What position do you hold at KTH? What has been your career path so far?
Sebatian: I am a public relations officer at the Office of Communications and International Relations. I make sure that KTH The Royal Institute of Technology is widely known around the globe. Making sure people all over the world are aware of what a great study destination Stockholm, Sweden, and Scandinavia are.
My career path has gone many places! I graduated from high school in Sweden in 2004. I then moved to the United States to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Communications while I was playing collegiate athletics in the sport of soccer. After I graduated I held an internship at the Athletic Media Department of Jacksonville University, Florida. I moved back to Stockholm in the early months of 2009 and started working as a sub teacher while I began pursuing my Master’s Degree. In 2010 I started to work as an International Student Coordinator for the Stockholm University Student Union and in June 2011 I was employed by the Communications Office at Stockholm University. I worked there for two years before I moved to my current position at KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology) in June of 2013.
Did YOU study abroad?
Sebatian: Yes I did! I was inspired to do something different and see another culture and continent after graduating from high school. I was also very willing to continue to play soccer on a high level while attending university, and for that option studies in the United States were great. When I was offered an athletic scholarship I decided to give it a go. I ended up staying for almost five years. My first two years were spent at University of South Carolina, in the city of Columbia, and I finalized my degree and did my internship at Jacksonville University, Florida.
What does the future hold for KTH - any exciting new programs to share?
Sebatian: The future at KTH is bright. The University has served as one of Europe’s key centres of innovation and intellectual talent for almost two hundred years now and I am certain it will continue to do so for a very long time. Recognized as Sweden’s most prestigious technical university, KTH is also the country’s oldest and largest. Combining this with the dynamic and innovative atmosphere of Stockholm KTH is a great place to start your future as a student. With over 18,000 students and an international reputation for excellence, the university continues to nurture the world’s brightest minds, helping to shape the future. And I believe KTH will do so for many years to come. The growing number of students, the steady influence of international researchers and students, and a growing number of female students continue to place KTH at the forefront of academia and a great place to be at.
We have a new Bachelor’s programme all taught in English that is very exciting. But what we mainly focus on is our Master’s programmes. Master’s programmes cover nine fields of study with fifty degrees available. Taught in English, these programmes allow students to advance in their studies, in a diverse environment with world-class facilities. KTH has a large international student body and emphasizes the practical industrial applications of knowledge, incorporating the university’s close ties with industry leaders. This unique approach to learning means that Master’s students can look forward to exciting career prospects with an internationally recognized degree.
What about the future of the industry? How do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?
Sebatian: One thing is certain, it is impossible to ignore the roars of the young around the world, as unemployment rates spin out of control and economic, environmental and political crises deepen. About 73 million young people worldwide (12.6%) are out of work and youth uprisings in North Africa, Greece, Spain, Brazil and the Middle East all express the same desperation, mistrust and anger. And as new technology, smartphones and social media have joined revolutionary waves from different parts of the world into one big tsunami, the voice of the young is stronger than ever before. It is also certain that with this new technology and the amount of people out of work a solid education is more important than ever before. With new technological advances the different parts of the world are now closer together than before, communication is made easier, and ultimately, a move to study or conduct research in another part of the world can be made quite simple. I believe that the world of international education will continue to grow over the next ten years, and I think that ultimately the qualitative and professional universities, such as KTH The Royal Institute of Technology, will steadily prosper and continue to innovate the people of tomorrow
Which country do you think is an underrated study abroad destination? Conversely, do you think there is a country which is overrated?
Sebatian: The most underrated study abroad destination is definitely Scandinavia. Here you have a part of the world where you can easily communicate using solely English as your language. Something that is very hard in most other parts of Europe. The UK excluded obviously. The level of education and the quality of living is also extremely high. Out of Scandinavia I would definitely pick Stockholm, The Capital of Scandinavia, as the top choice to study abroad at. Stockholm is the home of the Nobel Prize and most often ranked top in the Global Innovation Index. Wired, recently featured Stockholm as one of the “hottest” startup cities in Europe, beating both Paris and Berlin as a key investment centre for global venture capitalists. The pool of talent and innovative ideas in Stockholm seem inexhaustible; the city is a place bursting with ingenuity, entrepreneurial spirit and an industry infrastructure helping individuals to fully realize their potential.
Two of my favorite ideas that come out of Stockholm actually come from KTH The Royal Institute of Technology alumni, and those are linked to my favorite interest, music. First we have music streaming site Spotify that is now growing rapidly all over the world. And secondly we have SoundCloud which is an online audio distribution platform based in that enables its users to upload, record, promote and share their originally-created sounds. Both created by new, young, and innovative KTH alumni. Other great aspects of Stockholm is the equality among its people regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference. It is also a very secure city that is big enough to always find something new to do, but yet small enough so you can go kayaking, in the morning, eating lunch in the Old Town, and then go for a round of golf in the afternoon, before you go out to a pub, restaurant, or nightclub in the evening. The fact that Stockholm is located in a place of the earth where you will see all four different seasons of the year also makes it a very interesting and beautiful city to live in!