me, myself & andrei

27 Jan 2010
2010 = 2009 = 2008 = ... for studera.nu

Yesterday I received a message from one of this year’s applicants tfo higher studies in Sweden. I will not say more. It speaks for itself. Sad. Very sad.
*Information in square-brackets is a substitute to original titles, on the applicant’s request.

Hello Andrei:

I came across your studera.nu wikipage and I just wanted to thank you for the information. Actually, I wish I’d found it much earlier as I definitely would have made many changes to my application this year.

Your page has validated a lot of what I thought about the entire Swedish university application process! I found it to be very cryptic and never forthcoming about any of the requirements. It’s not just studera.nu that’s not clear: I contacted several people at [a prestigious Stockholm university] (where I’ve applied) and they each said something slightly different about what I should include in my application and letter of intent. At times, they contradicted each other and the information on studera.nu. And when I sent a message through studera, I waited several days to receive a generic, cut-and-pasted response of info already available on the website.. they didn’t address my specific question or the fact that I was confused!

What is most frustrating is that I know I’m a great candidate for the programme I want to pursue in terms of my grades, employment experience, research projects and papers, volunteer/extracurricular activities, etc. I thought very carefully before applying and chose just one programme where I’m best suited and that best suits me. YET, I’m almost certain now that I won’t even be considered since I don’t think all my documents will reach the Higher Education Offices on time. For one, I went to school in North America so my transcript must be sent directly by my university - although I requested this weeks ago, my school uses an obscure courier service with no service guarantees, and it looks like my transcript still hasn’t arrived. And though I initially thought the PO Box address on the studera.nu page looked strange, I assumed it would be ok as I’m not too familiar with Swedish addresses, and I sent my documents there. [World-class express courier] gave me a guarantee that they’d arrive this week, but I’m starting to doubt it based on what I’ve read on your page about Stroemsund’s remoteness. Why would they NOT mention the contact person and street address for mail via courier? Why would applicants have to get this info on their own?? And why is there no phone number to call and ask questions directly? It makes no sense at all.

By the way, is it true that it may take weeks before the status of my documents on the studera website changes to say that the documents have arrived? So is there no way of knowing if they’ve arrived by the Feb 1, 2010 deadline?

This program would have been perfect for me, and I was so excited about studying at [a prestigious Stockholm university], but now I’ve decided to (almost) forget about the whole thing and not to get my hopes up. Everything I’ve read so far is indicating my application likely won’t even reach Stroemsund, never mind actually going through the selection process.

Anyway, it is a bittersweet relief to know I’m not the only one who expected so much more from the application process to some of the top universities in the world. Thanks again for your webpage and the invaluable information. (I’m so frustrated and a little disgusted with the process, I probably won’t bother reapplying next year)

Regards and best wishes with your studies.
M


Andrei