Rikard Malmstroem

“I talked with a friend of mine in Sweden, and she told me how great SMC is. So I came here, and you know what? I owe her a BIG favor.”

Word of mouth around the world. Swedes, Nigerians, French, Koreans, and Russians. The word goes out among young people worldwide. The message: SMC is the Number One choice if you want to start up a new life of study—and English and an entirely new culture—that all give you access to some of the world’s best universities. And Rickard Malmstroem heard it.

“I was studying in Sweden, but I didn’t like the experience. And the climate is terrible!” said Rickard with a great laugh. “Then I had that talk with my friend, and she told me that I’d love SMC and living in California. And she was right! I’ve found out that SMC is really not very different from Swedish universities, and the teachers are among the best. Plus, it’s a lot warmer! Of course, it’s easier for me to study in Sweden,” continues Rickard, “because of the language. So I just have to study harder.” And in his efforts to tackle that ‘bear’ of a language we use here, it’s obvious that he’s made great strides. And he’s discovered a “wonderful!” ally in one of his SMC classrooms. “Yes, I study English 1 with Professor Barbara Gildner. And because it’s a very small class—maybe 20 people or so—she really gets the chance to interact with all of us. She takes the time to get to know us, and always has the most interesting questions. And answers, too.”

Rickard advises, “I hope that other international students won’t hang out just with other people from their own country. You really have people here from all over the world. And if you make a little effort, you can learn incredible things about their cultures. I do this as much as possible, and it’s been a really, really great experience for me.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.​