My impressions on Chalmers

After almost two years in Chalmers I got to say…. the place is pretty cool, to say the least. My time as a Chalmerist is close to an end. But, before it ends I want to share with you folks my thoughts and impressions about Chalmers as a school, and of course Sweden as a study destination.

A few days ago, I got a notification from Facebook reminding me about one of my old posts. Time flies by in the blink of an eye, and I´m sure it will continue to fly for me. Two years ago I was applying for my residence permit, looking for housing, and Googling everything I could about Sweden. Those were exciting times. I had no idea about where I was going to be in the next months, and to be honest I was a little bit excited about the uncertainty. But, let’s not get off track here. Back to the point… Chalmers.

Chalmers is a great university and I don’t only say it because I study there (maybe I do). The place is just different to what I was used to back in Mexico. And different is always good, right? Different classrooms, different friends, different everything pretty much. But, what is so different that I liked it so much? Well, these are just a few things.

New friends from all over the world.

In Chalmers, over a third of the students enrolled on the Master’s Programmes are international students. If my math is correct, that’s 1 out of every 3 students! LOL. During my first year at Chalmers I met so many people from so many different countries.

I like the fact that Chalmers, and probably all the universities in Sweden, are pretty international. It creates a nice platform to meet new people, know about their culture, share your culture and possibly have a place to crash in their homecountry if you visit them. Apart from the university. I have also met a lot of great people outside the campus.

In a nutshell, the international environment brings a lot of new interesting things to the table. You not only will make friends for life, you will learn a lot from them.

Challenging projects.

During my first year in Chalmers, I took part of the Formula Student team. At first, I thought it was going to be a nice thing to do on the side while studying the regular courses. So naive. Formula Student was basically a 1-year project with tons of learning opportunities. I already wrote a couple of post about Formula Student in general and Chalmers Formula Student (CFS). However, Chalmers has a lot more to offer in terms of academic projects than CFS, and that’s one of the things I like. The university itself provides you with the resources, facilities, and also motivates you to take part of the different projects offered by the different sections. Just to give you an idea, these are some of the ongoing projects at Chalmers.

Having some sort of engineering experience before graduating adds a lot of value to your career. At the same time, it also sheds some light on your career interests. For me, it gave me the opportunity to do some multidisciplinary work, meet people from other programs and most importantly, it showed me that aerodynamics is my passion (especially in motorsports).

 

The blackboards are just like in the movies.

Yes, the blackboards are just like in the movies. They are huge, cover basically the front part of a classroom and they are not fixed to the wall. You can actually slide them! Long story short: the blackboards are different. And that’s basically my point here. The university itself is different in so many ways. The lectures, the library, the lunch-time, the breaks between lectures, the coffee, the students, the teachers, the exams…everything is pretty much different. At this point you probably want to ask me: A) Where did I study in Mexico that I see everything in Sweden so different? B) How is it possible for universities to be so different from the ones in your home country or anywhere else?

Here is the thing. When you are in a different environment you start paying more attention and thus the small differences look bigger. It’s like the message written on rearview mirrors, “objects are closer than they appear“. Just change objects by “differences” and closer by “maybe not so big“. LOL sounds so weird and probably makes no sense.

Chalmers itself is a great place, and to highlight my experience, favorite things and general thoughts I made the following list:

– Teachers are so approachable.

– Most assignments are based on real-case scenarios and often involve group work.

– The lectures only go until 17:00.

– Good balance between assignments and lectures.

– The workload could be overwhelming sometimes. But hey, at the end of the day we are there to study. Grades are more relaxed. I don’t really feel Sweden has the “competing” with your classmate’s culture. Which is great.

– A lot of student associations, committees, student-organized events.

– Really a lot of events. It’s amazing the involvement of students and their university.

– Great parties. Lots of people from all over the world and student-friendly prices.

And that’s it I think…I could continue talking about all the great things about Chalmers and give you all my impressions but I feel that’s the equivalent of spoiling a movie. So, I will let you experience it for yourself.

Usi wrote a post about his impressions after 6 months. Go check it out to get a different perspective.

I would love to hear your experience at Chalmers or any other universities. If you are coming to Sweden this autumn, I would also love to hear out your expectations. So, write them down in the comments!

That’s it for today Cheers!

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Andrés

Mexican student doing a MSc in Automotive Engineering at Chalmers. I live in Gothenburg, Sweden. Email your questions, comments or requests to andres.studyinsweden@gmail.com
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