Written by Miranda Bunnis
Going abroad as an international student for a semester or even a year is nothing new to NC State Wilson College of Textiles students. But thanks to Diamond Jackson, students now have an additional choice to consider: the University of Borås in Sweden. Jackson studied there during the fall 2015 semester.
Why would she choose Borås in Sweden as a destination, rather than the more obvious choices of England or Italy, both popular among NC State textiles students?
“I like to take myself out of my comfort zone and do something different. I heard about the University of Borås through a family member,” said the fashion and textiles management student, who has family an hour away from Borås in Gothenburg.
Since NC State didn’t have any previous connection with the university, Jackson initially enrolled as what is known as a ‘“freemover”’, a student who can study abroad and earn credit without being part of a specific exchange program.
Though the process was challenging at times, Jackson speaks highly of the support she had received from the study abroad office at NC State and staff at the Wilson College of Textiles.
“They were extremely helpful in making sure I completed everything I needed to in order to study overseas and prepare me,” said the 22 year old, who reinforced how passionate she was about strengthening this new bond between the University of Borås and NC State for future students.
The university is known for its impressive textiles department. The Textile Fashion Centre where Jackson often studied is well equipped with computer labs, a textile museum, a fashion gallery, restaurant, a bar for after hours gatherings, a café and a smart textiles room.
Jackson found university life at Borås quite unlike NC State.
“The structure and content of the classes were different, and there was a lot I had to adjust to,” she said. “There were several professors teaching one course. One gave us a lecture, another taught us Photoshop. So there were multiple perspectives.”
She also found the communication to be a bit different from what she experiences at NC State.
“It’s a lot looser. Attendance is much more lax as is feedback on your grades. You don’t get any feedback until the end of the semester, which as an American student who wants to keep on top of grades can be hard,” she said.
Exposure to both educational and cultural differences in Borås helped Jackson to become more adaptable and she learned to appreciate the different way things are done outside of the U.S.
“I gained so much through meeting other international friends, living the ‘Swedish life’. Coming back, I’m so grateful for the journey because now every piece of my experience is a part of me.” she said.
“With a large international presence at the university, Jackson found herself spending most of her time with other international students. This, she said was her favorite part of her experience abroad.
“The people, meeting other internationals, building relationships and making friends. It all teaches you a lot about yourself. You would never think you could have so much in common with other internationals,” she said.
For more information regarding studying abroad at the University of Borås, visit their website.