Matty Owusu-Afriyie is an exchange student from San Diego State University.

“I came to Stockholm for one semester to study Political Science,” he explains.

In his final year back in the US, Matty felt it was important to spend part of his studies abroad.

“I wanted a different perspective on things. And as San Diego has an exchange programme with Stockholm this felt like a good place to come and study. It’s a bit different to going to the UK or France,” he says.

Compared to life at a US university, Matty finds there is more emphasis on students being independent at a Swedish university.

“You get your reading list and you’re expected to go away and read the books,” he says. “In the US there’s more directed reading and contact time. You have to be quite motivated here to participate.”

One of the major attractions to coming to Stockholm was the ability to follow courses in English.

“That’s been really good. I’ve taken four courses this semester and there’s been a very good level of teaching,” he says. “There’s also been time for me to see something of what Swedish life has to offer.”

Based at Lappis, the student accommodation centre close to the University, Matty has found plenty of things to do on campus.

“I’ve even worked one night a week at the campus pub –Allhuset. That’s been one of the ways I’ve actually got to meet Swedes. Other than that, I’ve mostly hung out with a lot of the exchange students. There are lots of us here and there’s a great atmosphere. We’ve been on the party boats to Finland and Estonia and had a lot of fun.”

As far as Matty is concerned the best thing about coming to Stockholm University as an exchange student is that he has got to experience Sweden without too much pressure.

“Everything has been laid on. I feel like I’ve been pampered. I didn’t have to worry about finding housing or getting to deal with administrative paperwork. I’ve just come over here and taken my courses. It’s been like a taster of Sweden without the pressure,” says Matty.

With his eyes set on a career in teaching, Matty believes the experience at Stockholm has been very positive.

“I’ve got a different perspective on America from studying over here. People live very differently in Sweden to the US. I’ve grown both intellectually and as a person by being here.”

Text: Jon Buscall