Meet a visiting student – Amir, born in 1981 in Teheran, Iran
"According to my sister who studied in Falun, Sweden was dull, cold and expensive. But she is a metropolitan girl – what she calls boring is what I like. I prefer nature and life in the country over big cities and night life."
– When I was five years old, my family moved from a flat in central Teheran to a suburb in Karaj, about five kilometres from the capital. I liked it there. We had our own garden and got a dog, a German shepherd called Joe. He was really strong and playful and I remember he was really big, perhaps only because I was so small. I remember how hard I held onto the leash and how he still managed to drag me wherever he wanted. My favourite subjects at school were chemistry and biology. Straight after secondary school I started studying at university in Garmsar to become a veterinary. It was only men who could study to become a veterinary, it was considered to be a male occupation.
– When I finished my veterinary education, I started working as an inspector at a bank that took care of insurance matters. When farmers reported that their animals were sick or had died and wanted to make an insurance claim, it was my job to go there and assess the damage. The job meant many hours in a car, which I didn’t like. My sister was living here in Sweden then and she suggested that I should come here. In Sweden, I could study ethology, a subject that I like very much and it was that possibility that convinced me to move here. According to my sister who studied in Falun, Sweden was dull, cold and expensive. But she is a metropolitan girl – what she calls boring is what I like. I prefer nature and life in the country over big cities and night life. I don’t like it when there’s too many people.
– When I came to Sweden in August 2010, it was the first time I had been outside Iran. The thing that made the biggest impression on me was the sky. It is so blue here in Sweden, with such beautiful white clouds. In Iran the sky is grey and is either completely covered with clouds or there are no clouds at all. Here the clouds have so many different shapes and in some ways they appear to be closer to earth. Perhaps it is due to the fact that the air is cleaner here. The first winter I was here was covered in snow more than one metre high. It was extremely beautiful.
– Studying in Sweden is different to Iran. Here, a large part of the studies are groupbased and the students work together. In Iran the studies are more about memorising books and writing essays, which isn’t as fun.
– When I had finished my Masters, I was sure that I wanted to apply for a PhD position here. The research that I am doing now is about the domestication of animals. I spend 60 per cent of my time on research, in addition to that I teach and am taking some courses myself.
– After I’ve done my PhD, I’d like to research on human diseases. I hope I can get a good and stimulating job.
Guest students pay for both education and their living
The studies must be at a university or college. The student must pay for the study place and show that they are able to support themselves during the whole study period, at present SEK 8,370 per month. The permit must be ready before entry into Sweden.