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"Being adaptive and curious will take you places"

Frida Dicksen is a third-year bachelor student in the Business and Economics Program, who just spent a semester as an exchange student at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, within the CIVICA Exchange Track. "My exchange semester during the past 100 days has definitely added a transformative layer to my life. Despite its brevity, it was filled with great experiences and opportunities for both personal and academic growth", says Frida.

During her time at SSE, Frida has been heavily involved in SASSE, the Student Association. She dedicated a year working full-time with educational monitoring, shaping SSE’s educational landscape as the President of the Education Committee. Joining the CIVICA Engage Track was a natural choice for her, as it aligns with her passion for combining academia with societal impact.

"From being a young student myself to teaching middle-schoolers in socio-economic vulnerable areas, to then once again going back to studies of my own, education has always been the center of my life. I wanted to explore the intersection of social sciences and real-world application at a top business school, with the opportunity of meeting likeminded people from all over the world", she says.

Frida thinks that CIVICA has succeeded in seamlessly integrating social sciences and engagement through the Engage Track, and her time at Bocconi provided great opportunities to bridge theory and practice. A prime example Frida experienced in Milan was a live case study she conducted for MSF Italia during a course called "30152 Public Management". The course provided a holistic understanding of societal challenges in the public sector, and she found it highly rewarding to apply this knowledge in collaboration with MSF Italia to address real-world challenges they currently face.

International environment paired with Italian culture

The main reason Frida chose Bocconi was its esteemed ranking among the top business schools globally. Bocconi’s diverse course offerings, coupled with an emphasis on practical application of theory, made the school an ideal fit for her academic goals. The prime location of Bocconi was a key consideration as well.

"I wanted an international experience in a global city, which is precisely what Bocconi could offer. My time in Milan has without doubt been extraordinary – a blend of challenges, personal and professional growth, and a lot of fun. Being on exchange felt a bit like being on vacation, a bit of time off from everyday life. While I dedicated time to study, engage in class discussions, and endure the usual exam-study-sessions, I truly embraced the opportunities Italy provided. In Milan we cheered at Champions League games at San Siro, marveled at Da Vinci’s "The Last Supper", and spent evenings trying different aperitivos. We found the world’s tiniest bar, ate loads of pasta, and ran a half marathon. We went to Venice, took swims in lake Garda, and enjoyed boat rides at lake Como", says Frida.

She would encourage other students to take the same chance offered within the CIVICA Engage Track.

"In all honesty, I anticipated the challenges, both academically and in adapting to a new country. What I didn’t foresee was the sheer amount of fun I would have. This semester exceeded my expectations and contributed significantly to my personal growth in ways I hadn’t expected. Being adaptive and curious will take you places", Frida concludes. "My primary recommendation for students considering an exchange semester is a resounding "go, go, go!""


The CIVICA Engage Track is a European multi-campus, interdisciplinary bachelor experience with a focus on civic engagement. By combining academic study and social commitment, the selected students can explore and respond to value-laden topics like responsibility and sustainability. They do this work in specific CIVICA Engage courses, through hands-on interaction with community-based organisations, and by sharing experience and reflections with CIVICA Engage students and other audiences. The students also have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at another campus within the program.
Read more about the CIVICA Engage Track here