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Na-Rhee Scherfling

Na-Rhee Scherfling is officially based at the University of Bochum, in Germany, but is currently an exchange student at the University of Gothenburg, studying Scandinavian Studies.

“I feel at home here. For us Germans, Sweden has a certain romanticism about it – I guess it’s to do with our childhood. Back home in Germany we often read Astrid Lindgren’s Swedish children’s books, such as Pippi Longstocking, Seacrow Island and the Brothers Lionheart. I’ve read several books and also seen many films, and I think this has left an impression on me. I had never been in Sweden before, and maybe wanted to explore my childhood image of Scandinavia,” she smiles.

Indeed, Scandinavian Studies is one of the courses Na-Rhee is currently studying. All the lectures are in English, and the course is aimed at international students. The course examines culture and society in Scandinavia and Sweden from a cultural, aesthetic and social perspective.

“It’s a good choice for those who don’t have so much background knowledge about Sweden. It helps you understand the society in a completely different way, and on a far deeper level. The course is also diverse – for example, we study history, sociology, culture and film studies. In principle, we can touch upon just about any subject, and learn more about how people live and work in this context. It’s interesting.”

Na-Rhee’s classmates all hail from a range of different backgrounds, from countries all over the world.

“There is a broad mix of students, with people from all over the world studying every course imaginable: languages, the humanities and physics – you name it. It’s not only our nationalities that set us apart from one another, but also our ways of thinking. As a result, we often have really interesting discussions featuring a range of different perspectives.”

Scandinavians are pretty shy – at firstUnfortunately, there are no Swedish students on the course – something Na-Rhee thinks is a shame.

“It would be great to meet more Swedes at the university,” she says. “Scandinavians are fairly shy in the beginning, and I’ve noticed that it can take time to get to know them. Having said that, once you get to know them they’re really nice, just like everyone else. If I’m honest, I haven’t put that much effort into getting to know our Erasmus students back home in Bochum, so I really shouldn’t complain. I’ll definitely try harder when I get back,” she laughs.

All in all though, Na-Rhee feels right at home in Sweden. Her Swedish is getting better by the day.

“I’m living with a family in Grimmered, an area just outside of Gothenburg, together with three children and their parents. We spend time together doing everyday things, like cooking, for example. They speak Swedish with me for the most part, so I’m actually learning quite a lot. When I’m not at home I hang out with my friends, mostly in the Linné district or on Andra
Långgatan, here in Gothenburg. I have visited Stockholm three times in all. It’s a really beautiful city, though I think I prefer Gothenburg. There’s more of an alternative feel here, which appeals to me, and the Gothenburg film festival is totally amazing!”

Na-Rhee Scherfling, Germany
Studies Scandinavian Studies.

Meet also Shashank, Gabriela and Simon, a selection of our international students, as well as Robert, a Theatre Studies lecturer in the magazine Study Humanities. Meet five people at the Faculty of Arts in Gothenburg (2013).

Fotograf: Kristian Sahlberg, Mecka
Page Manager: Gunilla Johnander Parlenvi|Last update: 4/11/2013
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