One Year at LiU

Posted in: University on 6 June, 2020 by Sebastian

As we approach the end of the semester I find myself reflecting on my first year as a student at Linköping University. It has been a year filled with new experiences, great food, awesome company and also, a few stresses. The programme itself  exceeded my initial expectations, the teachers are incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging, the content is relevant and engaging and the people are friendly and fun.

I have been really impressed by the programme, specifically the way it is structured and taught. It is designed to give students the best opportunity to write a strong thesis in the final semester. Social research methods are a significant part of the course content and although it is not the most exciting of topics, our teachers stress the importance of having a strong understanding of what research entails and the different methods that facilitate good research. Research methods are an important component in writing a Master thesis and by realising the importance of it well in advance to writing our thesis, it gives us the best opportunity to do well. This is just another example of LiU having the students’ best interests at heart and it certainly contributes to the appeal of my programme and to the appeal of Linköping University too.

My favourite part of the programme so far though was the study trip to Brussels, not only was it an amazing learning opportunity but it was great fun too. It is a great feature of the Master of International and European Relations programme. See below some pictures from the study trip.

It has been an amazing academic year and I cannot wait to comeback next semester and do it all over again.

I really hope my photography has improved over the course of me writing these blogs. It is certainly a skill I need to improve on 🙂




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Adapting to Distance-Learning

Posted in: University on 6 May, 2020 by Sebastian

Due to the current situation with Covid-19 we are now studying online and due to my own personal circumstances I have returned to Australia which means not only am I getting used to the reality of studying online, but I also have the inconvenience of having my classes late at night. The transition to online learning has not been overly difficult and although my classes are at an unfavorable time, it just means my early morning routine is out of WHACK!

We are using Zoom which I find very easy to navigate and as always, the lecturers continue to be incredibly supportive both during class discussions and outside of class. So adapting to distance-learning has not been too much of a challenge – the quality of teaching remains the same and I still continue to engage with my fellow students.

The only thing I would say that has been a little bit challenging would be being back at home and studying in my bedroom. I find it very hard to motivate myself at home, in Sweden I would usually study on-campus or at the local library and then reward myself with a 5kr bulle (cinnamon bun). Obviously I cannot do that now with Australia’s isolation restrictions in place and it’s hard to find a good bulle in Australia.





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Congratulations to Newly Admitted Students!

Posted in: General on 19 April, 2020 by Sebastian

Congratulations to everyone who has been admitted to Linköping University. I can recall this time last year when I was notified of my admission to LiU and how incredibly excited I was. But in saying that, I was also rather nervous. It is a big commitment to move to another country but to those of you who are feeling nervous, perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that the experience I have had so far has been amazing and I would not change it for anything.

I instantly started to plan when I was notified of my admission. I decided to leave Australia in late May so I could soak up the summer sun in Sweden, I visited several different cities (Gothenburg, Malmö, Stockholm and Örebro). I arrived in Linköping in early August after securing an apartment and immediately started to explore the city. Arriving a few weeks before the start of the semester allowed me to experience a buzzing town square where makeshift outside bars had been built and it was constantly packed with people. I also explored areas outside of Linköping like Berg and Vadstena (Berg is in biking distance).

And for those of you who are worried about accommodation, don’t be. I know that is easier said than done but there is plenty of time to secure accommodation. Start by registering with the appropriate student housing companies and join Facebook groups  (Lägenheter i Linköping, for example). I found my accommodation on that Facebook group.

Below are some photos of my Swedish travels before commencing my studies at LiU.

Congratulations once again to those who have been admitted!







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Favourite Photos

Posted in: General on 2 April, 2020 by Sebastian

It has obviously been a tough month, especially for those self-isolating. I have been occupying myself by reading, exercising and face-timing friends, but this spare time has also given me time to reflect on my experience so far in Linköping. This includes spending, ashamedly, many hours on my phone looking at photos, so in an attempt to justify the ridiculous amount of time spent looking at the photos I have taken, I thought I’d share some with you. Below are some of my favourite photos of Linköping and the Östergotland region. It genuinely is such a beautiful part of Sweden, and the current spring weather coupled with a graciously clear blue sky, makes it almost impossible to not spend hours outside discovering new parts of this amazing region.




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Tips for Learning Swedish

Posted in: University on 10 March, 2020 by Sebastian

As I have mentioned previously, as a Linköping University master’s student you are entitled to free Swedish courses. I have taken full advantage of this and I am currently studying Swedish B1 level 2. I thought I would share with you some tips that have helped me to improve my Swedish (both speaking and listening).

Besides obviously attending classes every week and doing the necessary tasks, I have found that the following two tips are incredibly effective in trying to enhance one’s Swedish proficiency.

1) Listen to podcasts – one thing Sweden does very well is encouraging those who have recently moved to Sweden to learn the language and they provide them with the necessary resources to achieve this. One good example is the wide range of podcasts provided by the Swedish national broadcaster, Sveriges Radio. One podcast I listen to every day is ‘Radio Sweden på lätt Svenska’ which roughly translates to ‘Radio Sweden in easy Swedish’. This podcast basically talks about current affairs in easy to understand Swedish and they talk at a reasonable pace too, unlike your average Swede who talks at a ridiculously fast pace …

2) Befriend a Swede or several – the best way to learn is to challenge yourself and a good way to do this is to just speak the language as often as you can with other Swedes (provided they have the patience). I have been trying to just speak Swedish with my Swedish friends and although I make plenty of mistakes, my confidence is rapidly increasing and I am now more inclined to speak Swedish in public. Now this is easier said than done because the Swedes are brilliant at speaking English so it is very easy to fall into the trap of speaking English with them.

Obviously, these two tips can be applied to most languages but I think they are specifically relevant and effective in regard to learning Swedish.



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Sebastian Westley

Hello, my name is Sebastian and I have recently moved to Linköping from Melbourne, Australia to study International and European Relations.
I am a keen traveler and lover of sports. Follow my blog to enjoy my travels within Sweden, life in Linköping and my experiences studying at LiU.

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