My exchange experience at Uppsala University


The university main building

I spent the Autumn semester 2017 at Uppsala University in Sweden as an exchange student. When I started my studies at the University of Turku it was clear to me to do an exchange since I didn’t have any prior international experience. I checked different options and I saw a Nordplus exchange program to Uppsala. I had heard that Uppsala is a lovely city and the university is respected. Moreover, at Uppsala University they had interesting courses in global health.

Uppsala University has a long history. In fact, it is the oldest university among Nordic countries. There are over 40 000 students. For a Finn, Sweden is an easy choice – The culture is similar, and it is possible to improve language skills both in English and Swedish.

I took a course in global health and one course in nutrition and health related communication. In addition, I had two language courses. I enjoyed having different kinds of courses than normally in Finland. In Sweden it is common to have only one course at time. From a student’s perspective this is ideal for learning because it is possible to have a full focus on the new subject. Courses included mostly independent work and lectures. Also, I had a few group assignments. Teachers were really supporting, and the lectures held nice atmosphere. In the beginning, it was a challenge to produce scientific text in English. However, over time it got easier and it was satisfying to see the improvement.
It was possible to maintain good balance between studies and free time. Uppsala’s student nations are active, and they organize free-time activities for every day. The time in Uppsala was a nice change compared to life in Finland.

Uppsala – the home of Pekka Töpöhäntä (the story of Pelle Svanlös)

In total I completed studies of 30 ECTS at the Uppsala University. I also took a course via online at the University of Turku. It was possible to have all the courses to be part of my degree in Finland which was a great advantage. Now it is possible for me to graduate on time. From my opinion our department in Turku was highly supporting towards international experience.

Academically and professionally speaking, I was able to broaden my knowledge related to health. For example, we used different health theories and studied global guidelines more in detail. I think that international experience is something that future employers will value.

For the future, the experience gave more trust on myself and also a stronger base for my English skills. I truly enjoyed having international and interdisciplinary atmosphere in the lectures and on free time. I was able to make friends from all parts of the world and I have stayed in contact with them ever since.
I only have positive memories from that time and I truly recommend using the opportunity to gain some international experience while studying at the university!

– Jenni Hatara,
– MNSc student
– Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku


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