BY SHIVAANEE SHA
Christoffer Jakobson, 22, A student-athlete, challenged himself by leaving Sweden to come to the U.S. to study business and play hockey at William Paterson University.
“New country, new culture. It has really taken me out of my comfort zone, but my hockey team has helped out. It’s like a second family,” Jakobsson said.
Jakobsson’s biggest challenge was adjusting very quickly. He knew nothing about American schools. He felt like he had to meet the school’s expectations when coming here. The hockey team and the new friends he has made at WPU helped him to branch out to new things.
He started school in Elmira College in New York and then transferred to WPU last semester to study business and continue playing hockey. He hasn’t looked back since.
“We take student from all over the world. Students from over 24 countries have came to study at William Paterson,” Nicole Rivadeneira said, a student assistant and peer leader of international education.
Every year, WPU gains about 20-40 more students every year,” she said. From the 2016-2017 the school year gained 100 students.
Jakobsson found that school is easier in the U.S. In Sweden, he listened to lectures throughout the course and took one big final exam when it was finished.
“I like the American way because the way the syllabus is set up it makes you always do your work, instead of maybe spacing out and forgetting stuff,” Jakobsson said.
Jakobsson stays with his teammate over winter break and spring break but returns home in his summers.
Christina Mati, 23, who studies education and history, came from the Netherlands to study at WPU. As much as she loves the U.S., nothing compares to her home in the Netherlands she said.
“My hardest challenge was to get used to the American culture; how people live and think. The language was hard to express or to explain something the way you wanted. That was frustrating,” Mati said.
She has an internship in the Netherlands where she teaches three days a week to high school students. She is an event planner on her free time as well.
Jakobsson believes that school is easier in the U.S., Mati feels as if the professors are less modern in Netherlands. They both agree that school is cheaper in other countries.
“Being an international student is good. It is really a great experience,” Jakobbson said.