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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 4) 2015/16

Kirsten Kos, Dalarna University, Zweden, mobility for internship and studies, KPZ

University: Dalarna University in Falun

Contact person: Susanne Corrigox

Description university:
The university is very small, and is placed outside the center of Falun in a sports area. The ski jump of Falun is behind the school, even as the running track, swimming pool, indoor sport center and the cross country area. In front of the school is a hotel were a lot of sport people are staying during sport events.
What very special is, is the library of the school. The library is just renovated and it is really beautiful (see the picture). The library is not only for students of the university, but also for the inhabitants of Falun. From the center and the student residents it is approximately 20 minutes walk to the university.

Chosen courses:
- Beginner Studies in Swedish for International Students I (7.5 credits)
This course is for exchange students, and you will learn the basics of the Swedish language. This course includes pronunciation, grammar and writing exercises.
- The Swedish Education System (7.5 credits)
This course is for exchange students, and you will learn more about the Swedish educational system. This course also includes 10 field study days. You can do those days in one or two schools.
- Outdoor Education in Science (7.5 credits)
This course is for exchange and Swedish students. You will learn how you can use the surroundings within your lessons. And how pedagogical activity outdoors can stimulate learning and physical, psychological and social developments.
- Introduction to Swedish Culture and Society (7.5 credits)

This course is for exchange students, and you will learn more about the history of Sweden and how it is in Sweden nowadays.

Registration process:

On the website of the university is a clear description of the registration process.
www.du.se -> press ‘English start page’ -> press ‘How To Apply’ -> press ‘Apply to DU as an Incoming International Student (Exchange). Than you will see 8 steps that you have to follow, for applying you have to follow the first 6 steps.
1. Nomination: your home university must send a nomination for you.
2. Application for the Student Exchange: after the nomination you can apply your self by filling in the online application.
3. Course Application: after you received a Letter of Acceptance, you can apply for a residence (do this on time! Otherwise you don’t have a place to stay. So when you decide to go to this university make sure that you fill in everything on time so you have time enough to find a place to stay. The housing company is working with registration days, that is why you have to apply very quickly). You can also now apply for the courses; you have to do this online.
4. Learning Agreement: once you are admitted to your courses and received the Letter of Admission, you have to send the International Office your approved Learning Agreement.
5. User Account and Timetables: when you have been accepted, you have to create a user account (you can find the description on the website). After that you have access to Fronter (course materials, timetables etc is standing on Fronter).
6. Registration and Call for Participation (Roll Call)/ Decline Place in Course: before you can join a course, you have to register yourself, two weeks before the start of the course (you have to this online). Once you have been accepted, you can see all the course information on Fronter and you are able to follow the course.

The registration process is quite long, and you have to do a lot of things. But on the website of the university is a clear description of the steps you have to take, so if you follow these steps, it will be easy to register yourself and you know exactly what and when you have to do something.

Review of my stay abroad in academic terms.

Beginner Studies in Swedish for International Students I
We can recommend you to do this course. It is useful to know something about the Swedish language and you will also learn a bit about the Swedish culture. As a Dutch, Swedish is not hard to learn. It is a part-time course, that means that you will have this course for 10 weeks. You will have twice a week a lesson. Another good thing about this course is, that almost all the international students are following this one so it’s a good way to learn people.
It is also possible to follow the same course, but then a level higher, this means that you will get more grammar, and we heard that it is quit difficult. So we decide to stop after the first level, because you know the basics and that is the most important thing.                   

The Swedish Education System

This course gives a good opportunity to take a look in Swedish schools, because you will have 10 field study days. You can see how teachers in Sweden are working, and we have experienced that it is a big difference. The field study days has enriched our knowledge, and a broad our view of education. Beside the field study days you will have seminars about the education system.

Introduction to Swedish Culture and Society
If you are interested in the Swedish culture, history and how it is nowadays, than it will be a interesting course. The lectures are very broad and have many topics, some of them are interesting but not all of them. It is a good course, but for us to much history.

Outdoor Education in Science

We can recommend this course because you do a lot of things outside. We have learned how to make a fire and how we can us a playground as a learning place.
It was interesting because we have learned how we can us the environment for lessons.
Beside going outdoors, you will also have a few seminars.

Review of my stay abroad in cultural terms
We went to Sweden in the middle of January. When we arrived we were surprised about the amount of snow, insane! In the city where we lived (Falun), was a kind of student house. A big building where around 500 (nationals and internationals), but to get a room/apartment there, you have to gather points. When there is a free room, the one with the most get the room. We were to late to gather enough points to get a room when we arrived, so we did our own research for a place to stay. We rented a red Swedish workers house from a particular. We shared the garden with the owners but they were really really cool. The man picked us up with car from the station when we arrived, and showed us the city, the grocery stores and the way to the university. Falun is a city that is build around the mine. The copper mine was a major source of income in the whole 18th and 19th century. It’s closed since 1992.

We did also al lot of trips. The best trip that we did, was our trip to the high north of Sweden. We rented a car to go there, because we thought that it was much nicer then to go by train, bus or airplane (this is what other students did). We rented a car because we wanted to see the difference landscapes that Sweden has to offer. On our way up high, we saw a sign of the famous ice hotel in Lapland, so we went off the route to visit this. You have a lot more freedom and places to go and see then when you are with a big group or organization. On our way back, we went to Norway as well to see the Fjords and the country side, very beautiful and worth it. We did also a lot of trips in Sweden it self. We saw almost all the big cities, the national park with the highest waterfall of Sweden (it was frozen when we went there, amazing!) We really recommend to rent a car when you are planning to go on a trip, it’s a way cheaper then the bus or train, and a way easier to come on your final destination.

Review of my stay abroad in social terms
‘The Swedish people’
A lot of people think that Swedish people are individual. In some way this is true, but when you know the people, they are totally not individual. The people are very open, social and would like to help you, if this is necessary. When you go to the student bar, you will meet a lot of international students but also Swedish students.
20% of the population in Falun are really from Falun self, but the rest are people from elsewhere in Sweden. This means that there are a lot of Swedish students from other cities and they are just like you new there. So it is easier to make contact with them and become friends with real Swedish people. That is why we have experienced that Swedish people are not individual or shy.

‘ The Erasmus people’

You really have to experience it by yourself. Everybody is very open and wants to talk with you. Everybody has the same “problem”, you don’t know anybody in the beginning. But everybody wants to have a great time, and that makes is much easier to make friends. If you are staying in the student residents, then it is even more easier. We lived in the town, so we needed to make contact with other people during the courses or when we went to a party.
The greatest thing is that you will have friends from all over the world, and you will learn more about their culture. And they are also very interesting in your culture.


In Sweden you have to pay with Swedish kronor, so you have to divide by 9 if you want the price in Euro’s

-       Housing:         €200 (we were lucky because we were living with the three of us, a student room is around €300).

-       Groceries:      €50 every week per person.

-       Going out:      depends on yourself. A beer is around the €3,50 (in student bar) in normal clubs or bars it is around €6. Wine is very expensive if you go to a bar, one wine is around €7.

-       Trips:              €2500 in total, but this also depends on yourself. We did a lot of trips by our self. If you go with more people or with an organization it will be less.


-       Rent a car if you’re planning to go on a trip (easier and cheaper)

-       Save enough money (around 3000, when you want to do nice trips and visit a lot)

-       Apply on time for a student room.

-       Check your insurance before leaving. Make sure that you have a good one, because most travel insurances are for three months.

-       It is important to get a credit card, because you need this to make reservations for train, car rental or hotel/hostel.

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