The Nordic land exchange experience

13,650.5 km away, lays one of the largest countries in Northern Europe, called Sweden. Known for its famous midnight sun and contrasting weather, this perfectly describes this year’s exchange programme between the University of Namibia (UNAM) and Karlstad University (KAU).

The Social Work Department under the Faculty of Science and Humanities, were pleased to exchange Dr Emma Leonard and Ms Namoonga Chilwalo-Masule, to partake in this year’s 3-week long teaching and learning exchange.

This exchange took place after UNAM’S Department of Social Work hosted two academics from KAU for three weeks in July 2019 and 1 student during the second semester.

The initiative stems from the universities’ cooperation under the Linnaeus Palme Partnership, which seeks to promote cooperation between the two departments in the areas of education.

The lecturers’ visits have consisted of various discussions, seminars and how to improve the training programmes offered by the social work fraternity. Dr Leonard said “The activities commenced with detailed presentations on the Social Work profession in Namibia and transcended into exchanging ideas on how to advance training programmes”.

The two lecturers were accompanied by two 3rd year social work students, Dessary Simaata and Petronella Gaeses. The duo departed in August for a three months stay in the Nordic lights country as part of the student exchange programmes.

The one module at a time policy, used by KAU, allows students to complete one module before moving on to another. This contrasts greatly from the UNAM system. The lecturers conducted orientation sessions on life in Namibia and UNAM, as a result of Swedish students interest and request to join the exchange programme to Namibia. The Karlstad city is ranked as one of the best student towns because of its friendly and hospitable reputation and its warm welcome for diversity.

“Swedish people are friendly and helpful, which made our orientation around the city easy and our stay in Karlstad pleasant”, remarked the Namibians.

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About the Author: John Haufiku

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