Student experience - Sandra Tom

Sandra bike

Sandra Tom is currently studying a Bachelor of International Development. Sandra completed the Reimagining India Summer School program in 2018, and then went on exchange to Lund University, Sweden, in 2019.

“Doing a two week study program really motivated me to go on an exchange. Two weeks were so rewarding, so I was excited to see what a semester could be like. Sweden was recommended for my degree so that’s why I chose Lund.”

“I was quite surprised at how diverse the students were at Lund University – it was the first time I had met so many international students from all over the world. Exchange definitely gave me insight into Sweden as well as many other countries. I also enjoyed taking a two week Swedish language course, which helped me learn some basic Swedish phrases that I could use in daily life.”

“Lund University breaks up the semester by having you do two courses in the first half and two in the second – this allowed my classes to be more relaxed and I had time to travel without missing anything. Classes were also engaging and have a group component like at Adelaide, so the structure was quite similar.”


Sandra Lund

“Navigating day-to-day life was challenging but also rewarding. The university was well organised and had an orientation program with all information and practicalities explained, so the first week went well. Lund also had a mentor program in place with Swedish students who readily answered all of my questions. One of my mentors even helped me find a bike, as that’s the preferred mode of transportation for students. You also meet so many students who are feeling the same as you – so by talking to them and immersing yourself in university life, day-to-day-life becomes eventful and exciting.”


Sandra ledge

“I was feeling a bit homesick in the beginning. However, simple things like having photos of friends and family on my wall and calling them often helped. Living somewhere where it snowed was always something I wanted to do, but when you are walking/biking at night, snow is not that appealing! But Swedish winters are so beautiful, and I do miss it now.”

“Once I settled in and found my routine, everyday life was really enjoyable and exciting. Each day I would try to do something new so that I could completely immerse myself in life overseas. I had never travelled solo, but many of my trips while on exchange were solo, and it was very rewarding. You learn so much about yourself when put through situations you’re not familiar with, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to do so.”

“Lund has an exciting student life. The 13 nations, which are student social clubs, are a unique feature of Lund. They offer a wide array of different activities such as brunches, lunches, pub nights, balls, and sports. Joining a nation will definitely enhance your university experience. I also became involved with my student nation and worked at their lunches, brunches, and pub night. By volunteering, you get to meet so many people and also receive benefits such as a thank you meal and a party at the end of the semester.”


Sandra building

“I learned so much about myself [in Sweden] that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Sweden is a really beautiful country with people who are really laid back and friendly. I loved living in Sweden and immersing myself in a country that is so progressive and fascinating.”

“In the future, I would like to work with organisations that focus on human rights, gender rights, refugees, and forced migration. I want to help have a wider impact on empowerment, equality, and justice. Exchange helped me understand where my passion lies. Exchange has also equipped me with a wide variety or skills such as being able to work and communicate with people of diverse backgrounds. Being overseas also helped me work on my skills to adapt and overcome challenges that come my way.”

Tagged in Sweden