Student awarded place at Swedish university

A West Norfolk student is embarking on a new chapter in her studies as she leaves to take up a university place in Sweden.

Katrina Sambaryte, who graduated from Springwood High School in Lynn last year, decided to use her dual British-Lithuanian nationality and apply for a university course outside of the UK.

“At first I was looking at university here, same as everyone else,” she said. “I realised it would be expensive, especially at this time, and debt looked very unattractive.Then I remembered that I was a European, a Lithuanian at that, and remembered my nationality had some advantages, and I could go to university for free!”

Katrina Sambaryte. Picture: Agnieszka Munns
Katrina Sambaryte. Picture: Agnieszka Munns

The 19-year-old spent a gap year working as a teaching assistant at Springwood, a member of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, before accepting a place at Linnaeus University in Sweden.

“The degree I will partake in is called Design + Change,” she continued. “The + Change focuses on being adaptable to social, economic and environmental factors affecting society as times move on.

“An agent of change – that’s something I aspire to become, solving problems whilst being mindful of the bigger picture and how all the pieces fit together.”

Springwood’s environment committee lead, Agnieszka Munns, and Miss Sambaryte’s other former teachers are delighted at her success.

“I’m very proud to see someone with her attitude and character pursuing her dream,” said Matthew Austin, who taught her GCSE Design and Technology, while head of English Lucy Clark said: “I feel very privileged to have had some small part to play in Katrina’s education, and I wish her all the luck in the world as she embarks upon her next step.”

“Katrina is one of the most positive, thoughtful, caring and considerate students that I have ever had the pleasure of teaching,” added Emma Markwell, who teaches Fashion and Technology at Springwood.

“I really love that she knows who she is and has a wise head on such young shoulders.”

Katrina added: “Springwood offered a place to cultivate my skills and passions for the world.

“From getting a chance to contribute to the welfare and environment of Thailand, to attending debate society and playing devil’s advocate – all of this was made possible by the teachers who cared enough to set these things up.

“I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life, and all the extra things that come with moving – the language, different foods, the culture, even the scenery. Discovering new techniques to approach a problem is exciting. No matter how stuck you feel, there’s always a solution.”