"With my Product Realization lecture I started thinking about creating my own company."
Why did you choose to study abroad?
The short answer is, because it is possible. The real question is: Why study in the same country? With the bachelor/master system it is extremely easy to switch to another university. And I was tired of always seeing the same German people. Meeting different cultures is way more exciting.
What did you do before coming to KTH to study?
After I finished my bachelor in Germany I did an internship at IBM in Zurich.
Did you experience any “culture shock” when you first arrived in Sweden? How do you like to study in Sweden?
The Swedish culture does not differ much from the German culture. I felt at home very quickly. Only the fees for parking incorrectly are much worse here than in Germany.
The biggest difference between studying in Germany and Sweden is the period system. In Germany you usually have a Semester with 5 courses while here in Sweden you have 2-3 courses in a period, which is half a Semester. This way you can better focus on the courses. And in case you failed an exam you can easily repeat it 3 month later.
How do you like studying at KTH in Kista?
The Campus in Kista is very cool. All rooms are very well equipped with lots of possibilities for group working. Around the campus you can find branch offices of nearly all important IT companies. Such as IBM, Ericsson, Altera, Mentor Graphics, Mathworks and many more. You might start your career just next door.
Another thing that I like is the cultural diversity on the campus. For example I started to learn Mandarin and I have plenty of opportunities to use it in my daily life.
Why did you choose this program? Are you satisfied with your choice?
I chose this program because it allows me to see how an IT product is developed from the very first thought to the sales store. The first semester is very focused on embedded systems, which is a perfect match to my studies in Hamburg. In the second semester we have the product realization lecture, which is extremely interesting because it does not just teach another technology that might be outdated soon, but it teaches how companies really work.
What are the best parts of your studies? What is an average day for you?
I like the labs most. During a lecture you get some exercises that have to be presented during a lab. They need much preparation but are mostly designed to be solved in groups. On an average day I thus meet with my colleagues and discuss those labs. I was very excited to see that there are even labs for math. This way you can see that what you are learning actually has an application in the real world.
Do you have any advice for students who would like to study in Sweden and at KTH?
It is very important to English very well. Not just for understanding the lectures, but mostly for talking to your colleagues. It is very likely that they are not native speakers themselves which makes it even more difficult to communicate.
Be prepared to work in groups. It is very tough to work on everything on your own.
What are your plans after your studies? What is your dream job?
My fist thought was to go back to Switzerland and continue working for IBM. But with my Product Realization lecture I started thinking about creating my own company. It seems that the KTH has plenty of opportunities to support you in that.