From Seoul to Stockholm

Min moved from Seoul to Stockholm to study at Berghs. Read on for her insights on life abroad and the communication differences between Sweden and South Korea.

Hi Min! Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Minjeong Cho, but people just call me Min, and I’m from the great city of Seoul in South Korea. I have a background of communication studies focusing on PR and advertising. I have been working with app marketing for a couple of years and now am currently in Stockholm studying on the Berghs Advanced program.

How did you find out about Berghs?

I’d been to Stockholm a couple times on vacation, and I really liked the vibe here. Out of curiosity I started looking for job opportunities and came across a job description for a marketing manager at Klarna. The description specified that they were specifically looking for someone who had attended Berghs. I’d never heard about Berghs, so I started doing some research. On berghs.com I saw that there were programs and courses available for international students, sparking my curiosity. After that I started following Berghs to see what was going on at the school. In late 2018 I decided I wanted to move abroad. With Berghs in mind, I continued my research and started checking out Berghs alumni on LinkedIn, seeing where they worked and if Berghs was legit. I discovered that Berghs alumni held important positions at brands I was interested in. I’d also heard a lot about Berghs from my Swedish friends. A few weeks later, I applied for Berghs Advanced and here I am!

Why Stockholm?

In 2018 I visited Berlin and Stockholm, which were my two top cities when it came to working abroad. I really like Sweden and Germany because they are both tech-savvy, like South Korea, but in a different way. I found myself leaning towards Sweden because of its love of high-quality technology and innovation. I also feel like there is more room for trial and error in Sweden – in South Korea the way of working is totally different, much stricter. More reasons why I chose Stockholm include the fact that it’s very up to date on the latest, and close to nature! Last but not least: Swedes are really good at English. Those are definitely advantages when it comes to moving here.

Why Berghs Advanced?

The first thing that struck me about Berghs Advanced was that it offers very up-to-date courses. For example, there are courses in UX Design & Data Strategy. The program information mentioned a lot about current trends in marketing communication, which I really liked.

What have you learned so far in the program?

I would say that I am learning to give my thoughts a voice, which is very good but new to me. A huge difference from South Korea is that I have to be very verbal here. In Korea you are more passive as a student – you’re quiet and don’t ask questions. At Berghs I have to reflect a lot and not only that, I have to share and discuss my reflections with other students and the teacher.

What are the biggest cultural communication differences between Sweden and South Korea?

At Berghs the teachers are equal with the students. There are no hierarchies. Teachers ask for your opinion and if you accept their theory. In Seoul, there is more of a lecturing-listening relationship between teachers and students.

Another thing that is very different is that every time we learn something new, we apply it straight away. I guess that is what you call action-based learning – you don’t know it until you try it.

What are some differences in the way ads are made?

Ads in Sweden are definitely more diversified – in Korea, they are more generic. The same kind of person is always trying to sell you something. I also feel like in Sweden, the focus is more on communicating through imagery instead of words. Swedes are also more politically correct and more inclusive in their ads.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to use my experience at Berghs as proof that I am really into the Swedish industry and want to work here. Preferably at an app company. I want to work with digital marketing and have already met a lot of people in the industry! I’ve heard that networking is important in Sweden – maybe I should just contact them. I probably will!

You’ve started a blog in Korean about your experience at Berghs. Tell us more!

I started writing a blog about my experiences here after getting a lot of questions from friends at home. Sweden is an attractive location for Korean people. In my blog, I list the pros and cons of living in Stockholm and studying at Berghs. Overall, I share my thoughts about living abroad and making a career for myself in Stockholm.