Veronika Aspvall, Student Union President 2015/16, and Vice President Maria Knutson Wedel

Photo: CFFC

Kick-start your studies

The admissions letters are mailed out, and new students eager to start their studies at Chalmers University of Technology are starting to storm the two campuses. So how do you get off to the best possible start?
“By taking part in the welcome week for new students and subsequently the so-called orientation,” says Veronika Aspvall. She has just finished her BSc in Mechanical Engineering and started her role as Student Union President for the school year 15/16. 

Here, she and Vice President Maria Knutson Wedel talk about ways to get acclimated as a new student at Chalmers University of Technology.

Get acquainted, make friends and have fun
Chalmers University of Technology arranges an orientation for new students, Swedish and international, as a means to give them the support needed to get comfortable in their new setting. The orientation is filled with various activities, ranging from introduction lectures to more festive and socials events.

“Wherever you study, it is important to feel at home and to get to know your fellow classmates. Therefore, take advantage of the central arrangements that the orientation has to offer,” says Veronika Aspvall.

She remembers her own orientation three years ago with joy:

“I was positively surprised by how much fun there was to get involved with. I took part in most activities during my orientation and I am glad that I did. It was a great way to get to know my new classmates, and also a form of introduction to Gothenburg. The orientation offered me a way to feel connected to and secure in Gothenburg, and on campus.”

Engage in a student association
Veronika Aspvall highlights the value of finding a place in the organised student life on campus and points to the many clubs and associations available to students, even some that you might not associate with Chalmers University of Technology at first thought.

“There is a lot to engage in, everything from sports, song and music, to more peculiar activities like balloon flight. The hope is that there should be something for everyone. Otherwise, it is very easy to start something new.”

Find what drives you, and reflect on it
One person who knows a lot about the entrepreneurial, innovative spirit at Chalmers University of Technology is Vice President Maria Knutson Wedel. During her time as a student here, she created an equestrian club.

“We travelled out to the stables together,” she remembers with a smile. “The studies are tough, at times. There is no denying that. But by combining the studies with things that interest you, the burden becomes much less overwhelming.”

It is important to respect the fact that every university is different from another, and that university-level studies in general demand a great deal from the individual in terms of responsibility. To be successful, it is important not to lose yourself, Maria Knutson Wedel adds.

“Reflect on your studies. Take time out to reflect on what drives you. Do not get sucked in to studying in a way that does not suit you. Instead, ask yourself, ‘who am I and where am I heading’.”

The orientation plays an important role in facilitating connecting with fellow students to share the study burden with. And by helping others with their studies, you also help yourself.

Maria Knutson Wedel explains: “Educational research has shown that one of the most effective ways to learn is to teach. The only person guaranteed to learn, is the teacher.”

Strong student opinion – for a sustainable future
Chalmers University of Technology foster strong student opinion. As a student here, you have greater influence over things than you might think, says Veronika Aspvall, speaking from experience.

“When you come to terms with that, you realise that you can play an active part in shaping your own education, and your driving force is allowed to bloom.” 

Our vision for a sustainable future engages students at an ever-increasing rate, and sustainable development permeates the whole organisation.

“We invite students to discuss such matters of concern, and we are truly interested in what the students have to say,” Maria Knutson Wedel assures. “It is an incredible benefit being allowed to work in an such an environment, where there is a constant inflow of young people hungry for change.”

She ends by welcoming all new students, quoting an inspirer from another era:

"It’s like what John Lennon sang: ‘life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’ I tell the students, even on their first day here, that whatever your expectations are, the experience will be quite different. That is the only thing that is certain.”

Text: Rebecca Norén and Carolina Eek Jaworski

You’ll find all information about Chalmers’ reception activities on the Student Portal. Read more about for example welcome week, mandatory enrolment, and our checklist for your first weeks in Sweden. 

Page manager Published: Wed 19 Aug 2015.