On Monday August 24, the University introduction for this autumn's new international students will begin. But there will be no regular introduction at the start of this semester. There will also be fewer foreign students this year than there usually are. – We have had to adapt a lot, but it also feels like we have taken some steps forward as well, because we also offer the intro digitally, says Frida Lindgren, International Coordinator at the University of Skövde.
The fact that the University of Skövde chooses to hold an introduction for the new international students is not surprising. Frida Lindgren, International Coordinator and Coordinator of the international introduction at the University of Skövde, says that the very purpose of the introduction is for the new international students to feel welcome on campus and in Skövde, despite the circumstances.
– The students come from different parts of the world. Many may have felt lonely and isolated at home in quarantine. Therefore, we want to do everything we can to make them feel welcome in Sweden and at the University.
Thinking a lot about the risks
The students who will begin their studies at the health educations also have an introductory start on Monday and usually all students are welcomed at the same time. This year, the University follows the recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and will never gather more than 50 people in the same room. Instead, the students will be divided into groups and all information sessions will be held three times instead of one.
– We think a lot about the risks. We've never had an introduction like this before. The groups don’t meet, the way they did before. We even keep our distance during coffee break and lunch. It will be a fragmented introduction this year. But we think that’s better than no intro at all, says Frida Lindgren.
The image of Sweden also looks different in different parts of the world. An important aspect of meeting the students on site in Skövde is to give them information from the official Swedish sources.
– We know that if the students only receive the presentation digitally, they might not take part of everything. If they are in place, they do it. And this year it is more important than ever to inform about how things work here, what they must think about and how they should act to follow Sweden's guidelines and attitudes, says Frida Lindgren.
Nevertheless, all sessions are pre-recorded, so that those who, for various reasons can not participate, still can take part of the information as best they can. All functions at the University that the students are affected by, study and career counselors for example, also present themselves digitally.
Fewer students this year
An ordinary autumn semester welcomes about 150 foreign students. This year, about half are expected. But just as usual, the buddies are there to support the new students.
– This year's buddies have been trained for this, and informed about what applies. The key words are keep your distance, be on time and keep your spirits up, says Frida Lindgren.
– The adaptations are many. There's a lot of planning around this. There is always a lot of planning, but this year it is exceptional.
Frida Lindgren, International Co-ordinator
Telephone number: 0500-448183