When the Exchange Study Does Not Go as Planned…

When Kaia from Nådiga Lundtan approached me and asked if I could write an article about my exchange studies to show all of you readers that guest articles exist and to inspire everyone applying for their exchange semesters now, I did two things. First I had to Google Translate her message from Norwegian to Swedish to understand everything and then I replied that it would probably not be the most exciting article. Since my exchange semester might be the shortest in LUSEM history with only 26 days abroad I did not think it would be inspiring nor helpful for students applying right now. However, Kaia as my former novice was probably too nice to turn me down at this point and said that I could write an article called “When the Exchange Study Does Not Go as Planned” so that is what I am doing right now.

In order not to make this article as short as my exchange I have to take you back to the beginning. Covid-19 was still treated as something very distant and in Lund business was as usual. I had just sent in the list of universities that I wanted to go on exchange to, and was hoping to receive an acceptance to one of my top choices. Time passed, and suddenly one
day more or less every group chat I was a part of went crazy, all with the same question: “What country did you get?!”. I immediately looked it up and found out that I was going to Singapore! How nice to escape the Swedish autumn semester for sunny days and warm temperatures – I was excited.

Then, as I am sure you know, the Corona contagion increased and spread all across the globe. In response to the infection, Singapore cancelled all exchange programs, leaving me with a decision: to stay in Lund or go to one of the remaining reserve spots, which at this time consisted of five schools, all in Europe. As you probably can guess based on this article, I chose to leave Lund, try my wings and explore the world outside of this bubble we
live in here in Lund. The destination you may ask? Sheffield, England, or maybe better known as “the Singapore of Europe”. It was not an easy decision to make, but in the end I think all LundaEkonomer need a break from Lund during semester five. After two years in Lund I believe that a change of environment, new people, perspectives and scenery are good for you. Even getting some time alone I found valuable, being able to work through different things you simply would not be able to do in Lund, seeing how the student life here seems to always move at lightning speed with no breaks.

So what did I have time to do during my time in the UK? Well, I met my four flatmates who were all international students. Financially this was sound, seeing how now if I ever go to Barcelona, Berlin or San Sebastían I have a couch to sleep on. I got to visit a fair share of classic English pubs and have a few pints even if they had to close at 10pm, this was amazing until the second wave of the pandemic broke out, and the government closed the
bars down. Seeing how we basically were not allowed to socialize with other people than our household, my flatmates and I went on a weekend trip to Liverpool. The trip included a lot of fun and turned out amazing. Looking back on it however, we realized that it was probably not
the smartest weekend destination, as they at the time had the highest number of new Covid-cases in England. Luckly, no one in the flat got infected with Covid, but the Beatlemania took over instead, and I think our neighbours got pretty tired of hearing “Here Comes the Sun” a million times while Sheffield delivered its signature UK grey skies and rain outside. Oh, and I almost forgot, an exchange semester includes its fair share of studying as well. I still study at University of Sheffield, but from Sweden at present time. Considering everything has been online from the beginning, it has been a rather smooth transition

So, how do I conclude this guest article and my publishing debut? Firstly, I must thank Nådiga Lundtan for this opportunity while at the same time apologize for not keeping the same standard as their great members. Finally, I would tell all the students who are debating whether to apply for an exchange or not to “just do it”, because come on, what is the worst that can happen?

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