Tag Archives: masters

12 Weeks Later…

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In two days’ time, I will have been in Sweden for 3 months. They say that you’ve officially lived somewhere once the 3 month mark has passed, so there you go. I live in Sweden.
I feel like I’ve been here forever, yet at the same time, it feels like no time has passed at all. When I look back on the whole experience, I can’t believe that everything I’ve done has been crammed into 12 weeks. There are only 8 more until I’m home for Christmas and then before I know it, I’ll be half way through my first year. 12 months ago, I would have had no idea that in a years’ time, I’d be 1,500 miles from home. It’s crazy how much can change in a year but more so how much it can change you.
I would say that I’m pretty independent, I’ve lived in student housing for the past two years back in the UK and I’m more than capable of looking after myself. You think you have it all under control. You’ve convinced yourself that you’re prepared for adulthood and it can only get easier from there. Then you move abroad…
You’re a stranger, a foreigner and you know no one. All the food in the supermarket has a funny name and people act differently to what you’re used to. You’re also living in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and if that’s not enough, you have all your studies to content with.

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What’s the Swedish for hot-dog buns? I can’t find hot-dog buns; will I find hot dog buns in Sweden ever again? I can’t deal with this.

Even though it may seem overwhelming, you find yourself gradually conquering each task and finding things a bit easier. It’s not that everything is getting easier, but that you are getting a little stronger, more used to your environment. I guess it’s something everyone fears, not being able to keep going, but if you wait it out, give it a chance, it always gets better. I say this because I found it hard moving here, although there was nothing wrong with Uppsala, it was hard for me to adapt. I now look back on the last three months and I’m happy to say I’ve overcome the silly little struggles that once seemed like mammoth tasks. As I feel more content with myself and where I am, I realise that I’ve adapted and grown up and that in itself is exactly what I set out here to do.
All the seriousness aside, I guess I could update you on my latest movements! Firstly I recently just sat my first exam here… I’ll not quite discuss how that went aha, but what I’ll tell you is how strange the experience was! First of all there are toilets IN THE EXAM HALL… like what is that about?! I mean, they’re in individual rooms, not cubicles (that would be embarrassing!) but I find it fascinating that you can just get up when you want and wander to the toilet for half an hour if you wish. Secondly, you are allowed to eat, and I don’t just mean small snacks like a chocolate bar or whatever; people are bringing in boxes of pasta, sandwiches, full on meals that they just sit and munch on mid exam. I’m used to the whole ‘put your hand up and you’ll be taken to the toilet’ and ‘no liquids that aren’t water’ scenario, but there are people drinking tea and coffee and whatever they fancy. I am amused.

Oh I also have a vendetta against one of my neighbours. I mean, I’ve never met him/her but I know that they’re somewhere close since I can feel the vibrations of their music almost every night. I’m not one to complain, but he/she played dubstep at 8am once on a Sunday morning. There’s a word for people like that but I can’t say aha.

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If you’re going to play it loud, at least play something good -_-

I go home in 5 days for a quick visit to see my family and boyfriend. Free periods are like gold dust here since they don’t have reading weeks (it’s a week off class to ‘read and study’ – yeah right ha). One module finished and another immediately begins but my timetable freed up so I booked a flight and I’m very excited for that! Anyway, must dash, I’m dressing up as a pumpkin tonight for a pre-Halloween party and I must buy orange face paint.

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How I applied to master’s studies at Chalmers Automotive Engineering program

NB! Sorry guys, I have left StudyInSweden and hence won’t be able to answer your future questions /gimmy 2016/09

It has been one year since I applied to school in Sweden. I want to give you a quick overview of my application process. It is easier than you think. You can do it!


I looked around and I found vehicle engineering particularly attractive. I wanted to come to Chalmers because it has a lot of close collaboration with automotive companies, such as Volvo and Scania.

Application is a two part process. First, you gather the documents required by Chalmers. Then you organize the files and mail it to unversityadmissions.



Part 1. Chalmers documentations

Preparing required documents was a painful process. Chalmers required many specific items that were difficult to obtain.


So go through the detailed list:


1. Cover sheet (Difficulty level: 1/10)

It is found in your account in universityadmissions.se.

When I was sending off my application at the post office, I couldn’t figure out the post code system in Sweden. It is 83873 in this case. Cover sheet looks like this:


2. Certificates/diplomas from previous university studies (Difficulty level: 8/10)


Biggest headache! I presume you are an international student. Chalmers demanded a long list of things to be stated on your transcript. My university’s official transcript lacked half of the items. So I went to the registrar’s office and asked them to write a letter containing all the demanded information. In the end, my school policy did not allow my birth date to be written on the letter… how strange.

3. Transcript of records (Difficulty level: 6/10)


Chalmers wanted a syllabus “issued by the university”. I can understand why they want it. Course code “Math1” and “Calc2” does not give much information. But since my university constantly changed its syllabus, we did not have an “official syllabus” with a big “University of Waterloo” stamp on it. So I went on Google and found our syllabus online. I guess that counted as “issued by the university”.

And I wrote this in my “content page” that I submitted along with my application:


4. Documentation of English language requirement (Difficulty level: 1/10)

Pretty straight forward

5. Proof that you meet the specific entry requirements (Difficulty level: 6/10)

The only issue I had was the aforementioned syllabus.

6. Relevant pages of your passport (or other valid ID) (Difficulty level: 1/10)

A copy of your passport: make sure it is clear. That’s about it.

You might want to double check with the school if you have dual citizenship.

7. Curriculum Vitae (CV) (Difficulty level: 5/10)

I had a few internships during university. But I still went to my university’s career services to get some professional critique. It did wonders

8. Project Portfolio

I did not have one.

9. Letter of intent / motivation (optional) (Difficulty level: 10/10)

Although this is optional, I still highly recommend it. I think it makes your application more “human”. I wrote about why I wanted to study in Sweden. Be honest about it.

10. Work experience (optional)

Just a resume.

11. Letter of recommendation (optional) (Difficulty level: 8/10)

Again, although it is optional I would still recommend it. It makes you more “trustworthy” in the admission judge’s eyes. Professors are very protective of their reputations. So, they will not write you a recommendation letter unless you are a good student in their eyes.

To be frank, I had difficulty finding the right references. Since I did not have many opportunities to work closely with any particular professor, I didn’t feel confident asking any of them. I ended up approaching professors with a portfolio that I prepared.

My portfolio included:

–          Transcript

–          Resume

–          Motivational letter (item #9 comes in handy now)

–          Description of the Chalmers Automotive Engineering curriculum. Professors might want to see this. So they know what you will be doing and why you are a good candidate for it.

I approached two professors, one from a materials engineering course and one from a design project course. It turned out they were very enthusiastic and encouraging towards my decision of applying to master’s degree. So, I guess participating in class and being interested in the subject helps.

12. Certificate of cumulative average grade (optional)

I didn’t have this because I was still completing the final year of my bachelor studies.

13. Check list (optional)

I like checklists. I think all engineers like checklists.

On top of the check list that was provided by Chalmers, I also made my personal “content sheet”. I thought this will make things more organized. I also included a page number on the bottom to keep things in order.


Part 2. universityadmissions.se

This website gives you general information about the applications process. This is where you will:

  • Print your cover page (the first page of your application package)
  • If your submitted documents have been received
  • Any new messages (check frequently for messages)
  • Updates on application process
  • Pay application fee (if you are from outside of EU/EEA)


Part 3. What happens next?

Pretty soon Chalmers asked me to fill out this “Specific course requirement portal” questionnaire. It will ask you which courses have you taken during your undergrad studies that fulfills specific areas of learning. It looks like this:





Now you have worked hard during your undergrad years, and you prepared a strong application. Just wait for a few months, stay positive and good news will come.


Don’t forget to save the PDF of “Notification of Selection”. I forgot to save it and it is not accessible when the second round of selection process is running. I got a little nervous, since I needed it for applying for the Swedish study permit (residence permit). Don’t sweat if you did forget, because it came back two days later.


Final comments:

Preparing the entire application took some work. It will take some more time to make it shine. So start early! Good luck!