It is incredible how time flies. I still remember the day I arrived to Sweden like it was yesterday, but it’s been 10 months already in here, that means that I’m halfway done! First year of my master’s degree has come to an end, this translates into two things; first of all SUMMER BREAK is here! and second, I only have one more academic year to go!
Before I get a little bit too excited over the summer, I wanted to write a few thoughts about this first year. So, this post will be about my first impressions, what I’ve been up to during the past year, and finally what I’ve learned from being an international student in Sweden.
Technically I’m still working on Formula Student, preparing for the competitions during the summer, but hey! at least I don’t have lectures nor assignments to hand in anymore (for the time being…).
A few of us have written about our first months, our first thoughts (right now Ivanna’s post comes to my mind, also Francesco’s post). I want to keep this part of the post short, so I will give you a brief summary.
The student life in Sweden is amazing! There are student committees basically for every interest you might think (we have a scuba diving, hot air balloon and pyrotechnic committees at Chalmers), I’ve visited a few universities in Sweden, and in my experience all the campuses are so incredible. In general terms, Sweden has an incredible atmosphere to study, on the other hand Swedes might give the impression to be cold, but it’s just one layer of trust that you need to go through.
First year of Master’s.
First things first, if you are coming to do an engineering program, learning Matlab beforehand it’s a great idea! I still remember the very first assignments I had to do, they literally gave me a script to work with to solve some given tasks…let’s say that those days trying to figure Matlab out weren’t so pleasant. In case you don’t know it, I am doing a MSc in Automotive Engineering at Chalmers.
In my case, the semester is divided into two periods; 8 weeks each period. So, every academic year has 4 study periods. During the first period I took two courses, Engineering of Automotive Systems & Internal Combustion Engines. Both introductory courses but I liked them. A few months after beginning my program I took part of a project called Formula Student, which gives equivalent credits as two courses.
This months were hectic, I was basically in campus at least 15 hours a day, once the project started to become more demanding I was spending more time on campus than at my place. The second period I took again two courses; Vehicle Dynamics & Vehicle and Traffic Safety. I must admit that I didn’t like Vehicles Dynamics that much, don’t get me wrong, the topic is amazingly interesting, but some lectures were kind of boring.
Third and fourth period I took only one course each period in addition to Formula Student, I took Road Vehicle Aerodynamics on the third period and Vehicle Dynamics Advanced during the fourth. Both great. (I recall one post about the Vehicle Dynamics Advanced course from Gimmy).
224 days after, here I am, getting closer to that master’s degree.
What I’ve learned.
I don’t even know where to begin with, let’s just start with the easy things such as: doing my laundry (I very little experience back in Mexico), cooking different stuff, recycle more efficiently, a little bit of Matlab (it is so hard), a lot about aerodynamics, a few things about photography, things the Swedes do, a tiny bit of Swedish (it is also hard and the reality is that I haven’t spent too much time on it), and off course a lot of engineering things!
These things are just a few of the thousand things I’ve learned over the past year, and there are still a lot of new things to learn. That’s the most exciting part of being here I would say.
Now, it’s time to embrace the sun and enjoy the summer!