They Dream of a Future in Sweden

They Dream of a Future in Sweden

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Photo: Tindra Englund.

Today the so-called International Day took place for the fourth year in a row. The event is arranged by all of Lund’s Student Unions together and the aim of the event is to help the international students in their hunt for a job in Sweden.

“There are international students at all the different faculties at Lund university and as unions we are trying to include them as much as possible. But because of limited resources there are sometimes a big advantage of also doing something together,” says Matilda Edvardsson from the Social Sciences Student Union and one of the coordinators behind the event.

Lunch with alumni
The coordinators have made some changes from last year’s event and among other things it included the possibilities to have lunch with an alumni.
“The Lunch event is organized by the alumni network and together we have managed to gather 18 alumni’s that are willing to have lunch with the students,” says Matilda Edvardsson.

According to her there has been a big interest among international students to participate in the event.
“Many international students are very committed and the spots for eating lunch with an alumni and for a lunch lecture with Ikea the spots where booked within seconds,” says Matilda Edvardsson.

Plenty of jobs for internationals
According to her there are plenty of jobs and internship where speaking Swedish is not mandatory.
“But they are not always that easy for the international students to find.  Our goals with this day is therefore to help the students by giving them tools to find these,” says Matilda Edvardsson.

The fika-culture
Jessica Lin is originally from China but is studying a two-year master’s program in economics in Lund. When she is finished with her master’s she is hoping to find a job in Sweden.

“I think that people here are very nice and therefore I am assuming that the working culture here will be very nice as well. Also I really like the ‘fika’-culture here,” says Jessica Lin.

She is excited about the alumni lunch and thinks that the event is a good idea.
“It will be interesting to hear the story from the alumni and I would like to know how to get a job here and also how to get accustomed to the Swedish culture.”

A work/life balance
Egis Zaimaj is originally from Albania and she is in Lund to study a one-year master’s program in accounting and management control.

“In the future I am planning to work in Sweden. What intrigues me in Sweden is the work/life balance. Here the working hours are not to long and life is also important. It feel like there is also a better reward system and that social life is highly valued here,” says Egis Zaimaj.

She is most excited about Ikeas lunch lecture.
“Ikea seems to be the perfect employer, at least from what I have heard,” says Egis Zaimaj.

“I prefer cold weather”
Another international student that has fallen for the Swedish way of doing things is Dorka Schattmann. “She is originally from Hungary and first came to Sweden as an exchange student to study law. But then she went back to Hungary to finish her degree before returning to Sweden for an internship and to study Swedish.”

“I really like Sweden and I think that it would be great to live here.  I especially like Lund and to be honest I prefer cold weather to warm weather.”

When asked about her dream job Dorka Schattmann knows what she wants.
“I would like to stay within law and work with innovation and start-ups in Lund”

Sweden becomes their home
Björn Sanders is the president of Lund University Student Unions Association and he believes that a lot of the international students do have a plan to try and get a job in Sweden.
”My experience is that especially those who are studying a master’s program or doing their doctoral degree have made Sweden into their home and therefore wish to stay,” says Björn Sanders.

However according to him a lot of the problems that these students encounter when trying to enter the job market is actually on a national level and therefore out of the union’s hands.
”For those students that are here on a student visa it is normally quite difficult to change it into a working visa. There also seem to be a lot of hesitation from Swedish companies towards hiring international co-workers,” says Björn Sanders.

The unions want to help out
He is therefore very proud of the fact that the student unions have become more including and focus some of their work towards the international students and helping them.
“It’s wonderful to see the unions coming together and addressing this essential matter. To provide an opportunity for those international students that would like to stay in Sweden,”  says Björn Sanders.

The coordinators of International Day 2016. Photo: Tindra Englund.
The coordinators of International Day 2016. Photo: Tindra Englund.
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