Alumni Spotlight #18 Astrid Fabrin


Astrid Fabrin tells that after her graduation from BIDS in 2015, she was very confused about the endless options she could potentially pursue. She decided to travel for a while, and is now about to finish another bachelor degree in Social Anthropology. During BIDS, she majored in Human Geography and conducted minor field studies in Kenya.  Astrid encourages future graduates to “find some work that actually helps people!”


Astrid introduces herself  

Hello, I’m Astrid from Denmark. I finished BIDS in 2015 and now live in Malmö. Originally, I wanted to study anthropology but couldn’t get into the programme in Copenhagen. In Colombia, a Danish girl randomly told me about Lund University, but I couldn’t understand the course descriptions in Swedish on the university homepage. I then ended up applying to BIDS, because it was in English and sounded pretty okay.

During BIDS 

My major was in Human Geography, which was great! During the 3rd year I went on an MFS in Kenya working with and doing fieldwork in a small local community-based organization in the countryside outside of Kitale. This was the part I liked best about BIDS, as it enabled me to actually get some real experience. It was great! In general my work there was much more unofficial and random and real than what fieldwork first sounded like to me, and It was just wonderful to stay with the same people for two months, doing what they did every day. Personally, the experience was very touching because of the people I met there; practically, I learned a lot about cooking and keeping a garden, ate millions of mangos and passion fruits, and I also had some informative and interesting conversations with people about my research topic. It wasn’t all just ‘BIDS-related’ which is why it was so great. I then also studied Social Anthropology on the side, and am right now finishing my bachelor in that.

First and foremost, I found the experiences I gained from my fieldwork very useful. The ‘free’ semester in 2nd year where I did anthropology helped me getting introduced to the subject I finally wrote my thesis about, and also making contact with the organization in Kenya. Lastly, a teacher also introduced me to the Global Ecovillage Network, another organization I have volunteered with after I finished BIDS.

Life after BIDS 

After BIDS I was very confused about what to do; I was travelling and visiting amazing events and organizations mainly in Scotland and Portugal, and searching for jobs or internships in eco-community projects around the world. In the end I didn’t want to, or I couldn’t choose between the endless opportunities abroad, so I chose to move to Malmö. I am still confused, so I am just doing another bachelor in Social Anthropology, because I get to write about love and sex, and everybody is interested in love and sex. But after this I actually really want to do some proper work with real people instead of computers; maybe dig in a garden or build something and have a purpose for my body and personality, and not just for my brains.

Astrid advices future BIDS graduates to… 

Find some work that actually helps people! 😀

Interview conducted by Yannick Schwarz
Edited by Kia Silvennoinen

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