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 by Supritha Vijayakumar
, posted on 24 Jan '19

Going Scandinavian - What's it Like to Study a Masters in Sweden?

Heading abroad for your Masters can open up new opportunities and experiences or even make postgraduate study more affordable. Sweden is a great example of this, with one of the most innovative economies in the world and free tuition for EU, EEA and Swiss students. But what's it actually like to study in another country? In this post Supritha talks about her experiences moving from India to Scandinavia.

My name is Supritha Vijayakumar. I’m from India and I completed my undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from SRM University, India. The Indian education system is rigorous and theory intensive. So, I was able to build a strong base to my engineering life there.

I knew I wanted to become a civil engineer who not only constructs but also protects. So, I decided to specialise in a field that lets me do that. And that is why I headed to Sweden to pursue my Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Why Sweden?

My course focuses on the sustainable development of infrastructure and environmental engineering. It is a part of the School of Architecture and Built Environment. I think it is important to learn construction practices in a sustainable way, and this course does exactly that.

I study in KTH Royal Institute of Technology, which is the best Technical University in Sweden. Studying in Sweden is so unique because the courses are modified to suit the present-day scenario. It is good to learn classical, old-school engineering. But is also important to know how to make it fit the present-day scenario. Furthermore, the student life in Sweden is very thriving. Research and practical learning are the key focus here. And these are the reasons that made me choose KTH and Sweden.

Applying and arriving

I actually found the application process very straight forward. There are lots of Masters courses available in Sweden, but universities accept applications through a single portal.

Once I'd applied and been accepted, it was time to head to Stockholm.

If I had to describe my arrival in one word it would be 'surreal'. But it was also love at first sight. Everything about Sweden is so peaceful and beautiful. The sustainable way of life, the people, the culture, the architecture, these are things that everyone must experience at least once in their life.

Studying in KTH is a life changing experience. The work ethic, the opportunities, the courses, the professors, the student life, it just keeps amazing me day after day. We have a very practical learning experience here. It is application and research oriented.

Comparisons and surprises

The major difference I've found whilst studying abroad has actually been the freedom to choose the path I want to take. We are encouraged to follow our ideas. The professors guide us and help shape our ideas but they also appreciate the individuality of the students. There are a lot of opportunities here as well. Being an international student here has been a liberating and elevating experience at that same time.

Language barriers (or the lack thereof)

I’ve started taking Swedish classes in my University, and it’s surprisingly fun! Even though all the classes and official communication happens in English, it is always a good idea to know the local language. And anyway, learning a new language is always an interesting experience.

Future plans

Right now, I haven’t fully decided my future. But if everything goes well, I will be staying in Sweden to work for a few years before I head back to India.

Advice for others

If you are someone who wants to learn practically in a nurturing environment, then Sweden is a great place to be. Research about the different courses and the requirements before you decide since there are a multitude of good universities in Sweden and some great courses. So, find the right university, the right course, and maybe I’ll see some of you here next year.

Editor's note: This blog was first published on 23/11/2016. We've checked and updated it for current readers.

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