Text and pictures by students from HAMK, Finland. Edited by Elisabeth Riseth
Our journey to Sweden started at Sunday evening the 18. of February. We took a ferry from Naantali to Kapellskär and spent a few hours trying to get some sleep. On Monday morning we started road trip to Skinnskatteberg and arrived to the beautiful campus in the afternoon. Other students from the course were already present, waiting for us and the study program started after we, students from Finland, arrived. The other students were from the Netherlands, Sweden and Estonia. Teaching language was English, and English was also our main communication language with other students.
The subjects we studied were bioenergy resources and producing and trading of bioenergy. Our teachers Bengt and Nina were very nice and easy going. We had three days of lessons, one day was an excursion day and on the last day we presented our group assignments and had an exam. There was also a pre-test before the course week. Morning lessons and programmes started at eight o´clock and the days continued until 14-15 o´clock. We were divided in groups of two students. All groups were assigned with a different country to study it´s potential and trade of biomass and bioenergy resources.
On Thursday we had a successful excursion day. In the morning we visited a large heating plant, Mälar energy, at Västerås. We had a very interesting presentation about the plant. The coffee machine made the place even more worth visiting. In the afternoon the bus took us to the forest, quite far into the forest actually, and we had an opportunity to follow chipping of forest residues.
Skinnskatteberg (or Skinsberg) is a small place and the campus is located close to the city. There is no cafeteria at the campus. On our lunchbreaks we either had lunch at the city or ate lunch at the student dorm, called Gula. We stayed at Gula during the course and all the other students from the Bioenergy course stayed there also. We were able to hang out together on our free time. We were accommodated mostly in double rooms with a bathroom. There were joined kitchens for all students to cook and dine. There was also a pool table, a sauna and some gym machines downstairs. Finnish students were happy about the sauna and the Dutch students liked to exercise and play pool.On our free time we walked around the city, did some shopping at the two grocery stores and the System Bolaget (Swedish liquor store) and some evenings we had dinner at a restaurant. We were also invited to a student party at the “secret” pub on the campus. At the pub we met Swedish forestry students from Skinnskatteberg and had a chance to practise our Swedish skills too.
Those five days of the course were soon over, and we started our journey back home on Friday. The whole experience was awesome. We learned a lot, not only what we studied on our lessons but so much more. It was fun to spend some time abroad and it was also fun to come back home.