Primary page content

Term Abroad at Gothenburg University

Read Imogen’s experience studying abroad for a term at the University of Gothenburg – one of the MCCS department partners. Includes very helpful tips at the end!

I studied at Gothenburg University in Sweden between March and June 2023. Gothenburg is the second biggest city in Sweden and the only one with its own English name (Göteborg in Swedish)! I am studying BA Journalism at Goldsmiths but studied sociology modules in Gothenburg, which focused on social movements & activism, complementing my home studies well.  

This placement was full of incredible experiences but a few that stand out include visiting the 100-year-old Lisberg theme park, lake swimming, a boat tour of the city, pub quizzes with my flatmates and concerts at the city’s 400-year anniversary festival. I also got to experience lots of ‘fika’, a Swedish tradition where people meet friends for a hot drink, something sweet and a big chat. Usually this ‘something sweet’ is a giant cinnamon bun, which can sometimes be the size of a dinner plate! 

My daily routine was very different from home, mainly because in Sweden you focus on one module for the whole semester. My timetable also varied from week to week. I lived about 30 minutes from campus, so after breakfast with flatmates, I would get a tram into the city and start my lectures. Usually, we’d be in 2-3 times a week, for 2-hour lectures or seminars. Classes would never finish later than 3 pm, so I was then free to explore the city or do some shopping. My campus was situated in Haga, which is a historically significant area full of shops and cafes, that has been hugely altered by gentrification over the years and featured in some of our class readings.

My main challenges faced while studying abroad only occurred in the first week. I had left London during a busy deadline period; the weather was still cold, and I felt quite homesick. Once I had adjusted, met my new flatmates and classmates, and organised for some family & friends to come and visit, this feeling really lifted, and the next 9 weeks were incredible. I would say make sure you use your resources and reach out to your loved ones. The first week is bound to be a big adjustment, but this is normal and it’s worth sticking with it. Writing yourself a schedule really helps because mapping out your trip makes everything less daunting.


I personally feel that I hugely benefitted from studying abroad through Goldsmiths because I was able to learn about a new culture, try new things and meet great people. It was great to try a different way of studying and I’m really proud of securing two firsts for each of my exams whilst abroad. I feel the overall positive experience of studying abroad has inspired me to set my sights on working abroad following my degree. I also feel motivated for my final year of this degree.


Here are some of my top 10 tips for students about to go abroad: 

  1. Check visa requirements (& double-check) 
  2. Download a language app to start learning words & phrases. Lots of unis abroad offer language courses, but these can be oversubscribed, and it never hurts to get a head start/ feel prepared and learn some useful basics.  
  3. Download any local travel apps to help you explore the city efficiently  
  4. Reach out to the Go Abroad team for any help at any stage  
  5. Check what student discounts are available to you e.g., in Sweden, all student discounts required something called a Mecenat card, which was easy to apply for but was separate from your university ID.  
  6. Check national holidays – they vary massively across Europe alone, and it makes it easier to organise your new schedule abroad
  7. Don’t be afraid to be the planner – all the international students will be in the same boat as you and one of the huge perks of studying abroad is making new friends. Sometimes you might be the first one to message/make plans/ start a group chat and that’s ok. Everyone else who wants to meet new people will be grateful and you never know what friendships and opportunities could come from it.
  8. Travel light! It depends on the place & time of year, but I overestimated how much I needed (& also made the most of Sweden’s great shopping!) So maybe leave space for gifts and new things if you can.
  9. Turn the nerves into excitement! It is completely normal to feel nervous before studying abroad, it’sbig change. I found that telling myself the nerves were excitement, really helped and meant I embraced the change more quickly. You also find yourself saying yes to new things more often.  
  10. Have fun! It’s an amazing opportunity and the time goes by so fast. You will never regret travelling somewhere new.