Published: Fri 08 Jan 2016. Modified: Mon 11 Jan 2016

Ana Isabella

Hej! My name is Ana Isabella Navarrete Pérez, I’m from Zihuatanejo, Mexico (yes! the beach town mentioned in The Shawshank Redemption movie) and I have a Bachelor’s degree in biotechnology engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM).

I have recently obtained my double Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering with the specialization in water and wastewater treatment. I studied a Nordic Five Tech (N5T) joint Master’s programme which allowed me to take courses for one year at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway and one year at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Why the Nordic Five Tech programme and why Chalmers?

The programme offered by the N5T alliance had everything that I was looking for. It gave me the opportunity to get a double degree, to study at two different universities and to live in two different countries that are internationally known for their strong environmental protection policies. Also, the content of the programme was really focused on water and wastewater treatment engineering which was one of my major interests and one of the main reasons why I chose it.
What I really liked about Chalmers was the focus on sustainability and protection of the environment. You can see that in all the different Master’s programmes and events that they have and organize.

I also thought it was nice that the professors at Chalmers were very approachable and that their working methods always encouraged team work and exchange of knowledge with fellow students. It was amazing that everyone, literally EVERYONE, spoke perfect English. That was something that made me feel a bit more secure and helped reduce the anxiety of going to a country with a completely different language. Chalmers also gives you the opportunity to learn Swedish by offering free Swedish courses to Master’s students. 

The student life at Chalmers is amazing! The student union always organizes a lot of events where you can socialize with all the other international students.

Living in Gothenburg

I completely fell in love with Gothenburg. This city is incredibly beautiful, it is small but it has all the things that a big city would have, even its own amusement park! It also has lots of parks and green areas where you can relax or play games with friends.

Public transportation takes you anywhere and you can also go everywhere by bike as the city is super bike friendly! Swedes are really nice, respectful and polite people, and they are all up for equality which for me was something really cool.

Yes, it can be rainy, dark and cold during autumn and winter but summer and spring will make up for it! As it gets warm and you can go take a swim and have barbeques everywhere. Oh, and don’t get me started with Swedish food. “Fika”, “semla”, cinnamon buns and all the beautiful Swedish pastries… they are delicious!

My experience as a N5T student

I think that the N5T programmes are a great opportunity for anyone who’s looking to get a double Master’s degree. In my opinion, a double degree shows that you are able to overcome different challenges, not only to an educational level but to a personal level too. You get to experience two different cultures, cities, universities, teaching methodologies and even weather. You learn from people with a lot of experience in their field and you share experiences and knowledge with them.

Yes, it might be a bit exhausting to move from one country to another and to do all the paperwork involved but you get a lot of help from both universities, as they ease this process and help you find accommodation, among other things. The fact that these programmes are being taught in English helps you improve your language skills and leave your comfort zone, especially if English is not your first language.

One of the good things about Chalmers is that it grants a lot of scholarships to fee-paying. In my case, I was lucky enough to get the Lars Eriksson Scholarship which covered 75% of the Chalmers tuition fee. The application was quite easy and the scholarship was granted without any problems.

I am really proud to call myself a Chalmerist and I am very grateful to the university, my professors and all the amazing people I met there. If you are considering going to Chalmers as an exchange student, as a full Master’s student or part of a joint Master’s programme (like me), think no more! Chalmers is one of the best universities to study at, I promise you, if you decide to go there it will be an experience that you will never forget.

Avancéz!

My Bio

  • Currently working as a water specialist in the Environmental Protection Management of Petróleos Mexicanos.
  • MSc in Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (September 2013- June 2014) and Chalmers University of Technology (September 2014- June 2015).
  • B.S. in Biotechnology Engineering, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) (August 2006- May 2011).

Text by:
Ana Isabella Navarrete Pérez
Edited by: Oana Georgescu
Picture: private

Related links

Joint Nordic Master in Environmental Engineering
Nordic Five Tech

Published: Fri 08 Jan 2016. Modified: Mon 11 Jan 2016