Andreea Baceanu is glad to have spent the fall semester in Umeå – even though her mother was way more enthusiastic about it than Andreea herself was before her departure.

But Andreea did after all get her first choice, which is far from always the case for students going abroad. Her second choice was Spain, but in Spain she would never have seen the northern light. She – like most international students – found it to be very exotic, but contrary to them there was one thing in Umeå that did not impress her at all.
– I didn’t go to IKSU, she says, and points out that most international students did.
In Umeå she studied three different Sociology courses, all of them in English.

IN ROMANIA, the relationship between teachers and students is much more formal than in Umeå, says Andreea, and teachers sometimes act as if they are superior to the students. Students address their teachers ”Mr.” or ”Mrs.” and use the teachers’ family name, whereas in Sweden you can be completely relaxed and personal with your teachers, more like with your classmates.

OTHER DIFFERENCES are how people interact with each other while being out and about. In Romania guys are more chivalrous than in Sweden, for exampel. They will open doors for you and as Andreea is used to that treatment she prefers it and found it strange when guys did not do that here.

Read more in Vertex nr 1-2014,
which appears the 27th of January.

ANNELIE MARKGREN