After surviving my winter break, and Russia for that matter, I have finally gotten settled in Sweden!
I will re-introduce myself, as my blog has recently changed locations from the MTU ParentNet Student Abroad, to the MTU IPS Student Abroad Blog. My name is Kassidy Yatso, and I have been the ‘student abroad’ blogger for the past 6 months while studying at the University of Helsinki, Finland, starting in late August 2010.
I received my B.Sc. in Applied Ecology and Environmental Science from Michigan Technological University’s (MTU) School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES) in December 2009, and chose to continue my education at MTU. I am currently part of an exchange program of American and European master’s students, leading to a dual (double) master’s degree, (in completion, I will obtain two MS diplomas, one from the US and one from an EU university). My Transatlantic Master’s Degree in Forest Resources requires a total of 2 years (4 semesters) across three universities in Finland, Sweden and the USA: 1 semester at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 1 semester at the University of Helsinki (UH), and 2 semesters (one study year) at MTU.
I have just completed my semester of graduate studies at the University of Helsinki, and am now attending SLU. I will be blogging about academics, culture, my travels, and much more! If you are just joining me, I am in transit between Helsinki, Finland, and Alnarp, Sweden, but my blogs from last semester are archived, so you can go back and read about Finland and last semester’s adventures
After repacking all of my belongings in Helsinki for the move to Sweden, I realized I had some how accumulated more possessions that I thought. Luckily, one of my fellow classmates at UH was willing to drive me to the airport so I did not have to rangle my baggage on the Helsinki public buses. I will forever be grateful. A short hopper flight to Denmark, and I was in Copenhagen in less than two hours. Alone, attempting to navigate the airport, buy a train ticket to Malmö, and manage my baggage, I was taken back by the quiet, calmness and neatness of the Copenhagen Airport. Feeling a bit more relaxed, I caught the train to Malmö Central Station to meet up with other new SLU students and a ‘welcoming committee’. SLU had graciously offered to pick new students up at the railway station and bring us and our luggage to our new addresses, saving time, money, and inevitable frustration. I am currently living in Arlöv, Sweden, which is north of Malmö, Sweden, and west of Copenhagen, Denmark.
I live in a student flat with two other forestry students; a Russian girl from the Moscow State University, and an Italian girl who is in the Erasmus Mundus Programme. We all attend the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) this semester, taking part in the Euroforestry programme. I had one day to unpack, regroup, and reorganize before classes started for the Spring Semester. Luckily my roommates are in the same course programme and showed me around campus and the surrounding areas. I live about a 20 minute bike ride from the Alnarp campus, and about 5 minutes from the Burlöv Center (a large mall with a grocery store in it). I was fortunate enough to buy a bike upon my arrival to Sweden, from a fellow ATLANTIS student that was already at SLU. A bike is vital for survival here.
For the first half of the semester I will be taking a course titled “National and International Forestry Policy”. We have class Monday through Friday from nine to four, with an hour lunch break. It is much more reading intensive than my courses in Helsinki, with a more demanding schedule and course load. I think it will be easier to make friends here though, because it is the same 35 students every day, doing the same homework and field trips, with some of us living together as well. I am excited about the diversity of the class; there are students from Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Uruguay, and the United States. A very exciting mix indeed!
I have convinced my house mate to help me further my Russian linguistic skills, as I have just returned from Russia. In the upcoming weeks I will talk about my first week of class in Alnarp, and my adventures in Russia!
до свидания! (Do svidaniya pronounced duh svee-dah-nee-ye) which literally means in Russian, “Until (the next) meeting”