Staff Spotlight: Mikael Karlsson

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What position do you hold at LSF Montpellier? What has been your career path so far?

I’m the Marketing Coordinator at LSF. I started working at this language school a couple of years ago during my studies and continued to work at LSF after graduating. I love working in the international environment of a language school where you get to interact with people from all over the world on a regular basis. And I’ll admit, being located in the south of France doesn’t hurt either!

Did YOU study abroad?

Well… Yes and no. While I haven’t studied abroad in the sense of following a program at a school or college in another country, I have studied, while being abroad. I’ll explain:

While studying at the university in Sweden I had the possibility to study from “home” during a few courses. Having a passion for travel, I took this opportunity to make the abroad my “home”, and simply followed the courses while living abroad. I spent most of this time living in France and in Canada. Although the time difference at times meant having to pass exams or test during the middle of the night, it was definitely worth it.

What does the future hold for LSF - any exciting new programs to share?

One program that is proving more and more popular is our French & Cooking program. This course provides a fun combination of studying French language and having French cooking classes.

In the morning, students follow French language classes that are adapted to their language level, from the complete beginner of French to the advanced. These are fun and interactive classes where students progress in all aspects of the language. In the afternoon, the students have French cooking classes during which they learn how to cook various traditional French dishes and learn about French gastronomy. The cooking classes are led by a real French chef in a professional cooking school with a warm and friendly atmosphere.

During both the French classes and the Cooking classes there is a great mix of nationalities and students make new friends from all over the world. It is a really unique way to discover both the French language and the world-renowned French cuisine.

What about the future of the industry? How do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?

I think living and studying abroad is an amazing experience that attracts most of the people that get exposed to the idea. With advances in technology it keeps getting easier for students to both find information about interesting programs abroad and to enroll in them. It’s also possible to get more dynamic insights into the experience today through for example social media. Improvements in technology have also provided an increased awareness of other countries and cultures. It’s easier to connect with other people and to get exposed to other cultures. I believe technology continuing to improve, coupled with new markets opening up and continuing to grow, will mean that we’ll see both a more diverse nationality mix going abroad to study, but also an increased number of destinations to study abroad in.

Which country do you think is an underrated study abroad destination? Conversely, do you think there is a country which is overrated?

It’s very tough to think of an overrated destination, but I can tell you about an underrated one: Montpellier, France! When most people think of studying abroad in France, they immediately picture Paris. But there are many other wonderful destinations within France and Montpellier is a real gem! Montpellier is a vibrant city in the south of France and has been the fastest growing in France for years for a reason. Montpellier is the perfect blend of the old and the new: A beautiful historical city center with many charming boutiques, cafés and bars in medieval alleyways and modern buildings, shopping complexes and communications connecting the city with the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. With about 1/3 of the population being students, Montpellier has tons to offer international students. A fantastic, but not always obvious, destination to study abroad in France!