Gæsteindlæg fra NSAC: The dream outside of the borders

Emily Frick er Team Member i Nordic Study Abroad Community og har de seneste måned arbejdet på en undersøgelse om hvorfor danskere og svenskere tager til udlandet for at studere. Læs hvad Emilie fandt frem til her:

The most ambitious youths who yearns for studying abroad

In nations like those of Sweden or Denmark our globalised world can, in the eyes of the ambitious youth, offer qualities such as knowledge, adventure and success. In wanting things as these, ambitiousness is a must if you want to make in our competitive world, especially if you want to take on the international arena. So, why do young people from countries like Sweden and Denmark choose to study abroad? That is what the purpose of this study has been, with the questions being limited to how the societies and families the students have grown in as well as ambition and school has affected them.
In the quest of getting better results other studies was used to aid as well.

There were several factors that seems to have affected the students in their individual goals. One thing that stood out was that every interviewed student said that their parents had always given them great freedom. Besides that 5 out of 7 of the students said that their parents had an academic background. According to the theory ​Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to Succeed1, t​ he upbringing of children affects how ambitious they will turn out, which is the beginning of an explanation. Something that has been proven many times in studies is that growing up in an academic environment will increase the chances of you wanting an academic life yourself. That 4 out of 7 of them believed themselves to be middle- to upper middle class is also no coincidence. As the theory above also recited, it is the upper middle class which is considered the most ambitious out of all the classes of society and which is also considered most likely to reach their goals.

As for the Swedish students, there is a clear connection as to 4 out of the 5 having attended the same high school. The high school, ProCivitas Privata Gymnasium Helsingborg, is renowned for being the school of highly ambitious and hard-working students, as well as having the rumor of being an upper-class kind of school. All of the students from this school stated that the school itself has affected them enormously, as there were several members of the staff that encouraged them in studying abroad. Wether this was a good or bad thing, most of them answered different to.

One thing which seems to have affected all the students, regardless of the nationality, is their view of their society. For the Danes both of the interviewed students stated that something that has always been present in their society and culture is the “Janteloven”. They both described it as keeping people from being too ambitious and especially prohibiting showing it. For both of them, however, it only made them more motivated. The Swedes described mostly the same matter in their own society, some referring to it as the “Janteloven” or the “Lagomkultur”, in which the word ‘lagom’ is a more swedish concept of not having too little, but not too much either – simply settling for what could be described as enough.

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