Tag Archives: student

From Italy to Sweden: a new chapter of my life

Hej everybody! Or perhaps I should say ‘ciao!’. I’m Francesco, I come from Italy – even though many people I’ve met so far have told me at first blush: “Are you French?”. After almost two months since my departure and the beginning of the courses, I should be missing my home and my country, right? Well, probably it’s not my case.

I’ve been living and studying in Gothenburg, and I feel like I’m home. I may not speak Italian all the time – and this might affect myself somehow, when it comes to express totally myself – but it’s not a big problem since I speak English and I’m trying to learn Swedish – slowly, because of many things to study and to do! I expected, to a certain extent, that my experience here would have been remarkable; what I didn’t expect was that it would have turned out to be even more than that.

Velomobile - Francesco Barbati

I took this picture during a velomobile race at Bananpiren, after few days I arrived in Gothenburg. 

Anyway, why Sweden? And why Gothenburg? The last year has been for me so intense and full of great experiences. I have lived in UK and Denmark, where I’ve carried out some Erasmus traineeships. Once back to Italy, I felt that something was still there, inside me: a feeling coming from abroad was trying to call me back; a feeling going fast like a velomobile, keen to reach another destination.

I had the chance to visit briefly Sweden twice. Last year I went to Stockholm, and few months ago to Malmö. In both cities, I straight away felt something positive. In April, I took my final decision: I wanted to carry on my ‘Nordic’ experience as well as to improve my academic skills.

I chose Sweden.

Although I don’t deny that Stockholm was my initial choice, when I found out the Master in Communication arranged by the University of Gothenburg, I immediately wanted to apply. I didn’t know anything about the city, except for something I read previously surfing on the web: a multicultural and international city, plenty of cultural places and nature. A perfect combination for me, especially regarding my interests and my personality.

So, I decided to take an unconventional route and leaving Italy on a ship. You can have a proper look below at the picture I’ve taken: guess which was mine?

1Gothenburg regatta 2016

Once got in that, I reached the helm, and very confident I told myself: “Let’s do that!”

2Gothenburg regatta 2016

Jokes apart, the flight went smoothly and these pictures were taken during one of the first events that I’ve attended here in Gothenburg, called the ‘North Sea Tall Ships Regatta’. It was great to see so many ships coming from different parts of Europe and the world! Moreover, I had the chance to eat some French crêpes there: a good way to reconcile myself to my French alter ego!

Here we are Sweden. And here we are fellow readers: I can’t wait to share with you other stories of mine and my perspective on Swedish world!

A presto!

BJ Town

KTH Accommodation: Take It or Leave It?

Now that new students has been announced and some of our friend is accepted in KTH, it is now the time to think, talk, discuss and research about next big thing: the accommodation. I get lot of questions from the new students about this. Will it be easy to get a place inside the university? Which student complex is the cheapest? Can I choose the place? I think it is good to share my idea about this matter and maybe few friends can be helped. Continue reading

MSc of Finance at SSE, or why 13 is a lucky number

The first time I considered applying to a business school, SSE came up on top of my list. It was 3.5 years ago, and I was looking for a BSc program in Economics. My first impression after googling SSE? “It’s one of 20 best European business schools!”

I have to admit, with Financial Times rankings, explaining my choice of university has been a piece of cake. Usually, it’s enough to say I study for MSc in Finance at SSE, the program ranked 13th in Europe.  Yep, after that kind of intro, my “Why SSE?” story never gets told. People just nod in understanding, and ask no more questions.

Here’s the great thing about writing a blog: you don’t get interrupted that early on. Now, I’ve finally got a chance to say that there’s much more to my choice than the Financial Times ranking. Of course, SSE web-site has it all structured and nice, but I’d like to get a bit more sentimental, if not completely irrational about my 13 reasons for studying Finance at SSE:

…When you leave a computer lab at 12.30 am, there still are people staying on.

…Corporate presentations are up every day, sometimes twice a day. Hey, free dinner, and sometimes, lunch, too! Isn’t that exciting?

… Most Nobel Laureates in Economics have visited SSE at some point. In other words, there’s a strong correlation between presenting your research at SSE and winning a Nobel Prize in Economics. But no pressure, no pressure whatsoever.

… Submit your investment banking applications like a pro. Well, most of your course-mates are pros at that!

…Eager to see the King of Sweden? Not a problem! The likelihood of meeting His Royal Highness is higher if you study at SSE Riga though.

…Hungry for some contemporary art? Welcome to SSE! We’ve got a pretty interesting piece in the Atrium now.

…You’ve got a case about H&M? IKEA? Volvo? 90% chance that their C-level managers graduated from SSE.

…Stuck in Sweden for 2 years? Not at SSE! The only continent you can’t go on exchange to, is Antarctica.

…Study hard, party harder! Note: a lot of parties start with a sit down banquet. So be ready with your tuxedos, gentlemen.

…We’ve got amazing professors! But judging them by the number of publications in peer reviewed journals is too mainstream. I’m counting real stuff: like making it on time for the lecture after the sprint to get the mac connector cable.

…Your course mates might have worked for Barclays, interned at European Parliament or climbed Everest. In the end of the day, no boring talks at parties – guaranteed!

…The guy/girl ratio is 4/1. Ladies, are you still hesitating?

…A case study a day keeps us awake. Naah, this time it’s only two cases a week. Relax, man!


A little trip home…

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I’m back! Apologies for the small hiatus but I’ve been busy you see. Since I haven’t posted in almost 10 days (yikes), I’ll update you on what’s happened.

After the horror that was my exam, I went out to celebrate with my friends. Since Halloween festivities always begin early (just like Christmas), we decided to go out a week before Halloween. Me and my friend Claire popped by the fancy dress shop in Uppsala, stocked up on (pricey) face and hair paints and cycled home to prepare. Little did I know that I would be the one painting everyone’s face that night, but I didn’t mind. Since I have a GCSE in Art, everyone agreed I was probably the most qualified to do this; little did they know, I got a C.
Anyway, I began with my own face, a spooky pumpkin. The orange paint made me look like a yellow cheese puff, but a little dab of black around the eyes and a touch of eyeliner I eventually began to resemble a pumpkin. Then I began with John and Claire who wanted to be skeletons, this wasn’t too hard but it’s rather interesting to see how they both reacted differently to having eyeliner applied. John seemed genuinely terrified to have anything that close to his eyeball, but Claire took it like a pro. Boys, you have nothing on us. Then Davide wanted to be a sloth. Lord knows what a sloth has to do with Halloween, but he seemed adamant so we made him into a lovely spooky sloth. Basti came over with nothing particularly in mind so we made him into a mime, not bad for improvisation. We also met Laurence at his later for drinks and as you can tell, he also wanted to be a sloth, but after some wine, I believe I may have forgotten what to do, and well, he quite simply looked like a child’s drawing. Nightlife here is so varied. All of the student nations have their own events so whether you’re into dance, rock or R&B, there’s something there for you. We went to a nation called ‘Snerikes’ which we’re all part of. They have a bar downstairs for those who want to talk but there are more rooms with R&B, Dance and cheesy euro pop (my favourite).

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From left to right: John, Davide, Basti and Claire

So I went back home to England for a couple of days, my timetable was a little empty that week and I had free time so it seemed obvious to take a few days to visit my parents and boyfriend. When I left Uppsala on October 29th, I hadn’t seen any decorations anywhere but as soon as I arrived in Newcastle, the shopping centres were covered already! People tell me that the brits love Christmas but I didn’t realise this until I moved away. So of course, as one must do during the (nearly) Christmas period, you have to shop! I found a couple of amusing hats that my mother unwillingly offered to model. She also told me she’d be unhappy if I put pictures these on Facebook. I did stay true to my word; I put them on my blog instead for even more people to see aha. Prior to this we had a lovely afternoon tea but they gave us so much food that we felt as though we were waddling our way around the shopping centre. Although I live in Sweden, being in Europe allows anyone to travel freely without restriction. It was possible for me to finish class in Sweden by 12pm and be home in England in time for my dinner 8 hours later. This just goes to show that even if you move to Sweden, you are not restricted to staying in Sweden. Since, it’s possible to fly from one end of Europe to the other in under 6 hours; you can visit countless other European countries whilst staying here. Many students from outside of the EU take advantage of this opportunity since flights are often so cheap!

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From left to right: Tea time!, the most awesome hat ever and evidence of the Christmas hype beginning in October!

Before my trip back to Uppsala, I, my parents and boyfriend went for a Sunday dinner down at the beach. They all had a Sunday roast and I had fish and chips. I made the most of the large healthy meals I was getting since I get lazy living on my own and sometimes substitute chocolate for meals… my boyfriend James posted out a giant box of Cadbury’s chocolate out to Sweden for me and I’m ashamed to say that I’m 65% of the way through finishing it.

I was back in my bed in Sweden by 2am this morning and in class at 1pm. Now I’m sitting waiting for my Swedish class which is offered free to all students. Although it was nice having a break, I’m ready to work hard again (so I hope) in the final push up until Christmas. It’s supposed to snow tomorrow night so I guess this is where it begins… the Swedish winter.

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All together!

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