1. Thesis research
As the summer began, I thought about my first-year academic performance. During this year, I realized that I need to develop some of my skills and prepare for the thesis writing semester which will be the last semester of the master’s programme. I consulted one of my professors on how to benefit from the summer for my academic life and how I should do research for my thesis work. The first thing my professor told me was 'Sena, please enjoy the summer first. The summer season is very beautiful here.' Isn't that a great answer? 😊 After he suggested a couple of places I could visit in the summer, he sent me some articles to read about our field. After reading them and doing extensive research, I had a few more meetings with my professor. Applied Mechanics is a multi-disciplinary programme, so you need to do a lot of research for the fields that are outside of your own. I hope that the fact that I already started this process will help me to spend the thesis period more efficiently.
2. Bike trips
After suggestions from my professor and some Swedish friends, I made a plan of places I could travel to in Gothenburg and Sweden. Except for Stockholm, I went to cities close to Gothenburg with my bike. I was able to see more places, I could take a break whenever I wanted and have a fika with wonderful views. Chalmers has a space observatory in Onsala and that was on my list to visit as well. After a 4-hour bike ride, I arrived in Onsala with my friend. We could not enter the Space Observatory due to security measures. In order to get in this center, where important scientific studies are carried out and various data are collected, it is necessary to come on visit days organized at certain times. Then we started to look for a place to swim nearby where we had our lunch and sunbathed by the sea with a wonderful view. 😊
On my bike trips in and around Gothenburg and on the archipelagos, I hardly spent any money. I took my food and coffee with me and sometimes stayed in a tent. This student-friendly travel style is both safe here in Sweden and an option that works in the summer. Apart from this, I went to Stockholm with my student ambassador friends. Stockholm has a much larger and crowded city center compared to Gothenburg. We visited the most touristic places by using electric scooters. We also spent half of a day at the Vasa Museum. The Vasa ship, almost intact and dating from the 17th century, is on display in the museum. According to the official website, Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia.
3.Exploring the art scene
Since the city of Gothenburg is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year, it is possible to find various art events and exhibitions in the city related to life in Gothenburg during the last hundreds of years. I had the chance to see many art works and museums with my friends this summer. Many museums are free if you have a student card. I think one of the most economical ways to get to know Gothenburg and Swedish culture better is through visiting the museums and looking at different works of art. The paintings in the Gothenburg Museum of Art are grouped according to different time periods in Swedish history and enriched with many informative facts.
4.Enjoying the nature
An indispensable part of Swedish culture is to live in harmony with nature and to take advantage of the opportunities nature offers to people. One of these opportunities is to collect various fruits and mushrooms. You can find many kinds of berries and mushrooms in natural parks without even having to leave Gothenburg. My friend Marija and I went to the Änggårdsbergen to pick blueberries. It is only 15 minutes from Chalmers by bike. In Uddevalla, where I went by bike again, I had the chance to collect lingonberries, which are indispensable for Swedish meatballs. In addition to these, if there is something unique to Sweden, it is to collect all kinds of mushrooms. Sometimes you have to spend hours on this and, unfortunately, you might still not find an edible mushroom. Since mushrooms can look very similar to each other, it is necessary to be very careful and get help from someone who knows. With the help of a Swedish friend who has years of experience in mushroom picking, I was able to collect about one kilo of Karl-Johan mushrooms after three hours of searching around Delsjön. After checking and making sure of many of its features, we ate some of it by frying and the rest for making a creamy sauce for the pasta.
5. Learning an instrument
Finally, one of the most fun things I've done this summer has been learning to play the piano. Luckily I have many friends at Chalmers who can play the piano. There are also music rooms and pianos in Chalmers that we can reserve and use. With my friend Marija's help, I can now play some beginner pieces on the piano! 😊
Even though I experienced many things this summer, I am looking forward to have even more experiences, more places to travel to, and more views to watch with friends in Gothenburg and Sweden!