Published: 29-05-2024 13:00 | Updated: 30-05-2024 09:48

Changing careers through KI’s programmes

Portrait image of KI student Anna taken outdoors.
Anna has worked as an architect and artist, among other things. She is now studying occupational therapy. Photo: Private

Having a profession that one enjoys on multiple levels is crucial for most people. Regardless of the reason for retraining, many of KI’s students switch to a new line of work through their education here. This is the case for Anna Edsjö, who is in her third term of the occupational therapy program.

Hi Anna! Tell us a little about yourself. 

My name is Anna Edsjö, and I am 57 years old from Stockholm. I am passionate about co-creation, creative situations, workshops, and doing things together with others. I want to work with development and change. 

What did you work with before your studies at KI? 

I studied at KTH to become an architect and took a lot of independent courses, both before and after that. I then worked in my own firm as an exhibition designer and architect, and also as a scenographer and artist.

How come you started studying at KI? 

Two years ago, I was in the countryside after a far too intense work period. I felt that it was like medicine for me to be there. I wanted to work with therapy outdoors, in gardens, and in nature. I googled and found the concept of healthcare gardens that the Swedish University of Agriculture has developed. I started searching for what professions work with healthcare gardens and outdoor therapy and found occupational therapists. I applied to the occupational therapy programme straight away! 

Do you have any experience with the retraining support from CSN? 

I applied for student finance for transition and retraining before I started the program and received a response long after I had started my studies. I was nervous, of course, but it went well. I was very happy that I got it. However, the financial contribution is relatively low if you do not have additional contributions from a transition organisation, but I think it is worth it having less money per month. The support applies to 44 weeks of full-time studies, so the rest I needed to finance in another way. 

Do you have any advice for people who are considering changing careers and starting university studies?

I want to cheer on anyone who feels they “must”, want, or need to change their job, career, and direction professionally. Working life is so long! So just do it, if it feels right. But think carefully before you take the leap, or take some shorter courses in the subject you are interested in, so that you end up in the right study programme for you. This way, you can spark your study interest and gain confidence. 

It is not as difficult to study as many people think, even if you are not so young anymore. I’m very happy to study an exciting and rich programme with many other committed individuals. 

Student finance for transition and retraining

If you are between 27 and 62 years old, you may be able to receive financial support from The Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) when you further educate yourself at KI or other seats of learning that are eligible for this support. The student finance for transition and retraining consists of a grant part and a loan part, which you can choose to top up with. 

You can find more information about student finance for transition and retraining on CSN’s website