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Josephine Stephen, student

Josephine Stephen is a student from University of Dar es Salaam and she did an exchange semester at KTH during the spring term 2020 within the GDH exchange programme.

Hi Josephine Stephen, why did you choose to go on an exchange semester through GDH?

It was a great opportunity to participate in this program and I couldn’t afford to miss out. I have been engaged in challenge driven education but had not received an intensive training on design thinking. I also wanted to spend a semester abroad to focus on my further studies.

I would definitely recommend other students to do an exchange semester through, because it is a good opportunity to study in one of the best universities, to be engaged in teamwork for real life challenges and also to engage with people of different backgrounds.

What courses have you taken during your exchange semester at KTH? 

My main course was the Open Lab design thinking course (Innovations for the emerging city) which I enjoyed very much. I have practiced so many things through this course that relate to innovation, conducting interview, creating solutions based on the real problems and prototyping.

Other courses were option courses and I studied English for Writing and Presenting degree Projects and Business Model Innovation. Both of these courses were so good and I am glad I chose them.

What project have you been working on during your exchange semester at KTH? 

I have been working on Citizen Dialogue project in Skärholmen district, a project on how we can make our local political board meetings more accessible in order to increase participation of residents in local democracy. The project has been an eye opener to me as I relate political protocols of Sweden with those of Tanzania. We have different systems but the problems are similar.

What have you learned during your exchange?

A lot of things. Other that the courses, I have learned on participating in teamwork, defining my roles and potential in a team, time management and working with different online tools. I also had a chance to explore Stockholm before the breakout of COVID-19.

I like how we managed to move to online classes and continue with studies. Although it was difficult at first for the project course but we managed to explore the available online tools and created the normal working environment.

Why do you think it is important with this type of global collaborations?

We come from different countries, different educational and cultural and political backgrounds. Working together is good as we learn from each other. Everyone has a unique thing that others didn’t know about and they can learn from that and develop as a person.