News: Next Stop Student Ambassador related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 12 Apr 2021 11:03:54 +0200 I handle the study pressure at Chalmers?<p><b>​As you finally allow yourself to look forward to the adventure ahead, you may also experience a tiny bud of apprehension – will you be able to make it?</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Academic_Pressure_Banner.jpeg" alt="Picture of Teanette's laptop,book,etc together." style="background-color:initial;margin:5px;width:690px;height:313px" /><div><br />S<span style="background-color:initial">o you’ve been admitted to Chalmers University of Technology – congratulations!! For many of us (myself included!) this was a dream come true. However, coming to Chalmers, my biggest fear was that my South African bachelor’s degree would not measure up to the Swedish education standard. I was worried that my knowledge would not be sufficient for me to pass the courses that I had signed up for. Or worse: that I would have to spend all my time working to keep up and pass the course, missing out on all the other experiences that make being an international student worthwhile. Many of my previous teachers and professors had warned me that pursuing a master’s degree in Europe would be challenging and not for the faint-hearted, and those words haunted me in the months before my departure to Sweden. The fact that my previous university did not have a high ranking, particularly when compared to Chalmers, did nothing to alleviate my worries. </span></div> <div><br /><div>In that time, I held onto one piece of advice which meant a lot to me: upon choosing the students for his study group, my South African study leader had said that a career in academia is not about intelligence, but rather about curiosity and courage. I had always been curious, and by pursuing this degree in Sweden, I hoped I was being courageous. Nevertheless, I prepared myself for a time in which my resolve would be put to the test.</div> <div>However, eight months later as I near the end of my first academic year at Chalmers, I am pleased to say that I was completely unprepared for what awaited me – and that was a very good thing! The education system and work culture at Chalmers was wildly different to anything I had experienced before. Each study period consists of eight weeks of class in which a student needs to earn 15 Credits (typically two courses are sufficient for this). The limited number of courses per study period gives students the freedom to really deep-dive into the subject matter. At my previous university it was typical to juggle five to six courses at a time – not great for a productive workflow, as you inevitably end up skipping from one subject to the other based on which deadline is coming up next. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Even the approach towards academic achievement at Chalmers was completely new to me. Great emphasis is placed on learning, participation and understanding rather than on performing. Although the deadlines for assignment submissions were strict, we always had the opportunity to resubmit work that was improved based on comments from the lecturers or teaching assistants. As long as the original report was submitted timeously, these resubmissions could take place even after the set deadline. Having grown up in a system where you had one chance to submit and one chance only (often with the success of the entire course hanging in the balance) this was a breath of fresh air! It felt like Chalmers lecturers were allowing us to make mistakes while on the road to understanding, instead of expecting us to already know everything on our first try. Their classes were filled with pauses where students were encouraged to think, speak up, share and question. Complex problems were tackled as a group, where we often came up with a creative solution that even the lecturer had not considered. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>A similar approach is followed in the exams - I remember the first time I read on the front page of an assessment that “constructive, creative and valuable approaches are also rewarded”. In other words, even if you present a solution that is different from the one that the lecturer had in mind, you could still earn marks for it. Whatever effort and work you put into your education will be matched by the lecturers and teaching assistants around you. They will go the extra mile to understand your solution and approach, consider its validity, and then comment and guide you if necessary. Never once in my time here have I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work or the difficulty of a problem, because I know that help is only a Zoom call away.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Chalmers provided me with the opportunity to overcome my “Imposter Syndrome” and instead reach a space where I allowed myself to explore and make mistakes. Without the constant pressure of performing, I found I was learning more, working faster, and ultimately achieving better marks than ever before. I have seen the truth of my supervisor’s words in action – if a student is curious enough to learn and brave enough to ask, they will find success at Chalmers. </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Teanette_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Teanette" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> Author: <a href="" title="Link to Teanette's Unibuddy">Teanette</a><br /><br />Mon, 12 Apr 2021 10:00:00 +0200 me by my first name<p><b>​It has been exciting to see how the communication flows between students and lecturers here at Chalmers.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Banner_First_Name-01.jpg" alt="The programme director of Applied Mechanics and some of his first-year students on a hike while maintaining social distance." style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong><em>Photo:</em></strong><em> The programme director of Applied Mechanics and some of his first-year students on a hike while maintaining social distance.</em><br /><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><div><span style="background-color:initial">Calling our lecturers, examiners, teaching assistants and coordinators, by their first name is normal here in Sweden. Even Chalmers’ president and CEO, Stefan Bengtsson, told us in his speech that when we see him on campus, we can call him Stefan. Back in our home countries, Turkey and Ecuador, you use titles to show respect. At Chalmers, we can show the same kind of respect without the formal language. </span><div><br /></div> <div><br /><div><strong>Sena’s experience:</strong></div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I</span><span style="background-color:initial"> felt a combination of worry and sadness starting a new chapter in my life with remote education due to the pandemic. Then I started to feel happiness after the presentation of the Applied Mechanics master’s programme director. In an informal way, he first talked about life in Gothenburg, like climate conditions and the beautiful nature here. He then mentioned that Gothenburg has very good football teams and advised us to go outside a lot when the weather was good. After that part, he gave us information about the programme. I especially liked the fact that he put the images of football teams since I am very interested in sports. Before coming to Chalmers, I’ve researched and contacted the sports teams that I could join. The fact that our lecturer also seemed interested in such social activities was an indicator, for me, that he would also encourage us to participate in social activities.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>I must admit that I struggled a bit during my first weeks at Chalmers because I didn’t know anyone from my department that I could brainstorm with. At the end of each study period, I mentioned this in the surveys that was sent to us students to evaluate the lecturers and the courses. After that, our lecturers encouraged us to have more dialogues in our online classes. Some fika sessions were organized through Zoom or break-out rooms. Those were created to discuss the lectures’ topics in small groups. Feedback is very important in the Swedish culture, and this is just one example of how your feedback can make a difference.</div> <div>With the start of spring, many companies have started to announce various summer-jobs and internship programmes for students. Our programme director has been kind of enough to create a group for us on LinkedIn where he shares interesting job positions that we can apply to. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>This was very helpful because no matter how much I researched, I could overlook some non-English postings because I didn’t know Swedish that well. He also organized a hiking activity and announced it on that platform. It was an event in which we could all get together physically while maintaining social distance due to the pandemic.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Na</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>thaly’s experience:</strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><br /></strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">At Chalmers, they put a lot of effort into incorporating feedback from the students. That’s why every time a course starts, they randomly chose a group of people to be “Student’s representatives.” This group is meant to be the bridge between students and professors. Even though we all can reach the TA’s and professors, some students prefer to handle some topics anonymously. So, they can always get in touch with the student’s representatives.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>I got to be a student representative in one of my courses in the Biomedical Engineering programme. Generally, the examiners check in with us about the course's pace, the academic load of the assignments, the lab or exercise sessions, and other similar topics. It was a pleasant experience for me to give this kind of feedback to them and realize that they do their best to find a solution when something is not working as expected. For example, in my Model Predictive Control course, we agreed that we would appreciate it if there were more consultation hours with the TA’s for the assignments to have better results. The week after that, we received a message with the new scheduled hours for this consultation. How great is that?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>I also had the chance to contact the lecturer, of Image Analysis, on one occasion when I felt a little lost on a topic. He immediately answered that he would repeat the subject in the next class. We started that lecture on Deep Learning, making a review of the neural network that I asked my question about. The lecturers are so quick on their feet with the feedback they receive from us students! That’s why I think that you can still manage to get the best out of the class, even during online studies.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In my class Medicine for Engineers, where different medical doctors are responsible for the lectures based on their specializations we got to ask medical-related questions. Perhaps something weird happened to you once, and you never figured out the medical reason behind it. The cool thing was that they gave their expert opinion and analysis based on our questions, which got me more excited about studying Biomedical Engineering. It was a fantastic opportunity to be so virtually close to them and have this smooth type of communication. I’ve always said that your professional title doesn’t define you as a person, and Chalmers has proven that to me.</div> <br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Nathaly_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Nathaly" style="margin:5px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Sena_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Sena" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br />Authors: <a href="" title="Link to Nathaly's Unibuddy">Nathaly </a>&amp; <a href="" title="Link to Sena's Unibuddy">Sena</a><br /><br /><br /></div> ​</div>Tue, 06 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0200 a part-time job while studying at Chalmers<p><b>​Three international students at Chalmers share how they manage their work-study balance at Chalmers.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/parttime-banner.jpg" alt="Three ambassadors holding the phone with logos of the companies they work for in their hand" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">We were surprised to learn that all international students that qualify for a Swedish residence permit are also allowed to work in Sweden - with no restrictions on the amount of hours they work! It certainly opened up new doors and hopes in our minds, but also a lot of questions: Am I qualified enough to work in Sweden? What job opportunities are available at Chalmers? How will a part-time job affect my studies? Will my lack of proficiency in Swedish be an obstacle? To answer these questions, we are going to share our experience of having a part-time job while studying at Chalmers. </span><div><br /><div>Teanette discusses her experience in a technical job that is affiliated with the Chalmers housing, Nathaly shares how her tutoring job helps her to give back to the community, and Mohsen explores the flexibility and independence of a food-delivery job. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Ambassador: </strong>Teanette</div> <div><strong> Programme: </strong>Wireless, Photonics and Space Engineering</div> <div><strong> Job:</strong> Software Development at Brainmill</div> <div><br /></div> <div>I started working as a software developer during my second study period at Chalmers. My company is in charge of managing the internet connection to Chalmers student housing. I was lucky to find the job advertisement on the day I moved into my apartment – it was the first thing I saw on the noticeboard as I entered my building! The employees are made up chiefly of Chalmers students, both to create a space for students to start their careers and to have employees who are personally aware of the connectivity needs and challenges of our clients. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>I saw the job advertisement for this job on the day that I moved into my apartment. Applying for this job was a huge leap of faith for me – software development was not a job I had been trained for, and diverged significantly from my skillset as a Wireless, Photonics and Space Engineering student. However, I was surprised to find that many of the skills I had learnt during my time at Chalmers actually translate very well to my job. For example: our lectures deal extensively with making decisions based on engineering trade-offs between manufacturing time, performance, and the robustness of the final design. Many of my software development projects require the same type of decision-making skills. Furthermore, I was surprised in how much my job has helped me perform academically. In growing my confidence as a programmer, I have started to automate large parts of my engineering design process. In fact, I am in the process of designing my own personal Microwave Engineering design library – something I would never have pursued with my previous programming skill. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, my job has been more than an opportunity to hone my technical competence – it has become my looking-glass into Swedish society. Like many other students, I was cautious about entering the Swedish job market, partly because of my lack of proficiency in the Swedish language and partly because of my lack of experience in Swedish society. I was surprised by how accommodating the Swedish working culture is. My manager believes that the best performing employees are happy employees, and it really shows in the way he interacts with us. The company is focused on creating an atmosphere where people are comfortable enough to grow, learn, collaborate and speak up when they do not know something. Not only is this conducive to good work practices, but it also creates a platform for people to get to know each other without judgement. My work colleagues are some of the only Swedish people I have had the opportunity to build relationships with during the pandemic. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Ambassador:</strong> Nathaly</div> <div><strong> Programme</strong>: Biomedical Engineering</div> <div><strong> Job:</strong> Tutor at Pluggstöd</div> <div><br /></div> <div>I used to work as an Electronics Instructor back in Ecuador, after finishing my undergraduate degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The reason I applied to teaching positions is because of how passionate I am about giving back what I’ve learnt in my life. When I saw the tutoring position advertised on a banner outside of the Student Union building at Johanneberg campus, I was curious and immediately interested.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The work as a tutor consists of going to different middle-schools in Gothenburg that are associated with Pluggstöd after their regular class schedules or even before a sports practice. Once there, we offer our help with math and other STEM related courses. If they feel like they need someone to explain things one more time or to clarify some of their doubts, the tutors are there to help them. So far, I have had the opportunity to explain some math and biology, because those are the things that I’m familiar with as a Biomedical engineering student. One time I also got to help someone with their Spanish assignment. That was a very exciting experience for me since I felt like we were helping each other instead of just me helping them. I got to practice more Swedish words and they got to learn new Spanish words from a native speaker - this is what I consider a win-win situation!</div> <div><br /></div> <div>You may be wondering if you need to be fluent in Swedish in order to perform in this job. Each job is different, but from what I’ve seen on LinkedIn, many companies have a phrase in common: ”fluent in English is mandatory, fluent in Swedish is preferred.”. I am not even on a intermediate level in Swedish, but I have a strong dedication and determination to improve my skills. I can help the students by communicating in English but, Google translate in Swedish certainly helps as well. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>And I would certainly add that, thanks to Pluggstöd, I’ve met wonderful people too! So if you are looking for something to work on while studying at Chalmers, I would definitely recommend this!</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Ambassador:</strong> Mohsen</div> <div> <strong>Programme: </strong>Architecture &amp; Urban Design</div> <div><strong> Job:</strong> Foodora rider</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As an Architecture student, it is quite common to suddenly become busy quickly. Therefore I was looking for a<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/parttime-picture.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Foodora bag on a scooter" style="margin:5px;width:350px;height:305px" /><br />part-time flexible job where I can choose how and when I want to work. Fortunately, Foodora had just such a system. The company is basically a platform for food delivery where your role is to collect the food from restaurants and transport it to the customers. That’s all - nothing complicated! All I needed was a scooter and a phone. I found this job through an advertisement on Instagram, most of these platform companies usually advertise available jobs through social medias.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>I enjoyed the job because it gave me a good opportunity to explore the city, the restaurants, and the different neighbourhoods around Chalmers. However, the most important thing for me was the fact that there was no need to be fluent in Swedish at all. This meant that I could start working soon after I arrived in Gothenburg, and could immediately start earning a salary to help me with expenses. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The biggest benefit of being a rider is that you basically work for yourself: you enter your available work times on the application and get shifts for each week accordingly. You can swop shifts with other riders, but there are certain hours that should be fulfilled each week. The payment is hourly and order-based - the more you work, the more you get.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, the job also offers its fair share of challenges. For instance, it is really hard to work as a rider during the dark and cold winters in Sweden, especially when it is raining or there is ice and snow. On the other hand, it can be a really interesting job during spring and summer when the weather is mild, as you can explore the city and enjoy Gothenburg’s vibe. </div> <div><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial">Recently, Foodora signed an agreement with a trade union here in Sweden which will improve the working environment for riders. However, my personal opinion is that this kind of job works well as a temporary job for students. If you urgently need a place to make extra money besides your studies, or just want some extra pocket money, it should be perfect for you. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Teanette_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Teanette" style="margin:5px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Nathaly_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Nathaly" style="margin:5px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Mohsen_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Mohsen" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br />Authors: <a href="" title="Link to Teanette's Unibuddy">Teanette </a>&amp; <a href="" title="Link to Nathaly's Unibuddy">Nathaly </a>&amp; <a href="" title="Link to Mohsen's Unibuddy">Mohsen</a><br /><br /><br /><br /></span></div>Mon, 29 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0200 have for vegetarians and vegans<p><b>​Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Then you don’t have to worry about finding great meals while studying at Chalmers</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Banner_veggie-01.jpg" alt="Picture of different beains in store's shelf" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">In this blog we will share our experiences from a vegetarian and non-vegetarian point of view, comparing what vegetarian and vegan options we’ve found while studying at Chalmers, with our own cultures back in Ecuador and Turkey.</span><div><br /><div>Our first impression was when we first went to Kårrestaurangen (The main restaurant located in the Student Union) There are three daily options where you can choose between meat, fish or a vegan dish. Always well-balanced and not at all boring. We can feel the inclusion for this group of people, which is not that small here. That’s not the only option at that building, there’s also a place called “Express” where you can buy take away with a student discount and there you also always have a vegan option. We feel that vegetarians/vegans don’t have to worry about finding their meals while studying at Chalmers.</div> <div>Since we are in an unusual situation due to the pandemic, we are not on campus all of the time. And since we are students that are on a budget, we don’t necessarily eat take-out or in a restaurant every day. So here are the experiences from two perspectives, the vegetarian from a not so vegan culture (Nathaly) and the not-yet vegetarian from a vegan friendly culture (Sena).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Nathaly’s perspective:</strong></div> <div>In Ecuador, our traditional food usually involves some kind of meat. It was a bit of a challenge, as a vegetarian, going out to eat with friends or family back home, but I always found a way to make it possible. Sometimes I found it cheaper than normal dishes, which was a great advantage for me. When I knew I was going to come to Sweden to do my masters, I started the research about student life here. That research included the food culture, which was the least of my concerns because Sweden is known for its sustainable way of living. And being vegetarian or vegan truly makes a positive impact on the environment by having less CO2 emissions when cultivating vegetables rather than producing meat. And I wasn’t mistaken! At Kårrestaurangen, they even have a banner where they compare the gas emissions between meat, fish and vegan dishes. Truly inspiring to start eating consciously, I would say.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Because I was already used to eating vegetables and fruits, when I just moved here those were the things I was looking for. I always store grains in my kitchen – which are also known to be a good source of protein – such as beans, chickpeas and lentils. For carbs I like to have rice, pasta, corn, sometimes potatoes and my beautiful cooking bananas (luckily, I can find some of them here all the way from Ecuador). The vegetables I</span><br /></div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Picture_Veggie-01.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Nathaly holding two mushroom in front of her eyes" style="margin:5px" /><span></span><div> use to complete my meals are spinach, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and the list can go on and on, but my completely favorites are mushrooms. I am not completely vegan, that’s why I also sometimes buy some cheese to use in my meals. It’s a process to leave it behind, and hopefully I will achieve the goal someday. <span style="background-color:initial">I want to wrap up my perspective by letting you know that it doesn’t matter if you are not an excellent cooker, I wasn’t either when I first got here. There are a lot of apps or even online recipes about any dish you can think of. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">A</span><span style="background-color:initial">t the beginning, I needed the inspiration so those apps (Tasty, Yummly) were my best friends when it comes to cooking. Now, I am really confident to prepare meals for myself and, occasionally, for some friends without even looking at any recipe. I guess practice does really make perfect. So as my student ambassador friend, Marija, once said: I will be finishing my studies with two degrees, MSc. in Biomedical Engineering and MSc. in vegetarian cooking and baking.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Sena’s perspective:</strong></div> <div>In Turkey, we have two types of meals: vegan (which contains olive oil) and non-vegan (which contains any kind of meat). And even though we have a lot of vegetarian recipes, we could also have trouble finding ingredients for those meals or, as Nathaly said, it was difficult to find vegetarian/vegan options when we wanted to eat out. I started a vegetarian diet a few months before the pandemic (for different personal reasons), and I researched how other Chalmers students got into this kind of lifestyle. According to the blog posts I read and the videos I watched; Chalmers was well adapted to this situation. It was possible and very accessible to find vegan options (even the milk you use in the coffee bought on campus). After starting my master’s programme, in Applied Mechanics, at Chalmers, I was delighted to see that the vegetarian/vegan world is even bigger, more diverse, and more important than I first thought.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>I still eat a lot like I did back in Turkey. The salads consist of mainly tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions,<br />lemon sauce and some species. The olives at breakfast are the most common part of my daily life. I also like to have in my kitchen a lot of mushrooms and vegetables that I cook with olive oil. Spinach, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, celery, potatoes, peppers, and carrots are important ingredients in my main meals. Also, I​</div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Picture_Veggie1-01.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Sena holding two peppers in front of her eyes" style="margin:5px" /><span></span><div>make sure to take the time to cook soups that contain grains, such as lentils, every week. I can find most of these ingredients in Gothenburg grocery stores. I am excited by the richness of vegetarian and vegan options available at the supermarket, although there are very few ingredients that I still cannot find, such as fresh mint.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">One of the great advantages of studying at an international university for me is that when I talk with my friends about our culture, we always end up talking about food! We share new recipes and sometimes even​ try to cook together. If you are invited to an event, here in Gothenburg, you will always be asked about your food preferences and allergies. Food preparations are made accordingly. My first experience in this field was with the Chalmers International Student Committee (CIRC). Each semester, they prepare various orientation programs for international students who will start to study at Chalmers, and they started to contact us before we arrive. While we were still in our own countries, they sent us surveys and asked whether we are vegan/vegetarian and what kind of food we prefer (like bitter, sour, spicy, salty). To sum up, I want to draw attention to this: Being vegetarian or vegan is not just an individual’s dietary preference, it is a more sustainable choice for our entire world. &#128522;</span><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Nathaly_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Nathaly" style="margin:5px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Sena_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Sena" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br />Authors: <a href="" title="Link to the Nathaly's Unibuddy">Nathaly ​</a>&amp; <a href="" title="Link to the Sena's Unibuddy">Sena</a><br /><br /></div> ​Mon, 22 Mar 2021 13:20:00 +0100 friends during the pandemic<p><b>​This is how I managed to find friends and community at Chalmers despite the pandemic. Here are my best tips and tricks!</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/senna-friendshipbanner.jpg" alt="Sena with her friend smiling" style="margin:5px;width:690px;height:313px" /><br /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">It is useful to divide the story of the social life I have established in my life in Gothenburg into two periods: What I did before I came to Sweden and what I did afterward. </span><span style="background-color:initial">I’ve been an orienteering team athlete in college and participated in the various communities in Turkey where I had a lively social life. When I was doing my research for Chalmers and checking the student societies, I thought I could establish such an environment in Gothenburg too. The first thing I did was to research the activities of the communities relevant to my interests and access their contact information.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><span style="background-color:initial"> To do this, I’ve simply googled keywords like orienteering team in Chalmers, social life at Chalmers University, and Gothenburg… Then the home page led me to Chalmers web page, some student communities Facebook pages, and Gothenburg city pages. During this process, I noticed that Swedes are using Facebook very actively and that they usually answer their messages pretty quickly. I must admit that the people who entered my life in this way exceeded my expectations. Some of them even asked me questions! For example if I had found a place to stay, when I would arrive to Gothenburg or if I needed any help. These interactions made me very happy. My first social circle was formed: new teammates, mostly Swedes.</span></div> <div><br /><div>Another reasonable move I made before I came to Sweden was to contact other Chalmers students on<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/ardasenna-friendship.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Sena with her friend in the street" style="margin:5px" /><br />Unibuddy or graduates from my own country. While I was in Turkey, I asked my friends if they had any friends or relatives that are/were studying in Sweden. I wanted to learn about both Gothenburg life and the Chalmers education system from the perspective of one of my citizens. I started to communicate with these people with questions such as what their student life was like, what I should bring with me, how did the pandemic affect student life. <span style="background-color:initial">Then our conversations turned into me listening to their memories about studying at Chalmers and living in Gothenburg. This is how I became friends with many of them before I came! We decided to get fika to talk more when I arrived at Gothenburg. So our communication continued after I arrived, and they introduced me to their social circles. As a result, my second and third social circles were formed: My friends from my country and their friends from other countries!</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>The pandemic restrictions mostly affect indoor activities, but outdoor activities are very popular here in Gothenburg. Regardless of the weather, you can always see people going for a run outside, hiking in the natural parks, cycling, or having a barbecue. That is the advantages of living in a city surrounded by nature during the pandemic.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>So how did I expand my social circle after coming here? First, I realized that other international students were in the same situation as me. So, most of us are new here, everyone wants to make friends. For this reason, it<br />is very unlikely that a short walk or fika offer would be rejected. When you invite someone to an activity, the next offer is very likely to come from him or her. Most of the time, when you consider other offers, you are very likely to meet your friends’ friends. If you are an introverted person and aren’t active in inviting others, don’t worry though. Just think before rejecting any offers that might come your way &#128522; This led me to the fourth social circle: Friends of my friends from other countries!</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Finally, social media groups and activities. There are several groups in Sweden for people from other countries that you can find, specifically on Facebook. Moreover, they are surprisingly active. During the pandemic period, they continue their activities, most of them online, and are open to everyone. If you are staying in a student housing, you can join a Facebook group to chat with others who live in the same building. Do not forget to sign up because there will always be someone inviting you for a fika. The last social circle for now: My friends from social media platforms!</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Sena_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of ambassador(Sena)" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div>Author: <a href="" title="Link to Senna's Unibuddy">Sena</a></div></div></div>Mon, 15 Mar 2021 09:45:00 +0100 women who made me a scientist<p><b>​As we come closer to the International Women’s Day, let’s think about the influence women have in academic fields and in our lives as scientists.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/The%20women%20who%20made%20me%20a%20scientist-banner.jpg" alt="Illustration of women" style="margin:5px;width:690px;height:313px" /><br /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Gender stereotypes are part of a belief system that assigns a “gender” to clothes, activities, and other concepts like choice of career. It basically says that masculine things can’t possibly be feminine, and vice-versa. Following this trend, and after centuries of repression that led to men receiving the credit for most scientific advances, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields are commonly viewed as “male” careers.</span><div><br /><div>Despite starting off from an unprivileged position in an already competitive area because of these stereotypes, many women have made themselves known for their brilliant work. Women have made life-changing discoveries and inventions such as chemotherapy, radiation, car heating, airplane mufflers, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and many others. Brilliant women like Hedy Lamarr (who was the mastermind of spread-spectrum radio, one of the principles on which Bluetooth and WiFi technologies were later based on, all the while being a Hollywood movie star) have demonstrated that women are capable to do so much more than what their gender stereotype limits them into.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It was women who helped me embody the woman that I am, and it was women too who inspired me to pursue a career in STEM: my high school chemistry teacher told me what it means to succeed in the workplace when you’re the only woman around, and my clinical chemistry teacher passed onto me her unique passion of working with microscopic beings as if they had their own personalities and needs. My mom (who is not only an awesome woman, but also an awesome industrial engineer) was also my calculus teacher for two years and I was lucky enough to get her to teach me about life and about triple integrals.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Another thing that they ingrained very deeply in me is my right to be treated with the same respect as my<br />male peers, and that someone’s gender is not an indication of their capability to work, irrespective of the subject. I have been lucky to work in a field where the people I’ve encountered along the way were influenced<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/womens,%20Size%20350px%20x%20105%20px.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of a female scientist" style="margin:5px" /> by similar people as the people who have influenced me. This has helped me join a solid scientific community, where I have encountered both women and men whom I admire and respect. I was very happy to come to Chalmers and experience from my peers a similar respect for ideas and perspectives regardless of who I am or where I come from.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I</span><span style="background-color:initial">n</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> a field with a relatively larger female presence such as Biotechnology and life sciences, where more than half of doctorates are women the story is, however, very similar to that in the fields dominated by men: it is the men who win the most grants and publish their results more often as first and principal authors and work by female scientists tends to be cited less than the work of male authors. This problem is also a centuries-old one: Jocelyn Bell, who discovered pulsars in 1967, felt the need to remove her engagement ring before going into the lab to maintain her reputation as a serious researcher, and most biographies of women in science carry on the perception that “women who go into science are venturing into an alien male world”.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a female scientist and as a Chalmerist, it is my goal to inspire others as my role models have inspired me and to help the world to view science as a profession carried out by people rather than a field dependent of gender. It would be an honor if I could be even half of what I think about the women who made me.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Abril_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Abril" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div>Author: <a href="" title="Link to Ambassadors Unibuddy">Abril</a></div>Mon, 08 Mar 2021 17:05:00 +0100 to Sweden with a partner<p><b>​There’s only one thing better than receiving that acceptance letter from Chalmers: finding out that your partner received it too!</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Moving_w_Partner-Banner.jpg" alt="Picture of Teanette and her partner together on a sofa" style="margin:5px;width:690px;height:313px" /><br /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">It’s the beginning of a new chapter – a new adventure – and it’s one you won’t have to face alone. For me and my then boyfriend Max (now fiancé!), this was one moment that changed our lives. However, moving overseas with a partner, especially as students, has its own unique challenges.  We’ve now been in Sweden together for six months, and I’ve penned some of my reflections on our time here. </span><div><br /></div> <div>First, some context: Max and I met while studying Electronic Engineering in South Africa. We were lucky to both share similar interests, which meant we could collaborate on many of our projects and both chose to specialize in Microwave Engineering. Sweden was not our first choice for postgraduate studies because of the high tuition fees, but we could not help but be intrigued by Chalmers’ master’s program in Wireless, Photonics and Space Engineering. Not only would this course allow us to expand our Microwave Engineering knowledge for space applications, but the laboratory facilities at Chalmers provide the opportunity to manufacture high frequency circuitry for research purposes (a luxury that not many universities have). We both applied on a whim, and, wonder of wonders, both got accepted. Furthermore, I received an SI scholarship which would provide sufficient funding to turn this dream into a reality. We could almost not believe our good fortune – it was as if the universe had conspired to open the way for us. Although we knew that this was only the start of a long and challenging journey, we were ready to face whatever was coming our way. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>And challenging it was! The beginning of our journey saw us moving into a student apartment together – both because we wanted to be able to support each other daily, and because our budget didn’t allow for another option. And, although our 28 sqm single-room apartment initially seemed delightful and magical (as all first apartments should be), we soon learned that two big personalities in a small space require careful managing. Although Max and I share very similar academic interests, we differ vastly in other aspects: I’m a night owl, he prefers mornings. My desk is always full of papers, books and electronics, while his contains only his mouse and computer monitor. I like choir music while he is a Pink Floyd fan. These are challenges that every couple face when moving in together for the first time, but our situation was compounded by the pandemic and the fact that we were alone together in a new country. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, living together also has its benefits. Firstly, your daily chores are about half of those of someone living alone: it takes just as much work to clean/cook for one person as it does for two, and you can alternate work days and chore days with your partner. Secondly, you gain a much richer understanding of your partner. Conversations get deeper (and wackier) as you start learning each other’s ticks, intonations and tells. Sometimes you don’t need words at all. And, even though sharing this small living space requires a level of<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Moving_w_Partner-Picture_1.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Teanette and her partner together " style="margin:5px" /><br />vulnerability with your partner that might be scary at first, the reward of having a person who will support you unconditionally through life’s challenges is priceless. Yes, you will fart in front of your partner, cry before them, have sick days and wrong-side-of the bed days – they will see you with bad hair and bad breath and your oldest pair of sweatpants – and, in the end, they will still be there. And, lastly, you will be there for them too. <span style="background-color:initial">Living together with your partner in a foreign country is both a privilege and a responsibility. You have someone to be accountable to. And, if you’re anything like me, this helps a lot when it comes to finding the motivation to do things. Back when I lived alone, I might have done the dishes every three days and swept the floor weekly (that’s all that seemed necessary at the time). With Max, however, I know what a neat and clean apartment will mean to him and am inspired to keep my things tidy every day. Max, on the other hand, could easily stay hermitted in his apartment for days on end in South Africa. But he knows that I love to go for walks and talk about life, and makes a point of regularly accompanying me for a stroll (even in the Swedish Winter!)</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>There have been other concessions and obstacles in our time here. Studying the same degree means that your times of academic pressure overlap, and during some weeks there is nobody around to pick up the slack at home. Online classes in particular have been challenging, and we have had to go to extra lengths to prove that we can take online exams in the same apartment without cheating or communicating. However, it also means that you always have a study buddy and someone to bum notes off it you weren’t paying attention in class. I also appreciate the opportunity to discuss classwork with someone in-person in a time where many students are solely reliant on electronic platforms. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Taking all this into account, I would argue that the biggest danger of studying overseas together is not that you will tire of your partner, but that you will tire of everybody else. Especially in the current pandemic situation, Max and I will sometimes go days without talking to another person. We have carved out our little corner of happiness, and often don’t feel the need to extend ourselves to do more. However, to truly integrate into a new community – to really become part of the Chalmers student society and experience Sweden – you need to get out of our comfort zone. One way of doing this is challenging your partner to only communicate in Swedish for a day (hilarious!), or to take part in campus events both individually and together. It’s always important to remember that, even though Max and I have worked hard to create a safe space for us, life is not about living in safe spaces alone. We started this journey together as an adventure, and an adventure it has been in every possible sense!  How lucky I am to have a partner who is both an adventurer and an adventure in themselves. </div> <div>​​​<br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Teanette_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of the Ambassador (Teanette)" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div>Author: <a href="" title="Link to chat with student ambassador and author of article - Teanette">Teanette</a></div>Mon, 01 Mar 2021 17:00:00 +0100 guide to balance your studies<p><b>​Here are some tips that helped me balance my student life during my first semester at Chalmers.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/BalancingStudies-Banner.jpg650.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />​<span style="background-color:initial">I have previously written a blog about my experience of studying and doing lab work  in the Biomedical Engineering master’s at Chalmers. But now I want to share my best advice on how you can manage to balance your studies during your master’s. </span><div><br /></div> <div><strong>1. Be organized</strong></div> <div>You can study and also have a social life, but you need to prioritize things and plan ahead. There will be some busy weeks, so you better start early. I like keeping track of my deadlines in a calendar right next to my desk. For me it is also good to finish some activities earlier and have more time for others.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>2. Find study groups<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/BalancingStudies-Picture3-01_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Chalmers iInternational Student Ambassador - Nathaly with her friends" style="margin:5px" /><br /></strong><span style="background-color:initial">It is amazing how you can connect with people even through a meeting on Zoom. I have managed to have study groups that work out so well, and I’m really happy to have found support with my classmates. You can have some chit chat in between studying so you have a good time while completing your assignments or prepare for your exams. When we are not stressed over an assignment we can even go for hiking or shopping – as you can see in the picture of Amritha, Amelia and me, all are Electrical Engineers studying at Chalmers.</span><strong><br /></strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>3. Exercise</strong></div> <div>We sometimes get so sucked up by the assignments and different duties, your eyes and body will appreciate a rest away from screen and moving a bit. I love dancing (almost every genre) hence, I put music sometimes and get my body moving to beat. Sometimes I just grab my mat and stretch a little before and after dancing. Also find support among your friends, it truly makes a difference. We got together with an ambassador friend (Abril) and keep track on the workout of the day so we don’t miss it.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>4. Take responsibility</strong></div> <div>It is true that we haven’t had any lockdowns or curfew in Sweden, but it is up to you to take care of yourself and the people around (by avoiding the spread of the virus). That doesn’t mean that you should isolate yourself, because is good to have social interaction, but remain in contact with people you see often and avoid meeting new fellows for a while!</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>5. Find leisure activities</strong></div> <div>It could be either to go for a walk, play videogames, read, or practice your favorite sport. This is important to also maintain your mental health. The Student Union at Chalmers have a lot of associations so you can join one and practice with other people. But in general, any activity that boost your dopamine levels (the neurotransmitter that makes you feel rewarded, motivated and in a good mood).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>5. Get good rest</strong></div> <div>You won’t be able to manage all your activities if you are too tired to perform in all of them. Getting a good night of sleep is the key on maintaining great energy the next day! For me, 7 hours are enough, but for some other people maybe 8 or 6 are fine for good rest. Know your body and regulate your sleeping hours. Try to avoid disturbances and screen time in late hours.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Nathaly_studentblog.jpg" alt="Picture of Chalmers International Student Ambasador: Nathaly" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />Author: <a href="/en/education/meet-chalmers/connect-with-student/pages/default.aspx">Nathaly​</a></div> <div><br /></div> Mon, 22 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0100 my plants make me feel<p><b>​Why do students love plants so much? Here is an analysis from two plant moms.</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Plants-Banner,%20Size%20750px%20x%20340px.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> ​<span style="background-color:initial">In the past few months, while living in Gothenburg to study at Chalmers, we have visited different places such as libraries, friend’s homes, bus stations (the ones that are indoors), coffee shops and so on. And we’ve noticed that they all have something in common. Plants!! They come in all sizes and shapes here. One can even find palms in many places, which is odd because they are usually huge trees located outdoors. All this visual investigation led us to wonder, what do plants have that make people like them so much?</span><div><br /><div>As students, we spend most of our time indoors while we study, work on assignments and relax drinking a cup of tea with our friends when the day is over. Moreover, this year we’ve been forced to spend even more time inside of our homes due to the global pandemic that has been present since the better part of last year.</div> <div>All the time we spend tucked away in our apartments can give us stress-related psychological and physiological disorders. This, added to the fact that our household items release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to lower indoor air quality and can also cause us several physical ailments, making staying indoors even harder.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Plants are wonderful organisms. Apart from being beautiful, they may play a green, cost-effective, and eco-friendly key part in our battle against the dangers of staying inside. Several studies have focused their efforts in making this happen and, to this day, more than 60 plants have been found to clean up dangerous volatile chemicals. That goes without mentioning all the psychological benefits they bring us just by being pretty and letting us look at them. We truly don‘t deserve plants.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>After analyzing this topic, we decided to put on our perspectives in this blog from the perspective of a new and not so new plant mom. There are a lot of ways one can “adopt” plants, it can be either from the flower shop, the supermarkets, having a repotted one from a friend, or even planting it yourself. Since “adopting” them is very common here in Gothenburg, this is how we have felt while having them.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>New plant mom point of view (Nathaly)</b></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Plants-Picture,%20Size%20350px%20x%20305px.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Based on all of the reasons above, I decided to become a plant mom as well. You’d be amazed on how many flower shops there are around the city. So, I started my journey on having backup. I asked one of my classmates, from the master’s in Biomedical Engineering, if she wanted to come with me to buy a little plant for my apartment. Once we set the date, I was so excited about which plant I would be bringing home later. <span style="background-color:initial">Since I know little to nothing about plants, I wanted to make sure I would give it a good life. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I asked the sales person to show me the plants that had these characteristics.</span><br /></div> <div>1. Easy to maintain.</div> <div>2. Survives the cold weather.</div> <div>3. Improves the air quality.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Apparently, the plants that are more suitable to have here, in Sweden, are the “green ones”. It is a little hard to describe for someone new to this world of plants! The flowery kind of plants won’t survive that long here and, certainly, not in unexperienced hands (like mine).</div> <div>After finding the ones that fit my requirements, I got a crush on one of them. I am not gonna lie, the decision was tough but, once I located the beautiful green leaves this plant has, I was in love. It is perfect for me, since it requires just a small amount of sunlight (perfect for the dark months) and to be watered only once a week (perfect for my bad memory). </div> <div>I’ve been told and read (from non-official sources) that plants react well when they are loved and talked to with a tender voice. I’m excited to see how it grows and, hopefully, make a change of pot soon to allow it to be even bigger and more beautiful. It certainly makes me very happy to see it every morning. I also enjoy looking for the perfect spot for my plant to receive a bit of sun and talking to it from time to time. You know, just to remind it how pretty it looks and how happy it makes me. It does not only make my apartment look livelier, but also gives me a beautiful responsibility. It is something I can take care of, something I can distract my mind with.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>Not so new plant mom point of view (Abril)</b></div> <div>As a Biotechnology Engineer, I have had the opportunity to study the way plants work on the inside and all the marvelous things they can help us accomplish. However, I, someone who knows what the xylem and the phloem do, someone who is a plant mom’s daughter (as in plants are my sisters, I am not a plant (I think)), had an awful hand with plants. I couldn’t keep them alive for the life of me. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>When the pandemic struck, I spent several months in lockdown in my parents’ home in Mexico, helping my mom to take care (or at least trying to) of her walnut trees, orchards, devil’s ivies and the rest of the huge plant collection she takes care of. It truly became something to enjoy and a much-needed addition to my routine in those weird months. When I came to Sweden, I bought a basil plant (which you can find in the grocery stores here). As store-bought spice plants are not always in the best potting conditions, it started to wither down in the next months. So, I got a new pot and some soil and repotted all the different stems. It seemed like it wasn’t going to make it, but a month later it’s looking healthy and strong. This clicked something in my mind and now I have seven more plants and I’m using my technical knowledge to give each one what they need such as soil additaments depending on their health, strategic pruning so they grow tall and strong, etc. As of now I have rescued a dill pot and an orchid that I found abandoned apart from the basil. After seeing my mom grow emotional attachments to her plants for months, now I can say I get it. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>As Sweden has long dark periods and plants need an average of 16 daily hours to keep their physiological processes going, I make sure they get the light they need by shining a growing light on them (which can easily be found online) for as long as they need. Added to this, most plants that are sold locally are easy to care for as the climate benefits their growth. It is, then, a slippery slope towards over shopping for plants but to be honest (as long as the plants are healthy, and they make me feel healthy) I don’t really mind. I also make sure to go on a Google deep dive of the cares and needs a certain plant has before I buy it to make sure I have enough means at home to keep it as happy as it makes me.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Even though the millennial and zoomer stereotypes accurately describe us as plant lovers, everyone’s journey towards becoming one is different, as you can see in our case. With us, the starting point was moving to Gothenburg and spending a lot of time at home. If you’re already a plant parent, what was your journey?</div> <div><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Nathaly_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Abril_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /></span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Authors: <a href="/en/education/meet-chalmers/connect-with-student/pages/default.aspx">Nathaly and Abril​​​</a></span></div> <div><br /></div></div>Mon, 15 Feb 2021 09:00:00 +0100,-Journeys,-and-the-Importance-of-Mobility-Avancez!.aspx,-Journeys,-and-the-Importance-of-Mobility-Avancez!.aspxOn Chalmers, Journeys, and the Importance of Mobility: Avancez!<p><b>​The direct translation of Avancez is to move or step forward – literally to advance. I found it strange that a French motto should represent a Swedish university like Chalmers – strange enough to warrant some further investigation...</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Avancez-Banner.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of the King Gustaf-Adolf's Square at the centre of the city of Gothenburg." style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />​<div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers takes its motto (and name, for that matter) directly from its prestigious founder, William Chalmers. Mr. Chalmers, a native Gothenburger who was born in the 18th century, certainly lived out the family motto – he was very well traveled and gained much of his education and business experience abroad. Elected to the Royal Society for Science and Knowledge in Gothenburg at only 26 years old, later a director and supercargoer at the East India Trading Company in 1783 and an instrumental force in completion of the Trollhätte Canal, he was not one to sit still for long. However, he had a vision that was bigger than his own personal journey and advancement - he believed that everyone should have the chance to move forward to their chosen destination, to “avancer”, regardless of their starting point. Today his legacy lives on at Chalmers University, where students from all over the world have the opportunity to grow and advance their lives, regardless of their background.</span><br /></div> <div><div><br /><div><div>I believe the motto is still very relevant today - not just at Chalmers itself, but in the way each of us lives our lives. “Moving Forward” is an inherent part of our human journey. In fact, the very term journey implies that mobility is a fundamental part of who we are and how we progress through life. To be human is to be ever-moving, ever-changing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Nowhere has this been more apparent to me than in my time at Chalmers as an international master’s <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Avancez-Picture.jpg" alt="Picture of a tram in the city of Gothenburg. Trams are a part of the public transport network in Gothenburg." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:0px 5px" /> student, where I have the chance to be more mobile than ever been before. Although mobility in Gothenburg is often talked about in terms of the extensive public transport network, or in how bicycle and pedestrian-friendly the city is (as described here by Amanda), for me mobility is more than a means of transport - it’s a culture. It’s being able to wake up early and walk to the closest hill to watch the sunrise. It’s about going to your favorite cafe and striding boldly through the night with no fear of the darkness. It’s being able to accept a spontaneous invite to visit your friend across town, armed only with a pair of sneakers and a scooter. For a young woman from South Africa, where travelling alone is considered dangerous, mobility has been both liberation and empowerment, both agency and freedom.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One of the more unexpected side-effects of mobility is perspective. Like taking a step back to get a better focus on the photo, traveling allows us to look at life through a new lens. A clear example of this is the paradigm shift most international students experience when moving to Sweden in the form of culture shock. However, I’d like to argue that this effect is more subtle and far-reaching when we are allowed to be mobile in our daily lives. Our perspectives are changed most profoundly not by the places we visit, but by the people we meet there. For example: for the first time, I can walk through a city where street musicians play freely – and have the courage to talk to them. I can approach both the chef and CEO as they pass each other on the tram, or strike up a conversation with a nun waiting with me in line at the local Solidarity fridge. Each of these interactions has changed how I see the world in some small but fundamental way.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div> <div>However, the most profound thing that I have gained through my mobility at Chalmers is friendship. I am reminded of the adage: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In this wild ride of a journey we call life, we need to go together. On an international scale, the mobility facilitated by Chalmers has given me the chance to share my journey with friends from all over the world. On a local scale, I have also met people from all walks of life, enriching not only my academic outlook but also my personal growth.</div> <div>This pandemic has forced me to re-evaluate the role of many things in my life, but none more so than my mobility. I am grateful that I was able to step forward to Chalmers, and that I have the opportunity here to keep advancing every day. And, through the hardship, nothing has given me more solace than the chance to go for a walk in the woods - to breathe for a bit and be reminded that, in the end, this is just one more speed bump on the road we’re all moving on. Every day when I look out over the campus from my window, I am reminded of William Chalmers’ legacy, and of all the opportunities waiting for us if we can just keep moving forward.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Avancez!</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Teanette_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Student Ambassador and Author - Teanette" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />Author: <a href="/en/education/meet-chalmers/connect-with-student/Pages/default.aspx?unibuddy=inbox/chatwith/5fb6991683fa8003cd884638&amp;ub_medium=product&amp;ub_source=Embedded%20University%20Buddy%20Cards&amp;ub_campaign=&amp;ub_content=" title="Direct Link to the Author's i.e., Teanette's Unibuddy Chat page.">Teanette</a></div> </div></div></div> ​Fri, 12 Feb 2021 00:00:00 +0100 a big family to a friend family<p><b>​I’ve always been surrounded by people in Ecuador and didn’t like the idea of being in a small apartment on my own for my master’s, but this is how I worked things out.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/BigFamilies-Banner.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /><br /><br /></span></div> <div><em>Me with my big family back home in Ecuador pre COVID-19.</em><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I d</span><span style="background-color:initial">on’</span><span style="background-color:initial">t know if this happens to everyone but, where I come from, the people we call </span><span style="background-color:initial">family are not just your mom, dad and siblings. Personally, my house and dinner table were always full whenever we celebrated a birthday or any other special occasion. Even the dogs were invited, no kidding! So, I was used to being constantly surrounded by people, and the idea to move all the way from Ecuador to Sweden for my master’s and live in an 18 sq. m apartment by myself was a bit of a challenge.</span><br /></div> <div><div><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>When I first got here, I got help from my friend that had been here for a year. She’s also a Chalmerist studying Computer Systems and Networks, we met at our undergraduate program back in Ecuador. Anyway, she showed me around and told me the “must have” things for surviving the first few days in Gothenburg. Those things included a warm blanket, a pillow, an adapter for the electric outlet, Wi-Fi router and kitchen’s basics. There I was, in a studio where I could reach the kitchen in two steps and to the bathroom in two more (just kidding). And I remember talking to my family and friends, doing the “tour” around my new home, just standing in the middle and rotating in the same axis. I was excited and at the same time, wondering how life would be without meeting them often.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Since I consider myself the generation post-COVID-19 when it comes to studying abroad, I know the situation is a bit different from what others may had experienced before. The lockdown actually helped me to realize that I was not going to be able to see my grandma and all my little cousins running around for a long time. I remember being strong the whole time while saying goodbye to my family before coming here but, when the time to came to say goodbye to my cousins, I just broke down. It is different not to see your grown-up family in two years than not seeing the kids. They grow up so fast and you won’t be able to see it happening. The good thing is that we have technology to keep in touch and I hear their little voices and see their faces every once in a while, it helps me to miss them a bit less.</div> <div><br />It is amazing how living by yourself makes you grow. I experienced that in Ecuador for a bit more than a year, but it is, certainly, not the same here. Now, I have been establishing my own extended family. I was usually the kind of person who has different groups of friends and gets along really well with all of them. Well, I’m still that kind of person, just in another country. Two of my friends now, have become like a new family to me. My quaranteam! They are the ones I call whenever I’m in need, to ask for advice, watch movies with and when I bake something new. It has been nice being able to count on them during this new experience. But they are not the only ones I have to turn to here. I also have good friends I met in a social group full of Chalmerists! It is crazy how after talking one night with them, we managed to get along so well that we ended up being close to each other. Going for fika sometimes, taking small trips around the city, having dinners, sharing new songs between us. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/BigFamilies-Picture.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />But the most amazing thing, so far, has been working together for baking the perfect red velvet cake and bringing it over to surprise our other friend for her birthday. It was super exciting doing those things together . In some way it reminded me when I did those things for my family in Ecuador. Now, because of the pandemic, we try to meet as little as possible to keep ourselves healthy. However, the good thing about us is that we don’t need to be physically together to spend some quality time. We have videocalls a few times during the week, just to ask each other how our days were. We share pictures of random things and support each other. I love virtually and physically hanging out with them.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>My small apartment never makes me feel lonely anymore because I have great friends who fill the silence and, occasionally, the empty chairs in my kitchen. I guess this is my new family now and, once again, I’ll be surrounded by the people I love and care about in Ecuador soon enough.
</div> <span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Nathaly_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Author: <a href="/en/education/meet-chalmers/connect-with-student/pages/default.aspx">Nathaly</a></span></div> ​</div></div>Mon, 01 Feb 2021 13:00:00 +0100 sustainability in the calendar<p><b>​Chalmers vision for a sustainable future was what led me here. And almost immediately I got to participate in a global sustainability event hosted by the university! ​</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/SustainabilityInTheCalendar-Banner.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><div><span style="background-color:initial">Long before studying and even applying to Chalmers, I stumbled upon this beautiful statement from the university:</span><div><div><em><br />Chalmers – for a sustainable future is our vision. It defines our most important focus – a vibrant and dynamic vision of the future in which the fate of humanity is in the balance. Through this vision, we will seek to meet the need for ecological, social and economic sustainability in a committed, innovative and pioneering way. <br /><br /></em></div> <div>If you haven’t seen this before, I encourage you to visit the site: <a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers- for a Sustainable Future.</a> This vision, this commitment with the future, is what drives many of my own personal aspirations. And finding it at the heart of Chalmers’s agenda is what drove me to eagerly chase the opportunity of pursuing a <a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/pages/industrial-ecology.aspx">master’s of Industrial Ecology</a> here. Today I am very happy to be having this opportunity, and it’s as exciting as I expected. <br /><br /></div> <div>It goes without saying that I did not imagine a pandemic within the global landscape back then, and that beginning my studies and moving to Sweden during a pandemic has had a lot of challenges. But this surprising year has highlighted the fact that stirring towards sustainability should indeed be our most important focus: postponing it has been the breeding ground for the rising number of infectious diseases, and looking away from it is affecting our well-being already. The current challenges are thus a reminder of how relevant Chalmers’s quest is. A reminder that Sustainability must be a part of our calendars.<span style="background-color:initial"> To kick off, let’s talk about how great it was to participate in one of the events that Chalmers, literally, had in its calendar.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Looking at <a href="/en/about-chalmers/calendar/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmer’s calendar of events</a> for the first time was a bit daunting for me. The long list of motivating and upcoming conferences, public lectures, seminars –a lot of which were focused around sustainable development–, made me wish I had a whole semester only to participate in all of them. It was surprising and encouraging to see that they were not stopped by the pandemic. <span style="background-color:initial">Moreover, the fact that they were being held online had the advantage that they were easier for me to fit in the tight schedule of my studies. </span><span style="background-color:initial">With this in mind, I made up my mind to participate in <a href="">Beyond 2020</a>: a 3-day conference marathon around sustainability in the built environment all around the world.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">

This edition of conference was organized by Chalmers, but it is part of the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) conference series, running globally for 20 years now, and co-owned by four international organisations including UN Environment. I was happily surprised to discover the digital platform (Brella) that was used for the event: it structured perfectly the extensive agenda which included hundreds of speakers and presentations in parallel rooms. Another great feature of the event and its digital platform was that it included a functionality for participants to network according to our interests and expertise. In this way, over a thousand delegates across the world had a chance to interact and build a dialogue on how to shape sustainable cities and communities of the future.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The overarching goal of Beyond 2020, as stated by Holger Wallbaum —the leader of the event and professor of sustainable construction at Chalmers, was to provide a shared understanding among stakeholders of how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be operationalized in the built environment. Diving into the different sessions of the conference, I was able to appreciate great examples of this, which will be very useful for my future social housing projects in South America. <br /><br /></div> <div>Seven of the event’s sessions featured various projects from all around the world, discussing different ways in which Life Cycle Assessments are being applied, improved, and integrated with Building Information Modelling (BIM) to minimize environmental impacts. And one of the parallel sessions, titled The Swedish &quot;fika&quot; model - a way to sustainable innovation success, carried a powerful message around the importance of co-creation in a multidisciplinary and horizonal way (as opposed to the strong hierarchies and dialogue-scarce specialization that have paved the way for environmental and social crises). Furthermore, the panellists in this session illustrated their ideas with very down-to-earth and successful examples of projects in the <a href="" target="_blank">Johanneberg Science Park</a>. I was especially interested in one of these projects, the <a href="" target="_blank">Positive Footprint housing​</a>, which has the potential of serving as a tangible example of how the “impact minimization” paradigm in sustainability might be shifted to further improve the well-being of society and ecosystems. <br /><br /></div> <div>After one of the long days of the conference, I joined what I though was a formal evening networking session. But when I entered the zoom room, I was met by a background screen with Abba music playing as everyone was hanging out and sharing anecdotes and their experiences. The participants in the room were some of the event organizers and pioneers of sustainable construction in Europe, and they were very welcoming and friendly with me as well. I felt the room was a lively example of the “fika” model of experience sharing, of co-creation in a multidisciplinary and horizonal way. My experience in Beyond 2020 was a great reminder of the fact that friendly human relations are the breeding ground for all the knowledge necessary for sustainability. 
</div> <div><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/intervjubilder/David_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /></span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Author:<a href="/en/education/meet-chalmers/connect-with-student/pages/default.aspx"> David​</a></span></div></div></div>Wed, 27 Jan 2021 19:00:00 +0100 first film festival on campus<p><b>​Did you know there’s a film festival that takes place throughout Gothenburg, including right at Chalmers?</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/GBGFilmFest-Banner.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Gothenburg Film Festival at the RunAn Cinema Hall at Chalmers" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />​<div><span style="background-color:initial">There’s really nothing like seeing a film in the theatre. The action is more intense, the laughs are funnier, and the jumps are scarier. There’s just something about being in a room of people in the quiet dark, getting rid of the distractions and just experiencing the story on the big screen. I love going to the movies, and I was pleasantly surprised when I moved to Gothenburg that there are many different theatres in the city. Some showing blockbusters, others showing indie movies that don’t get a wide release.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>One fantastic moviegoing experience I discovered this year was the <a href="" title="Gothenburg film festival" target="_blank">Gothenburg Film Festival.​</a> Held around the end of January every year, it showed around 450 films from all over the world in 2020. The films are played at cinemas all over central Gothenburg, including one inside the Chalmers Kårhus. Last January, you could see movies in all genres, and the full list of films was released both online and in a catalog before the festival started. Once I decided which movies I wanted to see, I ordered tickets on the festival website. One nice aspect of this is that there are student discounts available. Movies were screened for eleven days throughout the city, and every year around 160,000 people visit the festival. Aside from films, the festival also hosts events like lectures and director talks, where filmmakers are interviewed about their work.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>I chose three movies to see at the festival. There were so many to pick from, it was not an easy choice to make! There were films from all genres, and last year there was a particular focus on feminist films and Brazilian ones. No matter what you prefer, from thrillers, comedies, or documentaries, there will probably be something you’d like.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The first film I watched was Uncut Gems. I had heard a lot of buzz about it, especially since it starred Adam Sandler in an atypical role in a crime thriller, and he received a lot of praise for his performance. This screening was on the Chalmers Johanneberg campus in the conference room RunAn. It was a nice experience, finishing up class and heading over to the theatre in the student union. I realized when I got there that I should have arrived earlier, since the room was quite full and I had to sit very close to the front. I settled in and experienced one of the more stressful films I’ve ever watched (If you’ve seen it, you know, and if you haven’t it’s on Netflix). Other recently released films are usually shown throughout the year for students in RunAn too.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The second film I saw was one I chose somewhat randomly. It was a German film called Relativity, which I found intriguing based on the description. It was told in a déjà vu kind of way, bouncing between the past and present around a tragic event. It was a very interesting story, exploring how people are connected. It was played at Biopalatset in the city center at Kungstorget. They had a large wall of fresh popcorn, so of course I had to get some before going into the theatre.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The last film I saw was the one I was most looking forward to. It was a film called A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It was a semi-biographical story of a period of time in American TV star, Fred Rogers’ life. Mister Rogers created a children’s show that ran for more than 30 years. It covered a huge range of topics for kids, like dealing with feelings and accepting people different from yourself. Tom Hanks played Fred Rogers, and the film features Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a city I’ve visited plenty of times. I really enjoyed <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/GBGFilmFest-Picture.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Gothenburg Film Festival at the Draken Cinema Hall" style="margin:5px 10px" /><br />the film, seeing a city I know featured so well and the opportunity to look back at this beloved public figure from my childhood. This film was played at Draken, which is the main cinema for the Gothenburg Film Festival. The theatre is a huge room, with a viking ship decorating the curtain. I felt almost like I was going to the opera rather than a movie! It was close to the end of the festival when I went, and it was a great experience. I’ll never get bored of the experience of being in a theatre full of people, and though we are strangers, for a few hours we experience the same story, with all the reactions it brings.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition to the film festival in January, the Gothenburg Film Festival put on an event in August called Open Air Anywhere. This event released a film online for anyone to stream at a certain date and time. In this way, everyone could be together while being apart, watching the same film in small groups outside or inside on the same evening. <br /><br /></div> <div>It’s been announced that the festival in 2021 will take place online. Covid-19 may change the movie going experience for a long time, but even in a digital platform, I highly recommend checking out the festival! With all the films offered, you are pretty much guaranteed to find something that will resonate with you.<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Amandablogpp.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />Author: <a href="/en/education/meet-chalmers/connect-with-student/Pages/default.aspx?unibuddy=inbox/chatwith/5e41b5ebe0cf8e2b0ba8cada&amp;ub_medium=product&amp;ub_source=Embedded%20University%20Buddy%20Cards%20-%20Staff&amp;ub_campaign=&amp;ub_content=">Amanda​</a><br /></span></div> </div></div>Tue, 19 Jan 2021 11:00:00 +0100 work during the pandemic<p><b>​I had a mix of emotions after being accepted to Chalmers. Half worried and half excited about studying abroad during a pandemic. Luckily, Chalmers had it covered.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/StudyingCovid_banner.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><div><em>The photo is of me and my lab partner, Arthur when we designed, implemented and measured a cardiac signal in one of our classes.<br /></em><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">I remember this time of the year back in 2020, with my expectations to the sky, submitting applications and gathering my documents for applying to a master’s programme. I was so full of excitement and enthusiasm. </span><div><div><span style="background-color:initial">Then February came and it was time to apply for <a href="/en/education/fees-finance/Pages/scholarships.aspx" title="chalmers scholarships">scholarships</a> as well. Again, full of enthusiasm and a bit nervous, filled with adrenaline w</span><span style="background-color:initial">hen pressing the “submit” button. And well, we all know what happened after March. I wasn’t expecting it to last so long, a part of me didn’t want to realize how big this outbreak was. Then I got my acceptance letter, what an exciting moment! But we still lived uncertain times because of not knowing what would happen in the next months.</span><br /></div> <div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>In Ecuador, where I come from, the borders closed on March 16th and it was uncertain when they would be opened again. I remember not telling anyone about my <a href="">Swedish institute scholarship</a> acceptance for the master’s programme in <a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/Biomedical-engineering.aspx" title="Biomedical engineering at Chalmers">Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers</a>. I was too afraid about not being able to travel. I wasn’t sure if the classes were going to be held online or not, at that moment, so it terrified me to think about not being here in Sweden to live my dream of studying abroad. I imagined that the classes would all be on Zoom, having to wake up in the middle of the night (because of the time difference). Since my programme has labs experiments on campus I was also concerned about not being able to attend. Luckily, everything went well and, I was able to arrive to Gothenburg in August! What an amazing experience because it was my first time in Europe, so I wasn’t used to the long trip.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Once I got here it was so different from what I expected! Starting from the fact that they treat you as a responsible adult here, and you are free to make your own choices. That means taking care of yourself when it comes to handling the pandemic. So, I took all the considerations of social distancing and keeping my hands clean to start my new life here, in Gothenburg. My theoretical classes indeed were held from Zoom, but it was amazing how well-organized everything was! Even when we needed to go to campus to do exercise sessions or lab experiments. They really thought of everything to be able to develop the same activities if it were in person 100%. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/StudyingCovid-Picture2-01.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In one class, Biomedical Instrumentation, they gave us a development electronics kit so we could work from home in our lab assignment. It was amazing to see that the instructions were clear and the tests for determining if the circuit was built correctly were so precise. When we went to the lab, we had our circuits working, we only needed to connect it to the equipment and voilà! For the health security, we were divided into different groups in order to work only two people per row, quite a lot of social distance! They also handed us some face masks and shields and gave us hand sanitizer, so we were even safer! I was quite impressed over all their effort and organization!</div> <div><br /></div> <div>I also had another course in which we were asked to form groups of two people. We could meet on Zoom or on campus. You would choose your partner and stick with him or her the entire study period. If one of us felt any symptoms, both had to remain home. It was a good strategy because you limited social interactions and you always had the alternative of attending, to the meetings or to class, online. We managed to work it out pretty well and I am happy with the work we have done in my team this semester.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Nathaly_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />Author: <a href="/en/education/meet-chalmers/connect-with-student/pages/default.aspx">Nathaly</a></span><br /></div> </div> <div><br /></div></div></div>Mon, 11 Jan 2021 09:00:00 +0100 all your days be bright – A Christmas blog<p><b>​This December we celebrate Christmas and the ending of the year. And what a year it has been.</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/201221%20Christmas%20Blog%20Banner%20750x340.png" alt="Picture of a christmas tree with lights" style="margin:5px;width:650px;height:295px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>As soon as December starts, most of the world decorates itself in festive motifs as we celebrate the end of an old year. In my house, it begins with the house filling up with the sweet smell of my mom’s traditional ponche navideño, my country’s rendition of Glögg (a warm liquor drink, traditionally consumed in the Nordic countries during winter).<br /><br /></div> <div>In my adult life, I’ve had the privilege to live all over the world; I’ve studied and worked in three different countries and stayed in five different cities in total. Regardless, I’m always back home in Mexico in time to feel the aroma of the hibiscus flower and the guava pass through my nose and fill me up with the warm notion that I’m finally back home to celebrate christmas with my family. This year, unfortunately, will be different.<br /><br /></div> <div>As almost everyone else’s, 2020 has drastically changed my life due to the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which started late last year and took over the world most of this one. Please don’t get me wrong; having moved to Sweden to study my MSc at Chalmers is awesome. But this experience would most certainly be even more great if, adding to the stress that comes with moving to a country where I don’t know anybody, I didn’t have to deal with the isolation from not being exactly free to socialize. All while trying to protect myself and others from contracting a disease that has taken millions of lives in the past months. Additionally, there will be no ponche for me this year for the first time in my 25 years alive.<br /><br /></div> <div>Not everything is dark, though, as I have found many ways to feel less alone or bored in this strange land and these strange times; I continuously have online fika (coffee meetups) with friends, go on hikes, walk around <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/201221%20Christmas%20Blog%20Picture%20350x305.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="View of a lake" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br />the city instead of using public transport, etc. I also spend time tending to my small garden, finally finishing the long list of books I have started and never managed to read through, and perfecting baking recipes. I even started hand-sewing a dress and it’s beginning to look quite good! Basically, what at first might have seemed scary or depressing has given me the chance to look at new ways to enjoy life that I could have never discovered otherwise.<br /><br /></div> <div>As a friend very wisely put it, “when presence means a risk, absence is a gift, an act of love” This has been the defining mantra of 2020 while we begrudgingly log on to Zoom or video-dial our friends and relatives to experience some much-needed closeness without the risk of putting those we love in harm’s way. Befitting this new tradition, this year I’ll do like the singer Irving Berlin and dream of a white Christmas surrounded by friends and family, exchanging warm hugs with everyone and bored looks with my sisters across the room when visiting one of our aunts.<br /><br /></div> <div>Although a rather bleak break from tradition, I’m incredibly grateful for how fortunate I am. The year began with me living in Mexico, working a boring office job. Since then, almost a year later, I have moved eight time zones away to a whole new continent. Now I am studying a graduate degree in Biotechnology, something I’m very passionate about. Although my family has faced some hard losses because of the pandemic, most of us are lucky enough to say that we are healthy and that we have each other’s backs if we need it. I have a roof above my head, food to eat and some new-found good friendships to spend this and, hopefully, more Christmas Days with. This time, I’ll munch on a pepparkakshus (Swedish gingersnap house), drink glögg and enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a friend who, like me and like many this year, has also chosen to stay home to avoid putting his family in risk. And for New Years? Who knows? But I’m sure I will find a way to make it count and enjoy it because, as turbulent as it has been, 2020 has made me learn tons of things about myself and find new ways to be grateful for the life I’m living.<br /><br /></div> <div>This December, as all others, we celebrate the ending of the year. And what a year it has been. We celebrate it in remembrance of those who we have lost, and for the spirits of those whose luck has dwindled. Regardless of religion (or lack thereof), we pray and hope that next year will bring us that white Christmas we keep dreaming of, just like the ones we used to know.</div> ​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/education/Student%20Life/Student%20Blogs/Student%20Ambassadors%20Pictures%20-%20Authors/Abril_studentblog.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><div><br /></div> <div>​Author: <a href="">Abril​​</a></div>Mon, 21 Dec 2020 17:00:00 +0100