He fell in love with Sweden
Berthold Panzner was supposed to study at Linköping University for six months, yet he enjoyed it so much that he stayed for two years.
It all started in 2004, when he visited a friend in Stockholm. It was his first time in Sweden and he was hooked.
”It was love at first sight”, he says. ”I knew I wanted to return. My university in Magdeburg had a partnership agreement with Linköping University and so I came to Linköping as an Erasmus student in 2005.”
At the University of Magdeburg he had studied applied physics and electrical engineering and he continued in this area, combining it with a beginner’s course in Swedish. But it was certainly not all work and no play. He had lots of fun with other students while living in the student dorms, including monthly theme parties.
”Once we had a dorm beach party and we dressed up in swim wear for the occasion. It was freezing outside so we turned on the oven to warm up the room”, says Berthold, who is still in touch with his dorm buddies.
He also took the opportunity to really get to know Sweden and travelled a lot. Lacking previous experience of cross-country skiing, he and two fellow exchange students signed up for the Vasaloppet. For three months they practised on the golf course by the university before successfully entering the race in March 2006.
By then, Berthold had already decided to stick around. He continued his studies at LiU and ended up doing his degree project with the research company Acreo in Norrköping. What was it that made him stay?
”Life in Sweden is more peaceful than in Germany. I also find it more personal, relationships are highly valued. And of course I enjoyed life as a student at Linköping University.”
Berthold Panzner is now back at the University of Magdeburg, where he is a doctoral student working with ground-penetrating radar. He is still fluent in Swedish, although that’s unsurprising, since he is a frequent visitor to Sweden.
”I must have gone back at least eight times since I left in 2007 and I certainly will again”, he says in conclusion.
Text and photo Maria Karlberg
From LiU magazine no 2 2011
Last updated: 2012-11-27