Coming to Linköping University turned out to be a great decision for me, but is actually one that happened almost by accident. I’d only planned to do one course!

In 2014 I decided to apply for one module alongside my regular job, which happened to incorporate a face-to-face week in Linköping. So I ended up camping in the city for a week whilst attending “Introduction to Gender Studies”. The course, surprisingly and brilliantly, was completely different to any higher education I had previously experienced; whereas my earlier studies had been very formal and teacher-led, this encouraged student input and even creative writing.

Leaving highly motivated, I registered for the entire first year of this distance-learning master's degree, but I did not stop there. Looking at the postgraduate prospectus I found a programme relevant to both my career and personal interests, Applied Ethics. After applying and getting lucky in the accommodation stakes, I immigrated and began this programme in the autumn of 2015.

Since then, I have really settled in to the university, making the most of its facilities, societies, and overall friendly attitude; students are not just fee payers and statistics here! I jumped at the chance to take free Swedish courses, as well as to belly dance in a union pub, get active in a society, and hide away on the top-floor of the library for hours at a time. I was surprised and grateful to find microwaves to heat food, comfy couches and universal wi-fi for students. To be able to select my own essay topics, and get lost in topics about which I am passionate. Above all, the respect for students has impressed me; never before have I been able to challenge professors, or been able to defer modules without penalty for different reasons. The city too, offers its attractions, from swimming to shopping to getting lost in the beautiful, surrounding forests.

Has it all been smooth sailing? Well, no, there have been obstacles to overcome, but overall, I would say that Linköping is the most supportive out of all the universities where I've studied, and that’s seven so far! My Applied Ethics thesis supervisor went above and beyond to help me get the support I needed, and although I ultimately had to defer that module, I will remember that personal touch. In the meantime, I applied and was accepted to the second year of the Gender Studies programme, which has gone wonderfully so far, and I have just two modules to go to finish the degree. It might be a distance-learning course, but that by no means equates to students being left alone, quite the opposite!

Amelia Gackowska is currently studying the second year of the Gender Studies master's programme at LiU. She moved to Linköping from Holland in 2015. She wants to pursue a career in ...
Above all, the respect for students has impressed me; never before have I been able to challenge professors.
Amelia Gackowska, master's student