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I thought Swedes spoke English?!

Osqledaren -

Tingyu Su -

We asked our editorial about the experiences they've had in different THS associations and chapters. Are meetings in Swedish? Are they hard to join because everyone already knows each other from their bachelors? Here's what they had to say.

During the first meeting that we had with everyone that would be involved in the spex, we were told that there were some international students that would join us this year, and so the presentation slides that were presented would have to be retold in English as well. However, from my perspective they handled it very poorly and sometimes would not bother translating all of the content or even translate at all. And people in the room would laugh when it was poorly translated. From my perspective I found it quite annoying since I knew that if I only knew English I would feel excluded and very confused, since most of the information that was presented was important information regarding how the workflow and the overall year of the spex would look like, and if I only knew English I would not have the same information as someone who knew Swedish, because the people presenting had not prepared well enough and because they had not considered people who didn't know Swedish.

- METAspexet (computer science & media technology)

For my first year it felt like my chapter didn't even know that the English language existed, all posts and event advertisements were always through Swedish. The only way to know what was happening in the school was to put the newsletter email through google translate and hope for the best. As a result I never got the chance to meet many people in my chapter, never mind even actually making friends which was an isolating experience. I was really eager to be involved in my chapter but I felt completely shut out. My impression is that international students feel too temporary to make the time investment for them, even though many of us are here for our entire masters and often stay in Sweden after graduation too.

- Anonymous Chapter

Even though the International reception is a very mixed environment as the name suggests, some Swedish students would often talk between themselves in Swedish while working. This made it difficult at times as not all of the instructions or work related discussions could be understood by everyone. Often people would ask me questions in swedish even if I had just explained a task through english. Even on a basic level it made it difficult to try to socialise, especially while working at events like a gasque where you spend hours in the kitchen and just want to make conversation to pass the time.

- THS International Reception

All associations I was in contact with or part of were talking and providing any information in English, so I never experienced any uncomfortable or exclusive situations in associations. A reason for that is possibly that at least Main and IntRec are directed towards international Master students. It would be interesting to be part of THS in other contexts or to take more advantage of chapter activities, but those seem to be more closed off. I am not worried about language barriers (so far Swedes have been very open to switch to English), but more about the barriers that occur when people have known each other from Bachelor studies or are more "acquainted with the customs"; this sometimes leaves you with exchange students who will leave in 3 months.

- Osqledaren, THS MAIN & International Reception

I was a member of Malvina last year and this year I am part of one the board groups. The board this year is very diverse, and at meetings and events, everybody speaks English. There are still business events which are Swedish only though.

- Malvina

Publicerad: 2023-03-29

Ansvarig utgivare: Raquel Frescia
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