Text & Communications student Natsinet Selemun looks at the tricky business of choosing a Gymnaisum.
Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet in Södermalm was the right school for me, but what about you? Where do you want to study?Visit lots of schools before you choose!
There are many factors you must consider when choosing a gymnasium. Questions such as what programme interests you, what environment suits you, and if you want to study in English or Swedish are all essential.
“Choosing the right gymnasium is a process that must be given time and patience," says the school's study adviser Ms Caroline Mällberg.
Although you may be sure of where you want to study, the choice may soon turn out to be wrong.
“Within a few days I realized, that my gymnasium choice had turned out to be completely wrong for me,” says Aynur Isayeva, a student who transferred to IEGS after being dissatisfied with the teaching methods at the first gymnasium attended.
Limiting yourself to one or a few schools, simply because they are the first best choices, or because it is where your friends are applying, is a common mistake made by many 9th graders. It is often caused by fearing something new, and this in turn can leave you missing out on all the other options existing out there.
7-steps to finding your Gymnasium
Whether you are confident in where you want to study or not, one should explore all options. To do so, certain basic steps are important to take in the journey to identifying the right Gymnasium for you.
- Read through all the programs, and select those that correspond to your interests.
- Be conscious of what the selected programs actually are about, through looking at course plans.
- Explore different schools providing the program(s) of your interests by visiting fairs such as Gymnasiemässan in Stockholm, doing research online and gathering information from friends and family members with knowledge regarding different gymnasiums.
- Make a list of the qualities you are looking for in a school related to both academic and social aspects. Relevant factors may for instance be study methods, teaching methods, environment, the size of the schools, their social activities, traditions etc.
- Narrow down the possible gymnasiums applicable to your wants and needs.
- Go to the gymnasiums’ open houses to receive direct answers to your questions.
- Compare the gymnasiums against each other whilst continuing to narrow down the gymnasiums until you find the right one for you.
“The key to finding the right gymnasium for you, is using your heart and brain through the process,” says Ms Mällberg.
From Kungsholmen to Södermalm
Failing to consider all your options may leave you facing tough decisions later on.
“The high reputation of Kungsholmens Gymnasium attracted me," says 3rd grader Malaika Bekhit, "but it turned out that it was my mind alone that had made the decision of going there. I soon realized that studying in an completely international school would suit me better – both for academic and social reasons so I changed to IEGS.”
Malaika was able to transfer to what she later realised was the right school for her; Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet i Södermalm, but limiting herself to just a few schools made the change from junior-high school to the gymnasium more complicated than necessary.
“I agree with Malaika, but the friendly energy of both the students and teachers in IEGS made the transfer easier as they gave me a feeling of belongingness,” adds final year student Aynur Isayeva.