Farewell to exchange students
Each year around 800 foreign exchange students come to LiU to study. Now it is time for some of them to return home. A farewell party was held for the departing students on May 7. The same afternoon, a briefing conference was held for the 400 Swedish students who will depart next fall on student exchange programs abroad.
Laura Bago from Spain and Lena Renner from Germany were among those who joined the farewell party. Laura has studied economics at LiU during one semester.
“It’s been really great. Not only has my English improved, but I appreciate having met students from all over the world and having experienced a new culture,” she says.
Lena Renner, sitting at the same table, agrees. She has studied speech and language pathology and speaks Swedish very well after only one semester. She says her time in Sweden has been interesting and lots of fun.
“I wasn’t really prepared that there would be so many differences between the Swedish and German cultures, but I have noticed several. For one thing, the students here work harder.”
Peter Szilagyi, a Swedish student, has studied industrial engineering and management with international focus on Japan. He will get a close-up look next fall when he starts a year of studies on site.
“I am fascinated by Japan. It is a modern country but has retained old traditions. Not least, I am interested in the language,” Peter says.
The briefing conference provided an opportunity for the LiU students going abroad to train their role as “student ambassadors”. They learned how to handle cultural clashes and got pointers on how to ensure their personal safety.
“Basically it is about being a good representative. Though actually we are more ambassadors for Sweden than for the university when we go abroad,” Peter says thoughtfully.
Last updated: 2009-06-03