The studying part of study abroad. Sometimes forgotten by exchange students but probably the most important part of your time abroad. It can be quite challenging studying at a new school where you are not quite sure how the class systems work and what teachers expect from you. That being said, your success ends up being even more rewarding.
Sweden has a school system that is far different than anything I have experienced before. Classes for example only last a few weeks each and you take them one at a time. This has actually been one of my favorite things because it allows you to really focus on just one class at a time rather than juggling five different subjects at once. Final exams are taken at the end of each class rather than during a stressful exam week where you are taking multiple exams together. You also have to register for exams separately so if you forget to do that you are not able to take the exam. If you fail an exam though you are allowed two retakes which I think is a wonderful concept I wish we had back home.
School is much more relaxed, and you don’t have lectures every day. Although one annoying thing is that the classes aren’t constant. In America if I have a class it is in the same room and the same time on the same days every week. Your tests are scheduled during those times (besides finals) and so are all presentations. Here, the class days, times, and locations change every week so you have to constantly check your schedule to figure out where you will be that day. Also, exams are taken separately from the course and you don’t always know the dates ahead of time.
A common theme in Europe that is not so popular in America is that everything is based on one exam. In America if you are not the best at exams you always have grades from homework and quizzes to help balance out your grades. The first class I took was based solely on reading the whole textbook and taking an essay exam regarding the reading. However, the class I am taking currently is a lot more structured and has lectures slides.
Teachers aren’t quite the same here and they aren’t as invested in your understanding of the course. They are available for questions, but they don’t really hold office hours for example. The university that I am at has a very diverse and international professor cohort, so it is really cool having professors from all around the world and not just Sweden.