Jenny Österberg

The path to EHS, education and professional career

Which program are you studying at EHS?

I am studying the master’s program in human rights. I have also studied the bachelor’s program here. In addition to that, I have read the courses Religion, Culture and Society and Interpreting God and Society, which are courses in the theology program.

Who are you?

I was born and raised in Norrköping and moved to Stockholm six years ago. My interest in human rights grew when I studied a volunteer course at a folkhögskola during the year 2014-2015 and, in connection with that, went in the spring of 2015 as a volunteer to Kenya for three months. The journey and the experiences from that course opened my eyes to the problems and vulnerabilities that an incredible number of people in the world face. It convinced me that it was rights issues that I wanted to work on. About a year later, I applied to EHS, which was then THS, and was accepted.

When I first started the bachelor’s program, I didn’t really know which issues were most important to me. At first it leaned towards peace and conflict work and international law issues. During the time that the training was going on, I felt the need to learn more, so that I could make a difference. So, about two years ago I applied for a volunteer position at a youth shelter to support victims of violence in young couples and since then I’ve been hooked. I am incredibly passionate about feminism and working against violence. The MR issues that are most important to me are the rights of women and young people. When I’m not writing my master’s thesis, I work in the evenings with my volunteer assignment or (mainly at weekends) with my part-time employment at a sheltered accommodation. I dare say that I live and breathe these questions as I don’t have much time left for anything else and enjoy it that way.

What attracted you to study at EHS?

I knew it was human rights issues that I wanted to work on and I saw that EHS had courses in almost every area of ​​rights, conventions and regional institutions. I saw an opportunity to gain a very broad knowledge in order to be able to see more easily which area I should focus on.

What are the three best things about studying human rights at EHS?

The school is smaller, which gives more opportunity for deep discussions in the classroom. Then you get to know more people and there is more opportunity for support and help from teachers and guidance counselors than at larger universities and colleges. There is also a great opportunity to shape your own studies and times because there is a lot of time set aside for your own studies.

What are the most important skills will you take with you from your education at EHS?

Being able to work very independently and structure my time. To dare to challenge myself and see other people’s perspectives on difficult issues. I have also become much better at reading difficult literature and writing texts.

What has felt challenging in the studies?

Just as it is wonderful to learn about many different areas of law, it can also be challenging if you do not have much knowledge about it before. For me, it was difficult with the first courses we had which looked at rights from a philosophical orientation, which was not something I was used to. It can also be challenging but instructive that there is room for big discussions in class – that can definitely stir up a lot of emotions.

What do you want to do when you finish your education?

I will do an internship at the Sweden’s Women’s Lobby. If I can dream about my future, I would like to work with women’s rights and against violence, with the goal of starting and developing my own organization/activity to counteract violence.