I cannot recommend it enough!

Written by Samuel Shaw, LLB Law

I had long wanted to study abroad, and stepping off that plane was a mixed feeling of excitement and nerves. Nothing can truly prepare you for the most incredible experience of living in another country for a year, and what better time than during your studies when you have relatively few responsibilities? For me, Uppsala in Sweden was the perfect location to do this. A city dedicated to students, life seemed to revolve around the student nations, places which host lunches, pubs, gasques (a formal dinner followed by an after party) and clubs. Fika (a hot drink and something sweet, time shared with friends) was a personal highlight and a Swedish institution that I was well on-board with. I also find myself missing Max, Sweden’s favourite hamburger restaurant chain – do you notice a recurring theme of food here? In terms of studying, I was offered courses that I would not have the opportunity to do as an undergraduate in England, for example International Commercial Arbitration. As somebody who did not really know what I wanted to do after my degree, I am pleased that this has provoked a career interest for me.

Snowmobiling, dog-sledding and seeing the Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle, hiking in the Norwegian fjords, cruising around the Baltic (Estonia, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Riga) and partying in Copenhagen are just a few of the unforgettable memories I have made whilst on exchange. Erasmus is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people from across the world, many of whom will make friends for life. Since leaving Sweden, I have had a reunion with some of my friends in Belgium, as well as hosting them in England!

Although my time came with the odd bad experience (I fell off my bike within the first week and injured myself), nothing is perfect and the great experiences far outweigh the bad – I find myself wishing to go back! The Erasmus & Study Abroad Office at Reading were very helpful in sorting out the small amount of paperwork and consulting on any problems I faced.

If you’re ready for the time of your life, look no further than Erasmus – I cannot recommend it enough!

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