Tag Archives: Malmö

Passing the semester at Malmö University – walk through my finals week

Today is officially the first day of a new course and I would like to happily report that I came back to life. Passing this semester wasn’t really as tough as I am used to – although I am pretty sure that is more connected to the fact that I no longer study Architecture so days (weeks?) without eating, sleeping or walking away from the computer are gone. Instead of “sleep is for weak” attitude I am enjoying Swedish work-life balance, laid back atmosphere and no grades. Don’t think that means no one cares about the quality of the projects – quite the opposite! I am struggling to be better and better for myself. Small fact that all the projects are group work adds a little bit of motivation and time management pressure. Are you interested in how my final week of the semester looked like? Let me walk you through it…

Before we start two practical information. Firstly, I study Interaction Design, thus my finals week looks different than most of the other students. We don’t have any exams – instead we present project we worked on during the entire course. Secondly, studies in Sweden (or at least at Malmö University) are organised in courses: two per semester and only one at a time. So I wasn’t really passing entire semester but only a 2-months-long course.


Coming back to school after the hazy blur of over-eating, family meetings and not-knowing-what-day-is-it-or-what-is-happening-in-my-life mood of Christmas is a shock. I was supposed to do everything during the Christmas break, wasn’t I? Well, there is just one thing left to do: panic. Panic going through the code in the train, skyping with your group at the airport and trying to do some work at every single one of your five transportation means.


Working, working and yes, you guessed it – working. I am not in this alone: two of my teammates suffer with me the endless hours of skype and iterations of the algorithm. Working on an experimental text processor, we are implementing the last changes in the code to get rid of the bugs and preparing posters presenting the output. At 4.00 in the morning I suggest taking a 3-hours sleep break and meeting again at 7.00 a.m. . One of my teammates thinks it’s a joke – funnily enough I can’t guess if she’s outraged by the idea of us going to sleep already or the idea of waking up again in less than 3 hours.


Hurray, we’ve got everything under control! The code is ready, the posters sent for printing. My group meets at the University to finish the last remaining task – put together a slideshow presentation.



Presentation day! We start with a demo hour – inside our studio all five groups prepare a mini exhibition of the prototypes. Guests (second year students and invited teachers) and us have an opportunity to go around and try out the prototypes. My group is presenting 4 experiments we developed during the design process and a final project: a definition making algorithm for non-existing words, set of poetry created with Google Translate, an algorithm creating a flow of synonyms, a digital dictionary of untranslatable words and the text processor detecting the dynamics of typing and translating it into typographical distortion. We take turns staying at “our” station, answering questions and explaining our process. After the demo-hour each group presents their project, process and theory behind it in front of entire class and receives critique from peers and teachers. This lasts for hours, so when I finally make it to home I am more than ecstatic to see my bed.


Let’s take a break from the studies, shall we? Today is the day that new students arrive in Malmö! And I am one of the volunteers welcoming them. I spend the day in a big black t-shirt with “ASK ME” on both sides, picking the incoming Erasmus and Exchange students from the train station and helping them with the check in.


Oh,well – back to reality. Just the fact that I presented my project doesn’t mean that it’s all over. After finishing a group project each of us individually has to hand in a 3-4 pages ACM format academic paper based on the project. Before the Christmas break we had a chance to discuss our potential topics with our teacher. Let’s get to writing then.



Who would have known that writing 2000 words takes so much time?

FRIDAY 13.01

Everybody is working until the very last moment. The deadline for uploading the finished paper is at 17.00. Shortly after that I set out from home for a Buddy Night at the Student Pub – a chance for me to meet an incoming Spanish Erasmus student for whom I am a Buddy (person helping out with all the questions concerning Sweden and coming for Erasmus).


The semester is over! Time to celebrate! Most of our class is a good group of friends, so we gather together for some well-deserved fun. Kevin is hosting an end-of-semester party: games, pizza, snacks, laughs and random conversations.

SUNDAY 15.01

I haven’t had much sleep yet but instead I enjoy a family-like breakfast at my best friend’s place (coming home alone might not be the safest option in Malmö, so I choose to wait until the morning). Her roommate prepares warm scones for everybody – and that’s just one of the perks of living in a student apartment! It’s well after midday when with full stomach and after discussing almost every topic possible from internships to adolescent fails, I finally set out for home. I can’t wait to get to my bed after this finals week. Goodnight!


Malmö University 101

Dining at the City Hall, singing Britney Spears karaoke at the Student Pub, questioning policeman Mike about Swedish law, eating hotdogs at the beach and staying for 24 hours at an university building… a regular first week for Malmö University student. Let me briefly introduce you to the Malmö högskola!


                                                                    Source: GIPHY


“Hey mom, my university is younger than me! “

Malmö University was founded in 1998, which makes it younger than most of the students. It also means that since at that time nearby Lund University already offered traditional programs like law or architecture, at Malmö University you can get a degree in  Interaction Design, Criminology, Human rights or Leadership for Sustainability. How cool is that?




Credits: Kentaroo Tryman/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se


Most university buildings are located in the northern part of the city, where old industrial harbour was transformed into the nest for education, entrepreneurship and innovation. Especially innovation – did you know that Forbes ranked Malmö as fourth most innovative city in the world? The newest building of the university looks like a headquarters of an important company.  And we are only a few steps away from Västra hamnen, famous neighbourhood that is sometimes described as the first carbon neutral district in Europe.





Let’s get to the point! What happens when you come to Malmö as an international student? For sure you are not alone. On the contrary, together with me in the Introduction Programme participated over 500 international students from 84 different countries!  Coming two weeks earlier is not obligatory but I would recommend it to anybody – it is essentially 9 days of fun and getting to know people from all over the world. I prepared a calendar summary of my first days in Sweden to get you the idea. I had numerous fikas (traditional swedish coffe breaks with mandatory cake!), had a chance to talk to the Mayor at the official reception at the City Hall, enjoyed  last summer days at the beach, got to know all the university services, danced to Swedish tunes, met my future teachers and much more!




aka Seeking the Holy Graal of a Swede

A running joke among my classmates is the general difficulty of meeting a Swede here. Most of the people I know in Malmö are international students. We were quite surprised to discover that the total number of Swedes attending our program is a grand 1. The more excited we were about Insparken – the first two weeks of the term which are somehow an equivalent of the Introduction Programme but for Swedish students. This time it is only about fun: teambuilding with your faculty, karaoke, theme parties, boardgames… All in the spirit of rivalry between faculties (go sports!). The epic final of Insparken is a 24h race with a new activity announced every hour. Tasks varied from dance competitions to baking cake… and decorating christmas trees. All this in a great atmosphere. And by great I mean several-dozen-Swedes-singing-Pokemon-theme-song-aloud-and-toasting-every-hour great.



As you can see, international students are never bored during their first weeks at Malmö University. There are countless opportunites to get to know the school and future classmates.This is not unusual in Sweden – here you can check out how Dena described her introduction experince in Lund University. What about you? Do you have some special events at the beginning of the term at your universities?


Would you like to know more about Malmö University, my faculty or Interaction Design Master Programme? Feel free to suggest topics that interest you. I have just came to Sweden from Poland to study interaction design and from now on you can follow my student blog for stories about my time here. Stay tuned!

Visual Tour of The Science and Maritime Museum in Malmö

Welcome to the Tekniska and Sjöfarts museum

Also known as the Science and Maritime museum, located on Malmöhusvägen in the middle of Malmö, this visit takes you  on a journey through Swedish history to an interactive future.


One of my highlights creeping into an actual SUBMARINE U3 which was in operation during WWII

This was  the first submarine with a fully Swedish design and also the first with a completely welded pressure hull, a construction method developed at the Kockum Shipyard in Malmö (Kockums Mekaniska Verkstad AB).


Operating the submarine’s periscope with a live view of Malmö


Carl Linnaeus,  a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who formalised the modern system of naming organisms called binomial nomenclature, is also known by the epithet ‘father of modern taxonomy’.

Here you see a glimpse of different types of animals preservation and even dissection dating back to the 1700s. It provides a sense of  wonder and curiosity about nature at that time.

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Meet the world’s most famous scanian, Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe was a Renaissance man born in Scania (then Denmark, now a part of Sweden), well known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. AT the ‘HIMMEL och JORD’ (heaven and earth) exhibit, the fun thing to do is to enter the ‘dark room’ and steer around the planetary system and navigating around the universe.



Rewind back to the early 1900s and enter the ‘Vehicles of the Future’ exhibition.

This exhibit also highlights insights into how people have historically felt about the future, with a sustainable perspective and take your time to explore the different vehicles, aircraft and engines.

Highly recommended to try this – lifting a horse power. It’s tough, I couldn’t do it alone by myself.

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Do you know Skånska inventions? Toothpicks, pacemakers and nanotechnology are among the 32 inventions from Skåne at the SMART! exhibit


At the second floor of the museum, you can try out various interactive and experimental games with your friends. Try out the ‘brain activity race’ with a friend. You and a friend are seated between a table, facing each other with a band around your head. This band has the capability to track the brain activity and triggers the ball (placed in the middle) to move towards either of you. The trick to winning is to RELAX and not think of anything!

I underestimated the time and had only had 2 hours+ at the museum which was really not sufficient. I didn’t manage to visit the Nordic region´s oldest surviving Renaissance castle which was right across the museum. Well, till next time.