I will be leaving work, family, friends and summer- Basically all that is warm and familiar for an exciting opportunity to study in one of the most progressive cultures in the world! To study in one of the most exciting universities in the world Malmö in Sweden. I leave in less than a month actually two and a half weeks!! I expect it will be very cold in a way I have not experienced. I never seem to get my clothes right for the weather here. Fingers crossed I do there, as there could be some dire consequences, like loosing some toes.
I am really excited to study in Sweden, as I see it as a country that encourages independent and creative thinking, while focusing on reasoning and rationality in the practical application of knowledge. I also like the idea of being surrounded by snow, Vikings and trolls. I will be sharing this experience with all my fellow students at Flinders especially the older students who may be reluctant to study abroad. Ideally I intend to immerse myself in Sweden’s progressive attitudes towards equality and diversity. I have long admired the Scandinavian commitment to these principles greatly and feel my studies will benefit from being in an environment that reflects equality in all areas of policy, government agency and political structures (including a female Archbishop). Since its initiation in 2006, the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report, Sweden has continually ranked in the top four in the world. It is also ranked among the best in gender equality and LGBTQI rights. Sweden’s three most populated cities are ranked on the list of the top 15 most inventive cities in the world, with the city of Malmö itself being ranked in the top four. Yep an all-round progressive attitude.
From my research, I noticed that Malmö is extremely diverse, with the highest proportion of foreign-born residents of any city in Sweden, making it an inspiring environment to learn and live in. There is also a good chance a lot of people will speak English, which would be helpful while I get my head around learning Swedish. The progressive environment that Malmö, and Sweden as an entirety, showcases is one I feel I will not only benefit from but be able to actively incorporate into my studies and knowledge base. Knowledge I intend to share with Flinders students.
Natalie Rudland-Wood, Bachelor of International Studies student, Semester 1 2017 exchange at Malmo University, Sweden