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An Exchange Student’s Perspective: ”Halmstad Is Everything You Want”

Studying abroad can be a daunting task. We asked some of Halmstad University’s foreign exchange students to share their thoughts and perspectives on studying in Halmstad and Sweden. Here, we meet 19-year-old Frédéric Lebec from France.

Frédéric Lebec

”This experience is opening my brain, my vision”, Frédéric Lebec says. The 19-year-old with a half-impish, half-shy grin is an exchange student from France, specifically from the Toulouse Business School, located in France’s fourth biggest metropolitan area. He chose Sweden as the place to start his second year of business and management studies.

”I’m not afraid about the cold weather”, he jokes. Then, turning serious: ”I like Scandinavian culture because I know they are already ahead. I think the French view of Scandinavia is – they are always ahead … with social problems, economic issues. I wanted to see how Scandinavia works. Then I know that Swedes speak very good English, and I’m here to improve my English as well. I know some people from my home university that went to Sweden last year, and they told me that it is a great country. That’s why I chose Sweden.”

Studying Close to Reality

Frédéric began in September and will return to Toulouse in June, but his relatively short stay has left many favourable impressions and confirms his feeling that Halmstad University has something special to teach him – apart from punctuality, which he claims was one of the most important things he learned in Sweden.

He found it especially refreshing how Halmstad University took his studies beyond just books.

”What I like is it’s close to reality. Because in France, when we learn business, it’s only theory, and it’s far from reality. And here, we have many examples with real business and real companies, so that’s what I like. It’s easier to learn for me. We are doing much group work. And I like this because we can share ideas with each other and it’s a good way to work for me. And for me, the teachers are quite interesting because I think almost all the teachers come from real businesses so they can speak business.”

His favourite teacher Nicholas Lloyd-Pugh is a classic example of Halmstad University’s union of theory and practice.

”He’s funny and his lectures are interactive. We speak a lot; we do many exercises, so it’s quite interesting.

Going Beyond the Classroom

His time here has extended into learning beyond the classroom and even beyond Halmstad. The avid sports fan, who plays for the student soccer league, claims that Halmstad turned him into a hockey fan.

And that’s not all. He raves about activities like trips organized by the student organization, UFO.

”They have to keep this trip for the next years”, Frédéric says, grinning. ”I’ve been to Lapland. We did 24 hours of this … ice climbing, dog sleds. We went to Norway. We saw an ice hotel, with ice rooms, ice beds, and an ice wall – everything is all ice! We rode snowmobiles!”

A good time is never without challenges, however. Being French, Frédéric does miss real French food (”My family sends me saucisson and pâté”, he says), and authentic French baguettes that he has yet to find in Sweden (”It’s not the same baguettes!”). Also, someone once stole his bike and jacket during class, but he quickly points out that it could happen anywhere.

A Great Opportunity

When he’s not studying, Frédéric goes downtown to hang out with friends about twice or thrice a week, with Stora Torg being a favourite, the sort of place he’d take a visiting friend. The rest of the time, he hangs out with the vibrant international community in Strångbäcken, enjoying cosy dinners or barbecues when the weather is good. And if the weather is really good, he and his friends head down to the beach, which lies very near to their student residence.

”When it’s not too cold, when there’s not too much wind, it’s great to see the sunset”, he says.

To anyone contemplating Halmstad University as a place to study, he has this to say:

”I would advise them to take this experience and enjoy it. The weather is not as cold as we thought. I would tell them that it is not a big city, but there is enough to do whatever you want. From Halmstad, you can travel to the whole of Sweden, so it’s a good opportunity as well. You can go to Lapland, Stockholm, to Norway, to Denmark, so it’s a good position for travel, I think. The university is great because it’s modern and you can meet new people; you have a nice student gym hall, if you like sports. Halmstad could be a great opportunity for you if you like this kind of town – not too big but not too small. Everything you want. Close to the beach, and open-minded people.”

THERESE ENDRIGA

Frédéric Lebec

Age: 19 years old
From: France
Home university: Toulouse Business School

Patrycja Weideman
Updated 2017-09-04