Chalmers made me a team player

​Embedded Electronic System Design is said to be one of the most intensive programmes at Chalmers, but this is how it turned out to be a lot of fun too.

Starting my studies at Chalmers in the programme Embedded Electronic System Design I was initially overwhelmed with studies and confused by seeing a greater number of group rooms than classrooms across campus. I didn’t know then that group work is an integral part of the learning process here at Chalmers, be it studies, lab or project work. Being an international student, I was a little nervous and hesitant of collaborating with other international students. The reasons being that this was a new country, new people; everyone was a stranger to me so I was a bit shy. But the teachers helped us to break the ice by merging students across different nationalities in the groups. Even second-year students arranged some get-togethers for new students like barbeques and bowling to motivate us to mingle and get to know each other better.

All of these helped me to evolve my personality by taking the initiative to talk to strangers and now I feel more confident in sharing my views in a group. Today, I have my own bunch of friends from Sweden, China, Greece and India. We hang out together, do assignments and help each other in studies and sometimes even stress over exams together. And then, in between comes our cultural talks where we share a piece of our own lives back at home. It’s so exhilarating. Although we all are from different backgrounds, there is one thing which binds us – our studies at this university. 

Another surprise for me was that here at Chalmers I get to have a lab or do a project in almost every course.
These do not only give me a wider practical knowledge but also help me to understand the classroom theory better.  For example, I took a project course in which we had to design a PCB (those green colour boards, you see inside every electronics) for audio surveillance. All my life, I had studied electronics, but never actually designed something from scratch. This project gave me the opportunity to build a working physical electronic board from a given piece of specifications.  

The most fun part is the way our knowledge is evaluated at Chalmers. I have completed four courses so far, and all have different methods to assess students. While for one, there was a five hours long written exam; for other I carried my laptop to the exam hall to give a digital exam. Next was just an oral exam with the professor and the last was the best one – No exam. Yes! We were just required to submit reports and do a presentation. It’s considered a continual assessment scheme. I find all these so much different and fun than the boring study and write exam routine.

I didn’t realize till now that somewhere in midst of everything, I had stopped fretting and actually started enjoying my studies. Every morning I look forward to the day, the things I am going to learn and the time I am going to spend with my friends.  I have grown from being a lone worker to a good teammate, and this I feel, is my greatest lesson learnt at Chalmers.   
 
Picture by Akshay V. Ramachandran
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Published: Mon 15 Apr 2019. Modified: Wed 17 Apr 2019