it is problem based learning and experiential learning methods.
The thing with tourism course is that a lot of it is some communication techniques, presentation and so on. I can stand there and teach the theory of communication but then it wouldn’t be effective. So in another words, it is combination of going through the theory in the seminar and then doing communication technique exercises and so on. So it is a lot of fun, I think. Because personally in my thoughts learning should be fun. But hopefully in that you learn a few things about the techniques and the theory as well. And I found that when we do activities people are able to laugh at themselves, laugh at other people and have fun. And actually learn a lot more than just sit at seminar and just have somebody to give you a PowerPoint presentation, for example. So that I do is, I have a theoretical part and then we do activities and discuss the theory. And I think, hopefully, students get to learn a little bit about communication and group work and how to work with teams.

BB: Why students should come to Dalarna University?

APS:It is a small university and that is one of the advantages. The classes are quite small, even the lecturers are small compare to other university. You have a feeling of the one on one relationship with your lecturer that you wouldn’t get in the bigger university. For example if you were sitting in the lecture hall with 50-60 students or even 100 students, you don’t have that kind of relationship. I think because this university is focused on small lectures and seminar groups, so students feel that we are putting into practice what we are learning and they build the relationship with the lecturer. It is a lot of because of the size.  Small size works in this advantage, but at the same time there are disadvantages to be in small university. But if you are here for a different type of learning experience and I think Dalarna University could do that. Over the years that I have taught, the majority of students come away discovering things about themselves. They learnt to come out and try new things. They are not afraid to try new things because they do them in the seminars and nobody is going to criticize them. The thing is if you can break out of yourself and do things like that, then it makes a lot easier for you to be more confident in your professional life as well. So I think it is what students find in a small university, that it builds their confidence. It is really important to build confidence. So in that case students should come to Dalarna University for a different learning experience.

Autumn in Borlange

We also asked international students from Dalarna University, Campus Borlange - Helena from Poland, Pavla and Zuzana from Czech Republic and Adeline from France.

BB: Why did you choose Dalarna University?

Helena: Finland and Sweden have very good educational systems, one of the best in the world. Secondly, it was my dream to go to Scandinavia, to practice english and learn some swedish.

Pavla: Because I wanted to practice English and it is known that English is at a high level in Northern Europe. Then, I wanted to see Scandinavian landscape on my own. And Dalarna University is only university in Scandinavia, which has an agreement with our department of geography.

Zuzana: I chose Dalarna, because I wanted to go studying to Sweden and I had 2 opportunities here. One was in Kristianstad on the south of Sweden and second one in Borlange. I chose Dalarna, because I wanted to travel to north to Lapland and from here it is closer :) 

Adeline: I have always be fascinated by Scandinavia and Northern Europe countries. Living and studying in Sweden was one of my dreams. And these countries are well known for their good education system. Dalarna University has an exchange agreement with my university back in France so... Here I am ! 

BB: So what do you think, are your expectations fulfilled?

H: Completely yes! Without taking into account problems connected with moving here (like too many things to bring, etc.). Normally, I also study in international environment so it was not a problem for me to make a change.

P: It is quite short time to judge, but teachers are friendly and very good at English, lectures are interesting and countryside is really beautiful. 

Z: My expectations are more than fulfilled. If you mean only about school, I experienced another type of education, because in my country, we spent way more time in school and we have almost no homework. And If you meant gererally, I met here a lot of nice people, with them I have more in common that at home. I also realized, that I can easily live alone in foreign country. And I broaden my horizons. Now the world looks smaller for me. And impossible things are becoming possible. 

A: The system is quite different here, so it took me some time to adapt. But now, I feel very good in my new environment. Our courses are interesting and I got to meet and work with amazing people. Everyone seems friendly and open-minded. Studying here is an experience I do not regret.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Swedish lifestyle

Today we want to talk about Swedish lifestyle and some facts that you might find interesting and surprising :) Be ready!

Rule followers. If you want a bit of spontaneity, it might take time to understand the system. Sweden is a country where the buses are on time and you're made to take a ticket - even at the hairdresser. If you're a bit of a relaxed soul, this could be a problem.
Individuality. In many countries the starting point is family, but in Sweden the individual is more important. Swedish society is much more based on individual responsibility. The most important part of the society will always be individual. If we look at fiscal policy, the economy, the starting point for most of the countries is family. In Sweden everything is working a bit different. Once you are eighteen, it is expected from you to begin to function as a full member, contributing to the prosperity of the state citizen. Whether you have rich parents, whether you are from less affluent families.
Gender equality. Gender equality is something Swedes take seriously. Swedish men aren't averse to helping out with the cooking. And Swedish women don't expect their men to be the breadwinners, nor to hold the doors open for them.
Erasure of gender. There will be no him or her, now Swedes have new word for both genders, it is like “Hem” (“Hen” in Swedish).
Swedes speak great English. In fact, Swedes were rated as the best in the world at English (as a second language) last year. So don’t worry about communication!
Coffee and milk. Interesting facts about the Swedish habits. Sweden is one of the ten most coffee drinkers’ countries. And Sweden by milk consumption is second after Finland.

Insularity. In service area Swedes are really very helpful and lovely people. But if you want to get closer to Swedish that could be difficult task. Usually they do not become friends easily, but once you are friends it will last last a long time :) The other important thing to know, Swedish value they personal space, which means if there is more free seats around swedes, they do not sit close to each other.
Systembolaget. Alcohol drinks are sold only in specialty alcohol shops "Systembolaget. Unlike perhaps in the other countries, in Sweden you can’t buy strong alcohol drinks in a supermarket.
Simplicity. General everyday fashion in Sweden is simple, relaxed and casual. This same concept has seamlessly seeped its way into business world as well. Unless they are meeting foreign clients or attending a high stakes board meeting, chances are they are wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. The other example of simplicity is public transport – in Sweden most of the people use public transport, doesn't matter if they are workers or business people.

We hope it will help you to be ready for meeting new culture!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Top Ten Advices

We decided to write a post with the "Top Ten Advices" based on our experience and we hope they will help you during your stay in Sweden, so read carefully ;-)

1. If you have questions or being simply not sure about something  and you can’t find the answer on any of the given brochures or websites, don’t hesitate to ask. Swedish are polite and nice people so they will explain everything what concerns you. Best way to do it is to call because writing emails takes more time for getting all information.

2. Don’t be afraid you would not understand people, here almost everyone is speaking English fluently. Of course it is good to know some basic words and sentences, at last you will be living here and that brings great opportunities for studying language, so “hej ” and “tack mycket” should be put on your list first!

Swedish East-coast
3. Expect cultural differences, be open for new culture and experiences. It is natural that when you are moving to another country there may be many things that are different  but it does not mean it is worse or better, give some time for yourself and after all surprises try to find positive sides and learn from it! It helps you to see country and your experience from alternative perspective. Before you come, learn something about Sweden, look for information. There are many websites, movies, etc. that will help you feel the climate of the place.

4. Be on time. When you come to Sweden you have to learn being on time, regardless of whether you’re going to lecture, meeting with your friends or want to catch a bus. Because meeting will start with or without your and train will not wait for you!

"Typical" Swedish house

5. Expect different style of teaching, here teachers are very friendly and open, they have a lot of ideas so take the most of it and ask questions, be active during the lectures and seminars. You will learn more, it helps to memorize new information better and at the same time builds closer relationship with your lecturer and course mates.

6. Arrive one/two days before the academic semester starts. You will have time to explore the place, find out where is what and already meet new people.
7. Prepare different types of clothes, the weather in Sweden may vary. This summer was very warm, so shorts and sandals, even swimsuit were a “must have”. Winter can be very cold then good shoes and warm jacket are necessary. Especially, if you are from warm climate country - do not miss the opportunity to enjoy Swedish winter! You’ll be surprised how fun it is! But also remember about spring and autumn, rain jacket and lighter knitwear is perfect solution for weather changes.

8. Travel as much as possible. Especially if you’re going to stay only for a shorter time. It is much to explore and definitely worth seeing. Think about buying a bicycle, there is many beautiful places around Borlänge and a lot of students who use that kind of transportation.

Bicycles everywhere!

9. Do at least one thing that will break your boundaries. Believe me, you will feel very excited about that. And being in an international environment is the best way to expand your worldview: new country, new people and new challenges! Always have your camera with you and don’t forget to use it! After while these photos will bring back all wonderful memories and the landscapes in Sweden are incredible.

10. Take a good mood with you! It will definitely help meeting new international friends, remember not to lose the contacts with them! Who knows maybe one day you will have international project together?! So keep in touch!
Lingonberries - make sure you try them!