I was surprised when I first arrived at Lund University that I was a person first and a student, statistic, check-list, second. I was relieved at how approachable staff at the university were. I have always felt welcome to e-mail or visit staff in person. There is a real sense of openness and that everyone’s opinion is valid – likely, a reflection of Swedish culture. People remember your name and if you are ever having problems you always feel like there is someone to talk to.
One example of this is that once a semester we have an informal dinner with the head of the department and international coordinators. In the most recent meeting we had an open discussion of what we liked about the program so far and what we felt could be improved. I never felt like I could speak up when things were not working well in my bachelor degree at my previous university. I also felt like there were few people (if any) I could turn to for support when academic matters arose. Feeling like I am not just a number fulfilling university quotas has made me really appreciate the learning environment at Lund.