Course studied: BA (Hons) Early Years Education
Country travelled to: Sweden
Harriet Buss is an undergraduate student, studying towards her degree in BA (Hons) Education: Early Years. During her second year, Harriet completed an Erasmus+ placement at Linnaeus university in Sweden.
Harriet's international story
I have been lucky enough to have travelled a bit and been on holidays abroad to different countries, but there is something so special about exploring a new country and navigating a new place.
I made new friends and my two flat mates from California and Austria will remain friends for life. We Skype every now and then to catch up.
Coming back after four months was strange but lovely. I returned two days before Christmas which was a great time as my family were all got together to celebrate and it was a chance for me to share my stories too! It was also nice to have a couple of weeks to settle before starting back to Bath Spa in January.
If you are thinking of doing a placement, do it! It is an absolutely fantastic experience that will open so many doors for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and embraced every opportunity. I would honestly do another placement tomorrow if one was available. As a person, it really brought me out of my shell and that has continued since I have been home.
"If you are thinking of doing a placement, do it! It is an absolutely fantastic experience that will open so many doors for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and embraced every opportunity."
Where did you travel to?
Which institution did you attend?
What made you choose it?
For me, it was a really tough decision to go as I am a real home bird and lived at home and commuted to university during the first year. However, I was drawn to the life experience I would gain, the friends I would meet and that it makes you stand out from others when applying for jobs. It is a great talking point!
What were your goals?
It seems that the British idealise the Scandinavian education system. Because they are so different, I thought it would be a great opportunity for my degree to experience it for myself.
What did you learn?
I cannot express enough how wonderful the Erasmus+ programme is. I had the best four months of my life! I have grown in confidence so much. It is so empowering to start 'alone' in new surroundings, with no friends and a language barrier, and to be able to get to the other side having had the most amazing journey.
The teaching in Sweden is quite different. It is more about small groups and discussions and debates, rather than large seminars. I didn't go to a single lecture the whole time I was there and the biggest class size I had was ten. We were all international students studying Education. Everyone in Sweden seems to speak such good English anyway, so if you ever needed anything they would be able to help you.
I also went to Lapland as part of an Erasmus+ organised tour. It was the most amazing experience and my two flat mates came along as well. It was surreal, we went snowmobiling and dog sledding, a fabulous add on to the placement!
"I would recommend an international experience because ..."
This experience changed me - definitely for the better! And I had the best four months of my life.
I applied for student finance as normal and then ticked the box for an Erasmus+ placement and it was very straightforward after that, with all the information being sent to me.