I'm not even a week into my exchange in Sweden and I've been rather surprised about a number of things. First, the exchange students here at SSE are both masters and bachelors students. Not only are there both kinds of students, but also during orientation and all the activities we've had thus far, we're all mixed in. There's nothing that screams masters versus bachelors and at times I find myself wondering who is in which program.
Another interesting aspect of the bachelors-masters differential is that I find the US masters students to be much older than any of the other masters students. I'm not sure if that's because it's customary to have work experience of several years for enrollment into US business schools or if the master's students are in fact not MBA students but masters in finance, marketing or some other concentration.
It constantly amazes me how many different countries are represented in the exchange group. There are 87 of us in total. I have three classmates here as well, however, none of them are US born. Instead, two of them yield from India and the other from Ghana. During our first Swedish lesson, we learned how to say "I am from..." Here are some of the countries people noted: USA, Portugal, Poland, Germany, Spain, France, Holland, Pakistan, India, Italy, Romania, Denmark, Switzerland, Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Finland, the Philippines, Ireland, Belgium, and Austria. I suppose I should get to know one person from each country so I have more friends to go visit!
Everyone in the program speaks English, however, you'll definitely hear groups speaking to each other in their native tongue. It always amazes me how many languages these individuals speak. I'd say, I speak one, with a little ability to speak broken French. The girl from Switzerland speaks Swiss-German, a bit of German, some French, a little Korean, broken Spanish...and the list goes on. I still can't say more than a couple Swedish words without my helpful piece of paper. At least I've learned thank you, Tack!