A good chance to learn more about the Swedish language and culture
- Elena Radenkovikj - Master Program in International Management (MIM)
You are one of several international students here at Gotland University. Tell us about your studies. I’m at the Master Program in International Management (MIM). Earlier, I lived in the United States, where I studied International Business, Marketing and Spanish for five years. Then I decided to continue with my education because I thought it would give me better job opportunities.
But how did you come across Gotland University? I play basketball on a professional level. I play in the national team for Macedonia, which is my home country, and I played basketball while I was in the U.S. I graduated from my studies there in 2007 and my plan was to play professional basketball, and so I did. I was in Portugal for a while and played there. Then I saw that Gotland University has the MIM program and I thought it seemed interesting. So when Visby Ladies, the Gotland team, wanted me to come and play for them, I applied to the program. Since I like different cultures and like to travel, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get to know a new country. I had never been to Sweden or the northern part of Europe and it was a good chance to learn more about the Swedish language and culture.
So you’re able to combine studies with
Yes. I go to school in the mornings and play basketball in the afternoons.
Tell me more about your background.
I was born in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. I’ve been playing basketball since 5th grade and during the summer, I still play for the Macedonian National Team.
What is the biggest difference between Sweden and Macedonia?
There is a big difference in everything. Culturally, Sweden is closer to the United States. When I first came to Gotland, I thought I was back in the U.S., while my home country is very different in areas like dress code, food, and style of communication. We have so many words to describe one thing. Swedish is much clearer.
What do you think about Gotland so far?
The school is different from both the U.S. and Macedonia. It’s a different system and a bit harder than in the U.S. I came here on a very cold day in September, it was about 10 degrees C. and in my country it’s about 30 degrees in September, so that was also a bit different. I like warm weather, but I find Gotland pleasant. It feels safe and people are friendly. And I like the sea.
What else is different?
Everyone rides bikes here! When I came, they even gave me a bike, which was a surprise. And then, of course, the food is different from what I’m used to. You use a certain spice on the food. But generally, so far so good, I would say.
Would you recommend Gotland University to other international students?
Yes, I would! I think it’s good to experience another country. You get a better picture of everything, whether it be work or basketball or anything.
Have you made new friends?
Yes. I spend most of my time with the other international students in my class. Sometimes it’s hard to communicate, you have to learn about each others’ cultures.
What will you do in the future?
I will continue to play basketball and I would like to work internationally, maybe with a Swedish corporation in Macedonia.