I have been studying in a Masters program in Sweden for over a year now and I have tried to take part in as many opportunities as possible that will allow me to learn more. One of the best opportunities I have found to do this are the many conferences that are put on by universities and organizations all year round.
Since I have arrived, I have probably taken part in about six conferences. I feel it really is the best opportunity to learn from the most knowledgeable academics and professionals in the research field you are interested in. Beyond this, I seem to always leave more motivated then I came.
These conferences are typically held from one to three days and discuss what is currently going on in a specific field of research. There are many discussions that take place from academics and their new studies, to experts and their new investigations and even organizations and their new projects.
It is without a doubt that by attending these conferences you will probably get a chance to meet some great experts you otherwise may not have had the opportunity. The keynote speakers are usually flown in from around the world and truly are experts in the field. The opportunity to hear such prestigious specialists may not come again.
Another great thing about the conferences are the opportunities to present new research and gain feedback from others. Specifically, if you are a PhD student there is an opportunity to present your research and gain valuable feedback from professionals working in the same areas. It really is a great opportunity to gain insights and criticisms on your work. Even as a student there is usually a chance to join discussions in smaller parallel sessions.
It is always a plus that lunch and many fika breaks are included (it is Sweden of course). A free meal is always appreciated as a student. And, if you are lucky there may even be no cost for student participants.
Besides free food, the conferences that take place provide a perfect atmosphere for networking. While studying in university you probably meet many professors, but this gives you an opportunity to meet professionals from many different organizations. If you can get to know a few people from each conference this could be useful to finding an internship in the future.
Overall, going to university in Sweden offers you lots of opportunities to further your learning outside of a school setting. The many conferences that take place here provide the perfect environment for meeting experts, researchers and professionals who are currently working in the field. It is also a great way to learn what new research is taking place in your specific interest area. So take a look online, find some conferences in your interest area and get involved!