Tag Archives: international students

Student Sustainability Summit

Do you believe that human security and climate change are connected? Ever heard of exponential technologies? I presume the answer is yes! This presumption stems from the fact that the medium in which you read this article is a perfect example- The Internet!

This post is the concluding part of my amazing weekend in Harnosand. If you missed the first, you can find it hereūüėČ Disruptive technology is becoming a favourite topic in the sustainability space and this led to the topic,¬†¬†Exponential thinking in Sustainability. During the summit, Rebecka Carlsson enlightened us on¬† Singularity University and the different projects that people are/were working on during her time in the programme.

Exponential technologies move from deceptive to disruptive. This is evident in various sectors such as transportation, industrial growth, energy implementation, communication, the internet, processing speed of computers, amongst others. Interestingly, most of these technologies span from humans thinking about ways to improve the ways of working in their everyday lives.

Follow these sentences, do they bring to mind any new technology or brew new ideas in your mind?

  • This technology might stop climate change
  • The solar car I thought I would invent has been invented by my colleague
  • We might live long enough to live forever
  • Virtual reality can make us more emphatic
  • It is possible to make an engine work on asteroid minerals.
  • The coming 100 years will be 20,000 years of technological development

Some people have come to the conclusion that forty percent of fortune 500 companies that exist today will no longer exist. This extrapolation stems from this topic of exponential technologies and the impending revolution, most people expect to take place soon.

Giving my two cents ūüôā Photocredit: Sustainergies and Svanen

CASE SOLVING

The next session was all about goal 12. Have you heard of The Swan or Nordic Ecolabel? Have you seen this sign on some products and wondered why?

Nordic Ecolabel Logo

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the official sustainability ecolabel for the Nordic countries. The purpose was to give Nordic Consumers guidance and to help them choose products which had fulfilled strict environmental requirements. In Sweden, there are thousands of products carrying the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

However, despite the awesome work the Nordic Swan is doing, the younger generation including me is oblivious to their activities. In addition, companies so as to gain market advantage make their own eco-marks. These were some of the challenges we tried to solve during the case solving session

groups presenting their various solutions. (Photo credit: Sustainergies and Svanen)

COMMUNICATIVE STRATEGIES

Photo credit: Sustainergies and Svanen

This was the final session which dealt with how we communicate the SDG goals. In this session, we learnt a lot on effective communication with respect to the dynamics in the room and how to engage your audience optimally. Also, we learnt how to prepare outstanding presentations irrespective of the topic of discussion.

Then we played the privilege game and called it a wrap not long after that:)

Privilege game

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: I really loved the sustainability summit for students. I would encourage every student to take part at least once in the summit. It was good to listen and share ideas with people from various fields and different universities discuss sustainability and other interesting topics needed to move the world thinking in the right direction.

I also like the efforts Sweden is making with ensuring that companies are taking the necessary steps to ensure sustainability in the life cycle of products and not just, the disposal of products.

Did I mention it was my first vegetarian weekend? All meals were vegetarian options only and it was soooo goood!! So if you’re reading this and planning an event for just vegetarian options but want everyone to enjoy it, ask SIDA for advice on the best caterers!

Finally, do not forget this…

Everyone has a part to play in achieving the seventeen sustainable goals. What are you doing in your little world?

 

 

What a weekend!

If not now, when

If not you, then who?

These were the words that introduced me to the second most amazing weekend in the month of April. This is one of the many posts I have looked forward to sharing in recent times. I had a beautiful weekend in the city of Harnosand with students from different universities in Sweden; all with a singular interest РSUSTAINABILITY. So, join me on this exciting ride as I give you the details to some of the things we discussed and who knows, you might just become interested in acheiving the SDGs like me:)

I got to Harnosand on Friday (five hours train ride from Stockholm), It was a very nice trip but on a wrong day; In Stockholm, it was 20degrees, looking a whole lot like summer (first time ever since I got here!), and in Harnosand, the lake was still half-frozen! Good thing I had a nice dinner and a very comfortable bed waiting for me upon my arrival¬†(In other words, I had no worries…lool).

 

Let’s get the ball rolling….*insert drumroll*

Before the whole world caught the “SDG bug”, there were MDGs.MDGs refer to Millenium Development Goals. What’s the super big difference between the two set of goals? For me, the major difference is that SDGs involve everyone. The MDGs literally sounded like problems of the developing countries and then one goal was set aside for the developed countries to assist the developing countries in acheiving the targets (forgive my ‘astute’ description, lol). Another interesting thing is that the MDGs can be referred to as average goals. You would agree with me that if you read the targets of the SDGs, they are pretty¬†ambitious and heck, who would not loooove to reach for the stars:)

During the summit, before we dived into the SDGs, we talked about development cooperation and mentioned various actors involved in that.  It was a general consensus to conclude that all the actors involved in development cooperation signify the main groups needed to take action to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Take a look at our list below:

As an energy engineer, goal 7 is what my master’s degree AT KTH¬†aims at achieving with other like-minded individuals in my field of study. However, all the goals are inter-connected and in this summit, we extensively discussed goals 1,5,12 and 17.

  • Goal 1 – No poverty
  • Goal 5 – Gender equality
  • Goal12-Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal17-partnership for the goals

GOAL 1

Anyone who lives with the possession of less than 1.9USD in a day is living under extreme poverty. Different corporations use different analysis tool to determine the average number of persons in various countries in this category. We discussed some aspects that contribute to poverty and make it difficult for people to escape poverty. They include:

  • opportunities and choice. For example, education
  • resources
  • power and voice: one can categorise gender, modern slavery, human rights in this factor

GOAL 5

To summarise our discussion in a sentence, gender equality is a matter of fact and not fight when it comes to these three aspects:

  • rights
  • responsibilities
  • resources

GOAL 12

We spoke extensively on this goal and came to the conclusion that all other goals were linked to this. Most importantly, this goal cannot be achieved except everyone in the world understands that they have a role to play and start working towards it.

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This post is becoming a very long one full of important sustainability details. I do not want you to miss out on any important details by just scrolling through(haha!)  So, watch out for the next post. You know how everyone saves the best for the last? Certainly doing that right now!

However, just not to  leave you in suspense, think about this:

Total Aid spending by the OECD countries is pegged at $135bn and the aid needed for achieving the SDGs is estimated to be $4000bn. This certainly means one thing-

**BUSINESS AS USUAL WILL GET US NOWHERE**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Week

Are you interested in sustainability? Do you want to meet people who share the same interests? Would you like to network with companies with these same values?

Then, do not miss the rest of the green week activities from May 2nd to May 8th. Green week is a sustainability oriented event organised by students for students. Green week is aimed at encouraging discussion about corporate sustainability and to raise awareness of sustainable practices in different sectors among KTH students.

During this week, you will be able to:

  • network with various companies such as Cybercom, Stockholm Exergi, SSAB, wsp, sustainergies (to mention a few);
  • participate in case solving events. This year, there are two case solving events. One with Sustainergies and the other with Stockholm Exergi.
  • engage in various panel discussions, lunch lectures and start-up night

To sign up for any of the events, visit Green Week 2018 Facebook Page. Also, you can visit Green Week Official Website for more information.

See you there!

Cost of living in Stockholm

“I hear Stockholm is an expensive city to live in,¬†can you explain what a monthly budget could look like?” Is this running through your mind too? If yes, you are reading the right post. In these series of moving to Stockholm, cost of living is the next big question every student seems to be thinking about.

Let’s break down the expenses together:

  • ACCOMMODATION

This ranges from 2500SEK to 6500SEK. I know students who live in shared apartments at Fleminsberg and pay 2500SEK per month. Meanwhile, the cost of a studio apartment in the main campus cost 6500SEK. There are other apartments with their prices in between this range. For example, a single corridor apartment in the main campus costs 5000SEK and then, a single corridor apartment in Lappis costs 4300SEK.  Accommodation choice is very relative depending on personal preferences such as proximity to the main campus, desire to stay in a shared accommodation or studio apartment amongst others. Additionally, most of the student accommodation have the electricity and internet bills embedded in the accommodation prices mentioned above.

  • FOOD

For grocery shopping, there are options such as Lidl, Willy’s, Hemkop, ICA, oob and COOP. Lidl and Willy’s are the cheapest. Hence, you hear most students say they are headed to Lidl. In a month, if most of your shopping is done in Lidl (and you cook all that you eat), you can budget 800SEK to 1000SEK.

Below is a breakdown of student-priced meals that most students buy generally:

Restaurants in school: 65SEK to 89SEK

Baguette sandwich: 25SEK to 32SEK

Cinnamon bun and a cup of coffee: 15SEK

Obviously, you would want junk sometimes in the month, you can budget about 500SEK to 1000SEK to this. For example, you can buy pizza for 89SEK to 110SEK. You can get burgers from a small shop close to school starting from 50SEK to 89SEK (depends on the package you decide on)

  • TRANSPORTATION

One major way to cut your monthly transportation expense is to buy a bike. However, the student price for the SL transport for a month is 570SEK. Students who use the public transportation strictly pay the monthly capped price as opposed paying for each trip to make it cheaper. Most students do not take taxis as they are expensive. A 14-minute Uber ride from the central station to the main campus costs 160SEK averagely.

  • COMMUNICATION

Most students pay an average of 100SEK per month for pre-paid services for their phones. There are various telecommunication providers and they all have student packages. Personally, I chose Halebop and with their amazing deals and flexible options, my phone bill per month can be as little as zero to 75SEK.

  • SHOPPING

You might want to buy different things such as clothes, shoes, fixtures for your new apartment, school bag, the list can truly be endless. As these might come in randomly but would surely happen, you can budget 500SEK to 800SEK for this each month. Also, there are good thrift stores in Stockholm, you might find interesting things you might like so as to cut some costs.

  • MISCELLANEOUS

As a student, you would love to take part in social activities or plan a night out with friends. Whatever it may be, this can be adjusted according to your budget for each month.

In summary:
You might wonder why I did not write anything for miscellaneous on the high end. This is because I know that the common expense range for most students is between 5000SEK to 9000SEK even with those that live in high-end apartments. This is because each individual chooses what to spend on to match their preferences.

Do you have any other questions as regards the cost of living? Feel free to ask! If not, I am glad that I could help you plan your future financial budget:)

Have you been admitted to KTH? What’s next?

First, Congratulations to all admitted students!!!It’s exactly one week since all students who applied to KTH received mails to notify them on their admission results.¬† In this one week, many questions have followed through and the best theme to categorize all these questions is, “WHAT’S NEXT”

The first thing every admitted student should do is bookmark this page. Not just bookmark, regular updates would be made there. So, make sure you always check to keep yourself very updated ūüôā

COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

  • What exactly happens next?

If you have not received a mail from your selected programme, expect one in the coming week; providing additional information. In addition to this, I received an email from a second year Master’s student studying the same programme asking to schedule a time to answer any questions I might have. I would advise you make use of this opportunity as it really helped a lot. Some programmes might not have this kind of arrangement. However,¬† some have student ambassadors on their programme’s webpage, you can contact them if you have any questions.

  • Pre-Departure Event

Pay attention to your mail during this period, I received a mail from the Embassy of Sweden to sign up for a pre-departure event. If you get this mail in your respective country, ensure you attend the event because detailed information based on your individual countries, concerning school fees, residence permit and the life in Sweden will be discussed. There were alumni from various Swedish Universities present and then, representatives from the Embassy and some university representatives. You also get to meet other admitted students!

  • Tuition Fees

If you have checked the page I mentioned earlier, notice there is a deadline for payment for fee-paying students. You would soon receive an invoice to this effect. You need to pay before you can apply for KTH accommodation. With tuition fees in mind, let me give an answer to a very common question this week,  Are there any other opportunities for funding? Yes, in the second year, you can apply for  KTH One-Year Scholarship.

KTH will keep sending you newsletters to keep you updated. The aim of this post is to summarise the answers to questions I have received this past week. If you have other specific questions that you would like a detailed post on, feel free to ask. In the coming weeks, I will keep you updated as you prepare to move to Sweden:)