“At MDU I’m able to test my theoretical knowledge in practice”

Meet Esma Hasani who moved 500 kilometres to study at MDU to be an upper secondary school teacher. Halfway into the five-and-a-half-year long programme she is pleased with her choice of city as well as the University and study programme.

A portrait of MDU student Esma Hasani

Esma Hasani moved 500 kilometres to study at MDU to be an upper secondary school teacher.

Three years ago she moved from Blekinge to Västerås and to a completely new situation.

- It was a bit scary to move so far away by myself. What I was most nervous about was accommodation, but the housing guarantee was so good! I was given a completely fantastic reception and it wasn’t even a week before I had an apartment in the centre of the city, says Esma.

Bus commuting between Västerås and Eskilstuna

The larger part of the programme is conducted in Eskilstuna, but Esma had the opportunity to choose her place of residence. The choice fell on Västerås since her brother lived there already.
- I’ve always felt at home in Västerås. It feels like a small metropolis: everything you want is here, and it’s near to everything. It works very well with the bus that goes between the campus cities; it goes from door to door and very often.

As a city Västerås has a lot to offer.
- If you want to get involved in traditional student life, the Student Union and the various student associations arrange a lot of fun things, especially at the beginning. It’s a good way to meet new friends. But Västerås is so much more than just a student city; there are lots of fine places to hang out in, good restaurants and cafés, and I’ve got to know lots of new friends at the gym where I work out.

Apart from working out, she works extra besides her studies.
- I need the variation. When I started I thought there wasn’t time for doing anything else, but you learn to plan your time. It’s tough and sometimes late nights are needed, but for me it works very well.

Planning is precisely what she thinks is the key to succeeding with studies.
- I study best in the library because I can’t concentrate at home. I look on it as though I’m going to a job when I’m sitting there in the morning. My best tip for to others is to find out what study technique suits you best. Test different ones and find the method where you get the best results.

Wants to create a secure place for her pupils

During their studies the students are out on placement for twenty weeks altogether; five weeks the first year, five weeks the third year and ten weeks the final year.
- It’s very good; you learn such a lot on placement. MDU works a lot so that we’re able to apply our theoretical knowledge in practice. In my programme it’s good our being able to get out into the classrooms as early as the first year, because then you can test whether the job as a teacher suits you.

Esma’s driving force is to make the classroom a secure place for the pupils, and to be there for every one of them.

- The teaching profession is important. I want to arouse interest in the pupils, motivate and support them to learn even more. To meet the different people, to be there for them and to see them develop, both in their subject knowledge and on a personal level. One challenge with upper secondary school pupils is that they are at an age when a lot of other things are happening in their lives, outside of school. There’s a lot of emotions and hormones. I remember that myself when I was there. For me it was completely crucial having a teacher who got me to believe in myself and who made the classroom a secure place where I could let go of everything that was outside. A teacher like that is what I want to be.