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Alumni interview

Read interviews with some of our alumnis from the programme Bachelor of Science in Social Work - Specialization International Social Work. They will tell you about what they like about the programme and what it was like to study in Gävle.

Amanda Patterson

University education/programme: Högskolan i Gävle, Bachelors of Science in Social Work with a Specialization in International Social Work

What year did you complete your degree? 2021

Age: 26

Home country: USA

Current city/country of residence: Michigan, USA

Current job/profession: Small Business Owner

Current place of employment: My business

Hobbies and interests: I enjoy spiritual related things such as meditation, tarot and astrology. I love volunteering in my community and connecting with new people. I’m a big traveller as well.

During my education I did an internship that opened up a number of doors for me.

If you haven’t started working yet, what are your job plans and career ambitions for the future?

Although I have a business I do have plans for the future. I am currently the co-president on the board of directors for a grassroots organisation that works with homeless youth in Oregon.

Tell us a little about your profession, how you ended up in this field and what has been influential in making decisions along the way.

I currently own an ecommerce business which I ended up doing because I began learning how to read tarot cards whilst studying in Gävle. Although this profession is not what I studied, I know I ended up doing it because of my studies. I learned much more than Social Work in Gävle.

What is the best thing about your job/profession?

I love what I do, I feel happy to do the things I do. Sometimes it is hard and stressful, but I am always enjoying myself and I love that. I still connect with and help a lot of people just in a more spiritual and holistic way.

How have your studies at the University of Gävle shaped your choice of profession and/or your path to that profession?

As mentioned briefly before, Gävle, especially my classes, really required deep self reflection and awareness. This essentially provoked me into digging deeper into my side passions and hobbies, which lead me to what I do now. I am still active in the social work community and enjoy doing a little bit of social work on the side.

How have you benefited (or how do you think you will benefit) from your education in your working career?

During my education I did an internship that opened up a number of doors for me. It also helped me gain a new perspective in social work and that was: I need to decide where I want to go in the field of social work. The field is so large and vast, which has led me to realize I want to focus on one area in the field. I’ve also benefited because my education prepared me for the practical theories and methods I need to use with real life clients. I experienced this first hand during my internship.

What do you especially remember from your time at the University of Gävle?

To be honest the most significant memories I take from Gävle involve the community I created with the other students at the school. I created life long friends and connections that helped me become such a better, happy and loving person. I would never replace my time in Gävle for anything, it truly shaped me into who I am today, both as a person and social worker.

What was it like to move to Sweden and to Gävle?

I had lived in Sweden for half a year prior to moving to Gävle. I was really nervous and afraid of course, but after one week I started to really enjoy myself.

What is the best thing about Sweden and Gävle?

I think this would go back to the family of friends I had in Gävle. I felt heard, seen and loved by my friends and for that I am just so incredibly grateful for my time in Gävle.

Do you have any tips or suggestions for other students who want to move to Sweden and study?

What you put in, is what you will get out of it; academically, socially, etc. Enjoy yourself, go with the flow and don’t fear the change you will endure in Gävle.

What are your plans for the future?

My plan is to live in the US for a while then eventually do my masters degree back in Europe. I see myself living in Europe long term, but for now I am happy with the chapter in the USA.

Högskolan i Gävle
Box 801 76 GÄVLE
026-64 85 00 (växel)