Ioana Onut Brännström

Ioana Onut Brännström, 30, was at an international karate camp in Denmark where she met a Swedish guy, Lars, and fell in love. She the moved from Romania to Sweden to marry him and study the Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology.

And she likes living in Sweden and in Uppsala.
- My hometown is an old German town so it actually reminds me of here she says. It has the same kind of atmosphere. And the weather is quite the same as well, as long as it doesn’t get colder she continues with a laugh.

Difference in studies
When deciding to move to Sweden with her husband, Ioana wanted to study biology so she could do a Swedish PhD. Uppsala was the only university she applied for since it has such a good reputation in biology. And she is glad she did.
- I have a Master of Science from my university Romania but it is not even near as good as the masters are here in Uppsala she says. The Bachelor of Science from Romania has given me a good background but the rank of education at this higher level is much better than back home she continues. Ioana says this is because the teachers in Sweden primary are researchers and secondary they are teachers and that they therefore are well acquainted with their subject and thus giving a high level of education. She is also positive to the friendly study environment in classes. Teachers talk to you without any restraints, saying “Hello” in the hallways and you can even call them by first name.

Ioana really recommends studying in Uppsala and she hopes more Romanians will realise what an opportunity studies in Uppsala is and will come here to study.
- They would love it she says. She is impressed how organised everything is. Most courses have easy accessible information on the web and everything throughout the University is clean and neat.

The education is free
One good thing about studying in Sweden according to Ioana is that the education is for free. She can afford living here since her husband Lars is working. Sometimes you can get scholarships from Romania to study abroad, but Ioana is here without one.
- Taking a part time job would be good, but not possible with the workloads you get from studying biology, she says. But at the moment I need an extra job and I will have to quit school for one term because I can not afford to stay in school at the moment. I have to work and I am not entitled to Swedish study loans just yet. So there is a small problem. Maybe the University should organise a centre were students can look for extra jobs she ponders.

Ioana hopes to apply for a PhD at Uppsala University when she is graduated and believes she will have improved her Swedish up until then as well.
- Good enough there are no problems just speaking English here in Uppsala she says, if you’re not applying for a job. Everybody knows it anyway, luckily, she ends with a smile.

Malin Jonsson