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My warmest greetings!

Hej! And I am the final new digital ambassador Raygo (or you may call me Ray), who will work alongside Lorenzo and Martyna for the KTH International Student Blog in the coming year!

My favourite and the envy of the many places on campus is the rooftop of the school of architecture!

As a first-year student from the master’s programme in Architecture, (yes, you may realize that Martyna and I are indeed from the same programme, so we often bump into each other in our school of architecture building!) although I have arrived here in Stockholm for just more than a month, I have fallen in love already with the city and our school campus!

Coming from Hong Kong, which is on the other side of the globe, everything here is so different for me. One of the most obvious contrasts is the population, where we have around 7.6 million people in Hong Kong, which is 6 million more than the sum in Stockholm! Nevertheless, I always believe that this is exactly the most charming part about studying abroad, where you get to explore entirely new cultures, languages and most importantly, the sceneries and cuisines! Therefore, I cannot wait to share with all of you my discoveries through this platform!

Beyond the classroom, I am also keen on photography, just like Lorenzo. Being an architecture student does not mean that I am fascinated only by taking pictures of the buildings, but also by street views and portraits in general. Thus, my favourite weekend activity in Stockholm so far is to wander around the city with my friends and camera!

Apart from that, language acquisition is also something that I am passionate about. As I am currently conquering Swedish, which is going to be the seventh language that I could speak (I hope I am not making your jaws drop) I find myself feeling excited and satisfied every time, when being able to communicate with someone using a new language that I have learnt. So, I am more than delighted to share with you my journey in learning languages and some tips to learn Swedish later! In the meantime, feel free to take a guess of which are my six other tongues! (You have got an additional point for English)

It is a pleasure to meet you all, and I am looking forward to this fruitful year getting in touch with you as a blogger!

// Raygo

Whale hello there!

Greetings to you all wherever you are reading from! Martyna is writing here – your new digital ambassador in Sweden!

Hopefully, you are as thrilled as I am to start this journey together with my colleagues Lorenzo and Raygo, and I can not wait to tell you all about life in Sweden and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology!

Photo of Martyna with a camera
Say CHEESE!

I come from a capital of a small country – Lithuania, located by the Baltic sea. Years ago, I flew to London, United Kingdom, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture.

Later brexit happened and then corona appeared, so I decided to try Sweden when I heard about their lifestyle and high quality of education. But mostly, the cost of being a student is much cheaper here than in London…Have I already mentioned brexit…?

Before my arrival here, I knew nothing about the country and its culture and had no friends or relatives living here. It was a fresh start for me in a new city again. But hey, thumbs up! Once I arrived, I tried to participate in many events, meet loads of people and get to know the area. Events at KTH, such as buddy groups and international dinners, were perfect for immersing myself in student life! Not going to lie: these were the craziest first weeks in Stockholm…

At the moment, I am enrolled in my second year (and last year!) of the master’s programme in Architecture. The previous year was an amazing experience for me, and it is still continuing! I have joined a badminton club here, found a new passion for biking, and could you guess my interest in photography? On top of that, I started learning Swedish since I fell in love with the city, the people, the architecture and, of course, the nature…

Lovely to meet you all, and please do not hesitate to contact me! I would be more than happy to talk to you!

//Martyna

Hej allihopa!

Ciao! I’m Lorenzo, the first new blogger you’ll be hearing from! This is my first year at KTH, where I’m studying a master’s programme in Engineering Mechanics.

Picture of Lorenzo in front of a plant on campus.
Just a visibly embarrassed me in front of a beautiful plant on campus

I got my bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, a big Italian university located very close to the city where I grew up: Saronno (just pretend that you’ve already heard of it – that would make me really proud). After that, I decided to dive into something more theoretical, and that’s why I chose to come to Stockholm to study Engineering Mechanics, a degree programme entirely focused on the study of Mechanics – the physics branch that describes the motion of fluids (like air) and solids (like food).

Apart from mathematics, my greatest passions are cinema and photography – and wow, Stockholm truly is a top-tier city for both of these! It has different movie festivals throughout the year and it’s full of beautiful spots to shoot with the characteristic Nordic light. I also love trying new sports, where I typically am the guy who makes you think “I’m not that bad after all”. You’re welcome!

Having always lived with my family in a small town, moving to Stockholm was quite a change for me. I quickly went from having a three-course lunch at my grandma’s, to heating up a frozen pizza in a microwave (and wow, this really hurt my Italian soul). But hey, everyone talks about “getting out of the comfort zone” and I guess that that’s (also) how you do it!

However, frozen pizzas aside, I can say that I’m enjoying my new Swedish life very, very much. Sweden is a country that stands on opposites: it’s modern, but full of classical architecture and history; it’s industrialised, and yet incredibly green; it’s cold, and at the same time warm because of the kindness and openness of the Swedes. Simply put, no matter where you come from, Sweden is just different. And I’m really looking forward to unravelling its uniqueness in the next months, while sharing my journey with you all!

// Lorenzo

Start of a new chapter!

Sunset over Stockholm
Sunset over Stockholm

The time has come for myself, Valerie and Claire to finish up, we’ve really enjoyed writing blogs for you! I’m very grateful that I got this chance to contribute to the blog and to get the chance to work with such a wonderful blogging team. I’m looking forward to reading posts from new bloggers in the next few weeks!

Although it feels like two years was a very short time, I am delighted that I got to experience life in Sweden. My time at KTH was so valuable to me both personally and professionally. It opened my eyes to a plethora of new ideas, methods of working and ways of thinking. 

Stockholm was the best place to study an architecture masters. The atmosphere of openness and excitement at the school made it the perfect place to imagine and create. That atmosphere is what I’ll miss most. The tutors that are open and accepting of any ideas you want to explore and the students that are free enough to think creatively and motivated enough to pull off fantastic work. 

I met so many funny, intelligent, talented friends in Stockholm and although I am sad to leave them, I’m excited at the idea of catching up with them someday and sharing good times again. 

View from Skinnerviksberget

For now, I’ve said my goodbyes to Sweden and have started a position as a graduate architect, designing new pieces of Dublin City. My time at KTH has encouraged me to keep my horizons wide though. I’ve really enjoyed the international perspective in the school and I’m looking forward to keeping this in the years to come. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be back!

Thanks for following along!

~ Declan

Farewell!

The time has come for me to wish you lycka till and say hej då! I have completed my MSc programme in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design and am looking forward to the next chapter of my career. This also means that new international student bloggers will be taking over soon, so stay tuned to meet them next week.

Looking back on the past two years at KTH, there is so much that I am grateful for.

Balance

KTH afforded me a healthy balance between my studies and personal life. Having the time for exercise, for friends, and for exploring other interests was something I had yet to experience as a student. It proved beneficial to both my mental and physical well-being, which ultimately provided the foundation I needed to excel in my studies.

Continued curiosity

Working as a digital student ambassador has been a defining aspect of my second year at KTH. It kept me curious about Sweden, Stockholm, and my local community at a time I might have otherwise settled in. Although I explored quite a bit during my first year, there was still so much more for me to experience and learn. I hope the window into student life, academics, Stockholm, and Swedish culture has proved useful to you personally, in one way or another. I owe you, as well as my fellow student ambassadors and advisors a big thank you for the motivation, and a really enjoyable side job.

Wider horizons

I’m also deeply grateful for what I’m leaving KTH with, including: A strengthened passion for the value of internationalisation. A deeper understanding of sustainability in my field. Many answered questions, but plenty more new ideas and curiosities about the role of urbanism in our future. A professional network, but even more dear to me, many great new friendships with people from all over the world.

Silhouette of Stockholm harbour skyline at dusk.

For me, KTH was the right next step. If it is for you too, I wish you the best and encourage you to make the most of your time. Signing off, with gratitude,

// Claire

Golden Hours – Photography in Stockholm

Misty Morning Field
A Misty Morning – Róisin

Stockholm is a beautiful city. I have been lucky enough to live here for the last two years and lucky enough to meet lots of creative people that can capture the city beautifully. Here I’ve gathered some of the photos my photographer friends Róisin, Mayela and Chirag have taken in the past year. These are the photos I always try to find when someone asks me “What’s Stockholm like?”.

Sergels torg square in Stockholm
Sergels Torg – Róisin
A tree-lined canal
Djurgården – Róisin

One thing that makes the city especially picturesque is its Nordic light. Not just the Aurora Borealis, but also that slanted sun that makes the whole place glow. In photography, this is called Golden Hour, when the sun burns orange for the last hour of the day. Due to its northerly location, Stockholm gets several golden hours that last throughout the evening. 

A view over Stockholm
The classic Stockholm – Chirag
A nighttime view of the castle
The Castle – Chirag
Northern lights over Stockholm
Northern Lights – Chirag

Another characteristic part of Stockholm is how green the city is. As you explore the city you find more and more great parks and forests. Mayela has been posting for the KTH Instagram account for the past year. She caught this greenery in all it’s greens, whites and golds:

If you want to see what it’s like to live in Stockholm, it’s a good idea to follow people who live there. So here are my photographers! Róisin on VSCO, Chirag on Instagram, Mayela on Instagram. Make sure to follow KTH on Instagram too if you want to see more cool photos of Stockholm.

~ Declan