“The bigger the challenge
The bigger the opportunity
Challenge Yourself India’ 2015 was one such platform which motivated the Indian students to bring their ideas, drive and inspiration under one roof. It offered them a sneak peek into the Swedish Education system and this amazing Scandinavian nation.
The competition was organized by Sqore (formerly Student Competitions) which manages a global talent database with various partner universities. This year's winner Vivek Dalvi is a Masters student at Pondicherry University, India. He was awarded a travel grant to Sweden worth approx. INR 125 000.
He visited various landmarks in Sweden and was highly keen on visiting Chalmers, and especially the algal laboratory as his motivation letter reflected his great interest in algae, innovation and sustainability. At Chalmers, we were highly pleased to welcome him and honestly, his excitement seemed infectious. The day began with a visit to the algal laboratory at the department of industrial biotechnology followed by a campus tour.
Dr. Eva Albers, group leader of the algal biotechnology group at Chalmers welcomed Vivek warmly with a comprehensive presentation about her research on studying algal metabolism and microbial physiology. She also explained the standard conditions necessary for their growth and industrial processes. After the thorough presentation, Vivek was given the tour of the laboratory by Sigita Vaiciulyte, a PhD Student and Joakim Olsson, project assistant in the group. They explained the nuances of the industry and the importance of Algal technology in the present times.
Vivek shared that he wanted to use the advanced tools of algal research in India and wanted to rope in the technological developments to foster the use of algal biotechnology in Indian agriculture. Vivek was then taken for a cup of coffee and this is when we started with the fun part of the day. Fika
is an important part of the Swedish tradition and Sweden is a nation of coffee lovers. So, we made sure that Vivek had some good time over a cup of coffee in Chalmers Studentkår or the Student Union as most of the international crowd calls it. Vivek shared experiences of his “first solo international trip” and how he felt about the country, its weather, the transportation system, and people of Sweden. He added that he was surprised to see many fellow Indians both in Stockholm and Gothenburg. This was followed by a tour of Chalmers and he was shown the whereabouts of different departments, library and the different mascots which represent each major. Vivek also enjoyed taking photographs while touring the campus and yes, we clicked a lot of selfies, after all any trip isn’t complete without a selfie. We also had some fun video sessions and interview. After the enjoyable and educational tour, our next stop was for lunch at the Electrical Engineering building where we were joined by a few other international students. We bonded over meals in Sweden compared to our respective home countries. It was a great meal altogether and we finally left with happy tummies.
At the end of his visit, Vivek added that he was glad to have chosen to visit Chalmers. He also had plans for sightseeing and soaking in some more of the city for the rest of the afternoon.
Written by: Arsalan Latif, Daphne Hingert & Mrinalini Raina