Exchange Report Erasmus

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1 Exchange Report Erasmus Uppsala University Esmee Groen S Economics and Business economics (Economics track) January 2015

2 General Report 1. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad Uppsala University, Sweden. The 24 th of August 2014 till January 21 st. 2. Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey Before choosing to study at the university of Uppsala, I attended several meetings organized by the University of Groningen. These meetings provided the opportunity to talk to students who studied in Uppsala before and gain more information about the courses, university itself and student life. Finally, I decided to choose to spend my semester abroad in Uppsala because of the high ranking of the university, its extended student life and the fact that it is located in Sweden. After being accepted to the university, I had to select the courses I wanted to follow. I experienced some difficulties choosing the right courses since the University of Uppsala is quite strict regarding the entry requirements. There were no possibilities to follow master courses or third year courses, and the options of business courses were limited since I am an Economics student. However, after exchanging numerous s with my course coordinator, I managed to select a number of interesting courses. Furthermore, I needed to fill in the learning agreement and get it signed by the course coordinators of both universities. Overall, I was satisfactory with the contact with my course coordinator in Sweden; she was very kind and responded fast to my s. On the 24 th of august, I flew from Schiphol Amsterdam to Stockholm-Arlanda. Since the official arrival days were the 22th and 23th of august, there was no welcome committee at the airport to give me the general information package. However, from the airport in Stockholm it is very easy to take the train to Uppsala and takes only 20 minutes. Because I arrived around 12 pm in Uppsala, it was not possible anymore to go to the housing office to pick up my keys. However, another student from the University of Groningen arrived 2 days before and managed to pick up my keys. 3. Residence abroad As a European Student, I didn t; need to arrange a Visa and the residence permit was easily arranged online. Convenient about studying in Uppsala is that they guarantee you a place to stay. Based on report of students who spend their semester abroad in Uppsala, I chose to stay in the student accommodation called Flogsta. The Flogsta housing accommodation consists of 12 big flats. These high buildings each have 7 floors and 14 corridors. Each corridor houses 12 students, both internationals and Swedish students. The rooms in Flogsta are about 19m2, including a bathroom with shower and toilet. The rooms are fully furnished and cost approximately 420 Euros per month. There is a common kitchen and small living area. There are significant differences between the corridors; some have a lot of common plates, pans, cutlery etc. and other corridors have no common stuff. It takes about 15 minutes to bike from Flogsta to the city centre. Another aspect I really liked about living in Flogsta is that students organise a lot of corridor party s, and that it provides the opportunity to meet Swedish students. Overall, I am very glad I chose to live in Flogsta. Some of the other options students can apply for are Kantersgatan and Rackabergsgatan. Kantersgatan is on the other side of the city centre and students share a corridor with 5

3 students and share a bathroom. Rackabergsgatan is similar to Flogsta and closer to the city centre. However, here too students have to share a bathroom. The Orientation week for international students started the 25 th of August and lasted one week. The orientation week was a great opportunity to meet new people! In this week, all the 13 students Nations organized different events like pub quizzes, diners, lunches and club nights. Also, the university organized some events to provide useful information about studying at Uppsala University. As a student, you need to become a member of one or more of the nations. When you are a member of one of the nations, you get a nations card, which allows you to enter all the nations. However, you get free entrance and discount in the nation(s) that you decided to join. Every nation has a different club night and is famous for different characteristics. I joined 2 student nations: Snerikes and Stockholms which have very good party s on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Another typically Swedish event organized by the nations are the gasques. These are formal diners hence I advice you to bring your formal dresses and suits when you re going to study in Uppsala. Furthermore, students can have lunch at the nations every weekday and costs about 5 euros. The Swedish language is quite hard to understand, however Swedish people are very good at the English language, hence that didn t cause any difficulties. 4. Grant In total, I received around 1100 Euros from the Erasmus Grant. The first 70% I received the end of October, and the last 30% after the exchange period. However, living in Sweden is quite expensive so I would definitely advice to safe money before going abroad. Including the rent and trips I made, living costs per month exceeded 1000 euros. The supermarkets are more expensive than in the Netherlands. However, the ICA supermarket near the Flogsta area is significantly cheaper than the other ICA s and other supermarkets in towns. Also, to safe money, it is advisable to have drinks at nations instead of other clubs and bars. 5. Study In Uppsala, there is not 1 university building but lectures are given in different places across the town. The first course I took was a course of the department of government and the lectures and seminars were in a building in the middle of the city centre. However, all the business courses and economic courses are at Ekonomikum. This is a large university building, with a lot of places to study, a library and cafeteria. The main difference between studying in Groningen and Uppsala is the level of interaction. Lectures and seminars are much more interactive in Uppsala. Teachers encourage the students to discuss and ask questions during lectures. Also, I needed to give a lot of presentations for my courses. Personally, I prefer this way of education because it triggers you to pay attention during seminars and lectures. Moreover, the amount of times you need to attend lectures and seminars varies and really depends on the course you take. For most business courses, seminars are mandatory and involves a lot of group work. Most courses consist of lectures and seminars, which are sometimes mandatory. My courses already ended before the Christmas break, however it is also possible to still have exams in January. Again this depends on the courses you follow. I considered the courses I followed to be easier than at the university of Groningen. However, one of the reasons for this might be that I followed business courses instead of economics courses. Furthermore the fact that it are second year courses might be a reason.

4 The teachers were all proficient in English so I didn t experience any difficulties concerning language. Furthermore, the electronic learning device Studentportalen worked excellent. Overall, I enjoyed the courses especially because of the high level of interaction. Also, because I followed exchange courses with students from all over the world, the discussion were very interesting. 6. Other relevant information Concerning travelling during the semester, there are quite some possibilities! Since Uppsala is only 40 minutes from Stockholm by train, this is a beautiful city to visit. Furthermore, I visited Malmö (the third largest city of Sweden), Copenhagen, Helsinki and Lapland. Especially Lapland is a destination I definitely recommend to visit. When looking for flight, I recommend to create an account on the SAS site since you can get find cheaper youth tickets. 7. Summery of my impression Overall, the semester abroad in Uppsala was one of the best half years of my life! Sweden is a beautiful country, Uppsala has a great student life and I met a lot of lifetime friends. I would definitely recommend future students to choose Uppsala. Specific Report 1. Development, Democracy and Governance (2SK621) Uppsala University, week Lectures and Literature The course consists of lectures and seminars. During the lectures, the professors discuss the reading materials for that lecture and give background information. These lectures give a very good summary of all the relevant information. There were 3 mandatory seminars. For these seminars we had to write a 2-page paper regarding a given topic and had to give presentations. During the seminars, these papers and other interesting topics were discussed. There were 3 different books we had to read. However, these were popular bestseller books hence very interesting to read. Furthermore, we had to read various articles. Easterly William The white man's burden: why the West's efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good New York: Penguin Press, 2006 Sen Amartya K. Development as freedom [New ed.]: Oxford: Oxford University Press, Table of contents Library catalogue Cupples Julie Latin American development The course has three themes: Introduction to the development discourse, aid and conditionality, and development in practice. In the first theme the well-known book "Development as Freedom" by Amartya Sen and several articles will introduce you to some of

5 the most important problems and discussions about development. The relationship between development and democracy will be particularly studied. In theme two, development and democracy will be analyzed in connection with aid based on William Easterly's book "The White Man's Burden and a number of articles. Within this theme there is a focus on aid policies and on the concept democracy promotion. The last theme is development in practice; a section planned to study development through specific regional cases that allow us to understand some of the problems and possibilities it faces. It includes specific initiatives aimed to deal with the most pressing problems in the field while discussing the ways in which such challenges and programs can be further analyzed and theorized. Source: 3. Lecture Related activities There were no lecture related activities. Since this is a course of the Department of Governance, it was not related to my studies in Groningen. 5. Study load The course materials weren t difficult and quite easy to read. However, the amount of reading is high so it took a lot of time to read all the books and articles. In total there are 14 lectures, each approximately 2 hours. Furthermore there are 3 seminar also taking 2 hours. It takes quite some time to prepare the seminars. 2. Sweden s Economic and Social Development in the 19 th and 20 th Centuries (2EH371) Uppsala University, week Lectures and Literature The course consists of 6 lectures and 2 seminars. During the lectures, which take 2 hours each, the professor discussed the most important information in the book. These lectures gave a good summary of all the literature. As a preparation for the seminars, students were obligatory to read the given chapters from the book an certain articles. During the seminars we had to discuss questions related to this literature in small groups, and then present the founded answers to the rest of the class. Magnusson Lars An economic history of Sweden [Elektronisk resurs] London: Routledge, This course deals in some depth with the extensive structural and economic changes which have characterized Sweden since the mid 18th century. This takes the form of a chronological

6 analysis of the rapid transition from a typical poor agrarian society to an industrial welfare state. Which were the driving forces behind the development? Why did they occur so late? Which were the production factors so favourable to Sweden? These are some of the questions activated in the course. The background and substance of the concept of The Swedish Model is also dealt with. Source: 3. Lecture Related activities There were no lecture related activities. During this course, the economic and social development of Sweden was discussed. Several historic events like the great depression and financial crisis were discussed and how this affected Sweden and its welfare state. Hence this course was quite relevant to my study program in Groningen, since it investigated various topics, which I studied in Economics, and related it to Sweden. 5. Study load The study load for this course was lower than any course I have taken in Groningen. There are only 2 seminars, which needed a bit or preparation. Furthermore, studying for the exam cost time since you had to read 2 books and several articles. However, it was not difficult to read. 3. Organisational Behaviour (2FE223) Uppsala University 1. Lectures and Literature This course consisted of 7 seminars, each taking 4 hours. Before the seminars, each team had to read 2 or 3 chapters of the book and link it to an article. During the seminars, each group had to present their written paper and lead a class discussion. Moreover, each seminar a different team was chosen as the chair team. The chair team had to prepare the whole seminar and discuss the literature of the week. I particularly enjoyed this course since it was very interactive and there were interesting case discussions. For the course, we had to read one book and several articles. An older version of the course book was also available online. The final grade was based on class participation, the papers, the chair performance and a written exam. Book: Robbins, S. P., Judge, T. A. & Campbell, T. T., 2010, Organizational Behaviour, Harlow: Pearson Education.

7 The course opens with discussing questions at an individual level, and continues by relating these questions to higher levels of analysis, such as groups and organizations as a whole. The seminar series starts by a discussion about the individual s role in organizations, motivation, and decision-making. Then questions about groups and teams, decision-making, power and politics will be debated. Organizational structure, culture, change and leadership are important course themes, and these topics will be brought forward in seminars. In several seminars the subject will also be addressed from a gender theoretical perspective. Source: 3. Lecture Related activities There are no lecture related activities. Since this is a business course, they do not really relate to any courses I have followed in Groningen as an economics student. However, there are probably similar courses in Groningen in the studies Bedrijfskunde and International Business. 5. Study load Before every seminar, each team had to write a small paper. Reading all the course materials and preparing the paper and presentation took about 5 hours per seminar. However, since all the topics were discussed quite elaborately during the seminars, studying for the exam didn t cost that much effort. 4. Marketing, Consumers and companies (KP064) University of Uppsala 1. Lectures and Literature This course was divided into 2 parts. The first parts consisted of lectures and seminars, in which each team had to present a chapter from the book or a given article, followed by a class discussion. The second part of the course involved conducting a marketing research in teams. During the seminars, each team had to present their research and the results the found. The opposition team provided feedback and comments. The final grade was made up of three components: class participation, a written exam and the final research. Book: Seyed-Mohamed Nazeem Consumer and Company Behaviour - Markets, Relationships and Network Pearson, 2012 The course is about marketing and has dual goals: one, it extends the students understanding of marketing with clear focus on consumer behaviour; two, it address the

8 structure and process in business-to-business marketing. In doing so the course will direct attention to compare and contrast the structure and functioning of consumer behavior and business-to-business behavior. Furthermore, the course will address the issue of marketing as exchanges with uncertainty, information and knowledge as ingredients for both consumers and companies. We explore through discussions how companies handle business on B2B and B2C markets. We also discuss consumer behaviour from both the perspectives of individuals and how companies could find directions and help from their behavior patterns in various marketing activities. Source: 3. Lecture Related activities There were no lecture related activities. This course was comparable to the course in marketing I took in Groningen. Furthermore, it was relevant to my study program since we had to conduct our own research. 5. Study load For the first part of the course, the study load was not that big. There were only 2 seminars in which each team only had to present 1 chapter or article. The final exam only counted for 30% and consisted of 3 small and open questions. The marketing research took more time. Each team had to brainstorm about a topic, make a survey, find participants, analyse the results, write the paper and prepare the presentations. 5. Basic Swedish 1 Uppsala University 1. Lectures and literature The course consists of around 24 lectures, each taking 2 hours. The lectures are very interactive and sometimes the teacher gives some homework. This is very easy and only takes about 10 minutes. Students need to buy 3 syllabi, which cost in total about 15 euros. Basic Swedish 1 is a simple language course in which you learn the basics of grammar, pronunciation and reading. 3. Lecture related activities There are no lecture related activities. Since this is a language course, it is not related to any other courses in my studies in Groningen.

9 5. Study load There are approximately 24 lectures. The lectures are twice a week and last 2 hours. For Dutch students, the course is very easy and when you attend the lectures, most students can pass the exam without studying.

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