It’s only been about eighteen days since I first got the mail with the question if I wanted to take a year abroad. I remember how I thought about it back and forth for several days and almost felt like I had a minor life crisis before I decided what to do. But as I decided to go it immediately felt just right. As I settled on my choice I got an urge to start packing, to start planning where to rent housing next and plan the trip. I think that even if it feels intimidating to try something new at first, it can often be the new which helps us move forward and see things clearer in the end.
So during the last two weeks, I’ve been looking through the courses offered by the different schools and the description of the student life and cost of living in the different countries. I also used google maps to take a peek at the different cities and campuses. It wasn’t always easy to navigate and find all the different information I looked for but eventually, I found it. In the end, I mainly decided where to go based on one practical and two subjective reasons. Firstly the courses at Åbo sounded the most fun, and I’ve always been driven primarily by that reason through all of my studies. Secondly, I’ve always had a personal liking for Finland, I don’t know where it comes from but I know it’s been there for as long as I can remember. Thirdly, and this is the practical reason, both housing and living costs seemed to be more manageable in Finland. This would allow me to think less about economics and be able to do more activities while abroad instead of putting it all on food and housing. So these were my main reasons to why I did the choice that I did. But that’s not to say that Iceland is a bad choice, I’ve talked with other people interested in going which lean towards Iceland instead.
For you who wonder about this year abroad, it’s a part of the NordPlus mobility grant which allows students from Mälardalens University, Åbo University, and Reykjavik University to choose to do one half or one full year at one of the other universities. This allows you to take courses which may in some cases only be available to you at one of these universities and experience the atmosphere of going abroad while still staying in the Nordic region. Through the Nordic Master Programme in Intelligent Software Systems (NISS), I will also get a double degree and a scholarship.
If you are a student at any of these universities and consider going abroad or think this NISS programme sounds interesting, I invite you to read more on this blog. In it, I will write about my thoughts and experience during the NISS programme and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to write a comment and I’ll try to answer to the best of my knowledge.
I hope that no matter where your interest lies in this matter that you’ll enjoy reading more about it. I know I’ll enjoy writing about it.
So long for now!