Tag Archives: studyAbroad

Student Housing? Relax! You are in Göteborg [UPDATED 2016]

To keep things short, for the best balance between cost, location and space when looking for housing in Gothenburg = pick SGS Rotary. I live there.

Now, exactly one year after I published this post I made some updates for you.

I’d like to thank CHALMERS KINAGRUPP for letting me share their videos with you!

Table of Content:

  1. 3 x ProTips
  2. Don’t get shot! (a sensitive issue in Göteborg still, but we are baring lokal situation all out)
  3. A little on Frolunda
  4. Why Rotary?
  5. About Kjellmansgatan

I don’t think housing in Göteborg is as bad as Stockholm.

My friends complain a lot about the housing here. Don’t be tempted thinking there are many options available. Just play it safe and get a place to stay first (beggars can’t be choosers). I know every August the hostel is full of Chalmers international students looking for housing… Don’t be those guys.

Most common complaints are:

1/ Internet not working

2/ Old building, not clean enough

3/ Expensive…

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.32.45 PM

Looking back a year ago, I just applied to whichever housing that was the cheapest available. I lived in Frölunda. It was cheap, yet relatively far from school. But, it worked out for me.


Tip #1: Where to Start Your Search?

FIRST, I went to the SGS website. SGS is this housing agency for students. I think most foreign students use their service. Many of my friends have grunges with this company, not satisfied with their services (see top three complaints). Beggars can’t be choosers.


Tip #2: What Are Your Options?

Out of the 24 places, I didn’t recognize most of the places…

Why? Because the Swedish students scoop out the “good” places long long long ago, after having queued for a long long time, and moved in for a long time…



ProTip #3: Pick a Good Neighborhood, it is worth the money!

Recently, there are lots of news about shootings in Gothenburg. I just want to say that shootings happen in “rough” neighborhoods on the other side of the river (north side). Gothenburg is still really safe at all times of the day…

Map of shooting locations: Red guns represents shooting in 2014…



A Little About Frölunda

I lived in the Frölunda neighborhood for four month. It is not the most “posh” hood in town… People EXAGGERATE about its conditions. It is not that tough as you imagine. Sure it is populated with immigrants. Sure people warn you about locking your laundry (apparently people steal laundry???)… But it is safe. Really!

Story goes… there’s a deadly shooting in the building adjacent to where I lived 2 years ago. End of story.

But shooting can take place anywhere…

Balance Sheet

Downside to Frölunda is the distance to campus: about 25mins by tram

more downside: SGS owns 5-6 apartments in this large apartment building. Not a strong student environment.

Upside: cheaper housing (I paid 3200kr for this tiny room, see pic below.), and you get a MASSIVE shopping centre at your door step!

Upside +1: the parties there are great!


haha, no I didn’t have a roommate. My friend was just visiting me for the weekend! But you can see how tight the room was!


Occassionally you get 2 month of green water, because the copper pipe is old. People really complained a lot about it. We even had a “green water” party.

Finally, my time at Frölunda was over. The building management decided it is time to renovate this old building. And I got moved to a new place. I had several choices. I choose the one that is closest to school (that one hour of commute took away a lot of my time).


View outside 11th floor at the Frölunda SGS apartment.

A Little About Rotary

I live at the SGS Rotary now. I löv it!

It is almost too spacious! 3800kr. (For an additional 600kr, I get my own bathroom and a much larger room! 10 mins walk to school. Large shared kitchen (reminds me of hostel kitchens)). I FEEL IT IS REALLY WORTH IT.


If you want to enjoy your time in Sweden, having a good nest is important.


A Little About Kjellmannsgatan

My buddy Sid had enough of his old crappy room and requested for a new place. BOOM! one month later he moved into his own room at Kjellmannsgatan. It is around 3800kr as well. Really nice neighborhood.

Pics of the room in virgin condition. I took them as I helped Sid move in.

IMG_1245 IMG_1246

The hallway, one person per door.


back to my kitchen, a picture of the last dinner party…. benefit of having a large common kitchen.






My favourite Swedish Innovations

Så! I went home to Calgary, Canada almost two weeks ago! I had some time to clean up my “to do” list and some time to read.
I learned a lot about Sweden and its industrial heritage. I wanted to share with you some of my favourite Swedish innovations.
Can you add some more to dass list?
[Acknowledgment: I took screenshots of images from ebooks published by the Swedish Institute. They are great reads & food for thoughts.
Links: http://issuu.com/swedish_institute/docs/swedish_innovations


Here we go:

Screenshot 2014-12-28 14.28.43
I really don’t care about the rock drill… unless you are my dear friend Anu Sandhu from the Geological Engineering department.
But turbo <3
Turbo improves power and fuel economy = free money.
It has become very common on passenger cars in recent years as car manufacturers try to comply to greenhouse gas emission regulations. Also, due to spikes in oil prices turbo charger relieves consumer’s wallet.

Screenshot 2014-12-28 14.35.03

The original “hashtag”.

Screenshot 2014-12-28 14.28.52

I was really surprised (but also not surprised) to find out a Chalmerist (person who has studied in Chalmers University of Technology) invented the auto dark welding helmet.
Being a welder myself, the benefit auto dark helmets is comparable to the benefit brought-forth by the invention of the Automatic transmission! (yes, I can drive stick shift, just very agresively and a bit clutchy).

Screenshot 2014-12-28 14.28.31

I guess this is the grandfather of GoPro cameras?
Göteborg has a Hasselblad art museum. I haven’t had the time to go yet. But I am looking forward to.
Any single ladies interested in cameras? No?

Screenshot 2014-12-28 14.28.19

It is actually not terribly useful in a machine shop. It has undesirable backlash. You would need a fixed size wrench, or even better: a ratcheting wrench.
But at the end of the day, you MUST have one of these adjustable “monkey” wrench in your toolbox, in your car, or when you are working in the field.

When I was a teenager, my specialization was replacing skateboard wheel bearings. All my friends would come to me for their routine sk8board service.
I guess ball bearings have a special place in my heart.
I wish I had some SKF bearings then. My board would go as fast as Formula 1 cars.

Screenshot 2014-12-28 14.26.47

It is -12 degrees Celsius today.  But I am still thankful it is not 10.4 Fahrenheit.
Screw propeller…Because being on a boat is not as glamours if you also had to paddle…

Screenshot 2014-12-28 14.35.12

I don’t like this.




Vehicle Dynamics Test Track day @ AstaZERO

Long live SAAB! The fate of SAAB is an oscillating. It is a story frequently brought up by people in the automotive engineering/applied mechanics department. The company is flip-flopping between speculations of bankruptcy and restructuring. Many people around the world and in Sweden specially are sentimental towards the car that is “born from jets”. They are great cars!

The Automotive Engineering vehicle dynamics class had the joy of spending the day at the AstaZERO (Active Safety Test Area – Zero traffic accident) test track. It is a brand new testing facility opened in September 2014, and it is owned by TU Chalmers and SP (Technical Research Institute of Sweden). The track overview is shown above (sorry it is in Swedish).

testbana_2000[ref: http://www.nyteknik.se/tidningen/article3841629.ece]

The purpose of our visit was to conduct a vehicle dynamics lab in collaboration with NEV (National Electric Vehicle, the company that owns the SAAB cars brand). Yes, we got to drive SAAB test vehicles.

The goal of the lab is to help us develop a feel for complex vehicle behavior under motion. There were three tests: steady state cornering, frequency response, and accident avoidance maneuver.

DSC08127-001Steady state cornering: driving around a circle while increasing speed until the tires is starting to lose grip. The tarmac is wet and slippery. I think we got up to 65 km/h around a 14 m radius track before plowing wide.

Frequency response: practically doing slalom in a car to determine how responsive it is. Accident avoidance: at 60 km/h & try to avoid a “moose”. We had the chance to experience the difference ESP – Electronic Stability Control made in a car.


(Photo: Moose avoidance test, source: http://www.crankandpiston.com)


There was no real moose fortunately, just a row of pylons.


Video about AstaZero:

Where to study? One simple rule to decide.

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance you’re trying to make up your mind about studies abroad.  Which country to go to? Which University? Which Program?  It’d better be the right choice… After all, the opportunity cost is high, and you’re leaving behind the warmth of home and old friendships.

I still remember my anxious wonderings about the unknown when I first decided to go abroad for studies. Trying to get some external advice, I usually ended up in a scene like this:

Credit for the image: www.reddit.com

I learnt my lesson. The second time I applied for studies abroad (MSc program), the right choice just came out naturally. The best part is, the more natural the decision seems, the easier it gets to explain your reasons for making that decision. Check out Gimmy’s blog for a perfect example=)

Wondering about my secret potion of decision-making? Here you go: try it on! Visit your very own fitting room – for real or in your head – and visualize every single aspect of studying in the country and University of choice. How will your weekdays and weekends look like?  Whom will you regularly meet on campus? How will you spend your lunch? What are the lecturers like? How will you get around in the city? Which companies will you be exposed to? I can go on and on, but ultimately it boils down to living it through in your head.

Of course, you’d have to get your hands dirty with Google search, Facebooking some students or alumni, or reading blogs like this, but once that part is done, just close your eyes and think how it would feel like to study in that dream University of yours. Then, look at yourself in the mirror, and see if it suits you well. If not, go on trying: options are limitless!


Credit for the image: http://www.johnkingz.com/2013/12/18/difficult-day-crossroads-norwich/