I would totally recommend Chalmers!

Sustainability is going to be the expectation from production in the future and I am studying just that!

Alfredo is a Mexican student pursuing his masters in production engineering at Chalmers after having received the SI scholarship award from the Swedish Institute (SI).

I am Alfredo!

"My name is Alfredo Carter Ramirez. I am from Mexico City, Mexico." says Alfredo, proudly introducing himself. He is a Mechatronics Engineering from the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico with a 2 year experience record at Siemens, Mexico. He had a lot to say about Chalmers and his experience here as you will find out.

Great place, great atmosphere and an even greater scholarship - Here I am!

He justifies his decision to take up a masters in Production engineering: "While working, I always missed technical heavy mechatronics. I felt that I needed to do complete my graduate studies in my area of interest. So I began applying to several universities in the aea of production".
Having visited Sweden during an exchange in Denmark during his bachelors, Alfredo loved Sweden and decided to apply to Swedish Universities. After having been awarded the SI Scholarship, there was no turning back.
"Sweden is a country with great nature and a nice atmosphere. People are very friendly and everything - the organization and society works perfectly. Naturally, the quality of life is very very high. So I always had Sweden in my mind and I applied for a master here in addition to other countries. At the end when I got admitted and was awarded such a nice opportunity thanks to the Swedish Institute scholarship, I decided to take this opportunity and come to Sweden." he says.

Sustainability in production is important.

Talking about why he chose Chalmers, he says, "In Mexico, I met some Swedish companies like Tetrapak and SKF and I always new that they were very good at quality and sustainability. That was also something that I thought was important in production. These sustainable production concepts will be the next generation of expectations on production. That was also why I applied to Chalmers- to learn about these lean and sustainable production concepts from a university that is in the fore front of this area. I can then apply these concepts in the future in my home country. I really want to contribute to the development of my home country."

Chalmers makes you feel special.

"Both Monterrey and Chalmers have a very good quality of education. But what is different about chalmers is that you have a lot of people involved in every subject. The periods of study are shorter which makes the courses much more intensive than you are used to and you realise that there is a lot of planning that has happened in the background. Normally you will have multiple lecturers for each course in addition to guests from companies. That's something I feel is amazing. You can really experience the collaboration between the companies and the university."
"You cannot really compare Monterrey with Chalmers. Monterrey is very very big with 32 campuses through out Mexico and the amount of students is very big. So at Chalmers you feel special. You are not so many and probably that's why you get so much specialised education."

Finding a summer job shouldn't be difficult.

"We will have 3 months of break and that's a lot of time for a break so I would like to find a summer job and I have seen a lot of opportunities just for summer as temporary jobs. That's something interesting. Such jobs for such long periods in the summer are uncommon in Mexico. Hopefully, I can find something that I like, but I think normally it is quite likely that I can find one. In the longer term, Swedish may be a requirement if you are looking at a smaller company, but in most international companies they are very open to your skills and don't really care where you come from. I think the chances are pretty good if that is your professional objective especially in production. There are a lot of companies in the field."

Student life at Chalmers is the best!

"I got admitted to other universities as well but at the end, the balance was tilted in favour of Chalmers because I knew that the living experience here would be better plus the scholarship and these aspects basically got me here. I am really happy about it. I met some people from some of the universities that I got admitted to when they came here on exchange and they told me that I had made a very good choice. I am very happy about my decision."

I am starting a rock band and Swedes are like a coconut!

"Its quite different. People are surprisingly very friendly. However, it is not so easy to get really good friends. I think in Sweden it's really about, 'you receive what you give'. Once they told me that they are like a coconut and I totally agree. Because they are very friendly but to really get inside them and to get a really good friend you have to work hard. You must really take care of your friendship and care about them and be persistent and probably you should not expect to have only Swedish friends and a lot of them. But yeah make a few they will be really good ones. I already have some really good friends. They are trying to teach me Swedish. I have met a lot of interesting people from a lot of different places and that could be very difficult to experience in Mexico. We don't have so many different backgrounds and cultures, that's something I really appreciate. And also being in a smaller city like Gothenburg as compared to Mexico City, you can still feel that it is a city. Places are open on Sundays, there are also the lakes, the transport system is open until late. On the other hand you can walk from one part of the city to the other and it's no problem. That's something that is nice. So you feel like in a city that you can also know very well!"
"Student life is quite good. Right now I am starting a rock band with my neighbours at my student accommodation. We are part of the Chalmers Rock (CROC) committee. So we have a practice room in the student union building that we can use and have some gigs from time to time and have fun. Everything is provided by the university and the student union. I think that's something that's very imnportant that the student union has so much importance and so much weight and that you can really take advantage of the facilities they provide you. That's something you really want."

The weather is not so great, but Chalmers had to be my destination!

"I found about Chalmers at the StudyinSweden website. I was looking for production engineering in Sweden and Chalmers popped out. I checked the website and the whole thing was something I was looking forward to. I have some friends who study in Europe and they said that if Sweden is my choice then Chalmers should be my destination."
"If I had to complain, I could complain about the weather. But I think everyone that wants to come to Sweden already knows that the weather is not going to be summer all the time. I actually enjoy it. In mexico there is no snow, so I love it anyway."

I miss my family.

"Sometimes you miss your family and friends back home and you feel home sick. But also it is a question of pushing yourself to do things and don't let the darkness and cold affect you so much. I think at some point you could get quite home sick. But if you have your mind clear and push really yourself then you will actually enjoy the winter. Plus, nowadays, it is easy to communicate with your family in Mexico through skype or whatsapp. Everytime it is easy. There's WiFi everywhere on campus and 3G connections on mobile phones. You are well connected. Its very good that in Sweden there are discounts for students in everything - calling, transport and every expense there, is reduced prices that one can take advantage of.

I would totally recommend Chalmers.

"You learn from multiple people at the same time. Expertise is brought in from outside where there is a lack of it inside. You can really experience the collaboration between the university and the industry."
"Some of my friends are already applying and some of my friends who came here on exchange are applying for the full masters to make their experience larger! The combination of the academic level and the living experience by itself makes the student life amazing. The university has a bar a restaurant, the library, the biggest parties in Scandinavia and it's not just the studies, its the atmosphere, that you get involved in the whole student experience."

Chalmers has changed me! Chalmers is  small place I can call home!

"I think, it has made me much more responsible. Not only Chalmers but also my group mates, they really take every assignment seriously, they put their best in and that pushes you to give your best to every task even if it just a small homework or assignment. It has also made me more punctual and much more supportive to the team mates. Recently when I was back in Mexico and I was actually getting angry when people were late. It never happened before. So I realise now that it is important to take care of people's time and thats how Chalmers has changed me. And also the whole experience of beong independent and administrating my everyday - what I am eating, what I am buying, my finance and this makes my experience more enriched. That's what makes life at Chalmers for me special. Its a small place you can call home where you feel very confident that you will acquire the best tools and accomplish your professional and personal goals."

My advice to the new comers: Take advantage of the opportunities you have at Chalmers!

"It depends a lot on yourself. How much you want to take advantage of the opportunities that Chalmers offers. Either you can just attend the lectures and study or you can also take part in the associations, committees, the student union, go to the guest lectures and the peer groups, phadder groups and so on. It's not only about study but also to take advantage of the extra academic opportunies that Chalmers offers. So I think my suggestion to the new comers would be not only look at the study plan but also look at all the other activities that you can do."
"I think it is something that not all universities have. A lot of universities would say they have but I think the weight of the student union is much bigger in Sweden. But it depends on you to make that step ahead."

Alfredo Carter Ramirez - My Bio:

  • MSc in Prodution Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg (September 2012 – present)
  • B.S. in Mechatronics Engineeering, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico (August 2006 - May 2010)
  • Feel free to contact me by email - carter@student.chalmers.se

Text: Abhilash Ram
Photo: Abhilash Ram


Related links

Master's Programme in Production Engineering
Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology
Chalmers ROck Committee (CROC)
SI Scholarships

Published: Fri 12 Jul 2013. Modified: Mon 25 Jan 2016