What is happening with Nobel Prize in Literature?

Over the weekend, the news “Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 is cancelled” storms the global media. What is happening with the utmost glory in literature?

TECHNICAL CAUSE?

In short, it fails because the committee that selects the Nobel laureate in literature, the Swedish academy,  cannot function properly after resignation of four members in April. Taking the number of inactive members into account, the remaining ten active members fail to meet the quorum of twelve to select a laureate. What has sparked such an abrupt resignation?

 

The Swedish Academy (photo: TT News Agency/Jonas Ekstromer, REUTERS)

#MeToo and Nobel Prize in Literature

You must have heard to #MeToo tag, which is a movement that encourages victims of sexual assaults to speak out for themselves. In autumn 2017, the movement has finally arrived in Sweden; since then it has gathered enormous support and publicity from both online and the open-minded, liberal Swedish society. However, it was still hard to perceive a bond between #MeToo and Nobel Prize in Literature, until a local newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, put the accusations of Jean-Claude Arnault in sexual assaults under light. Arnault was accused of long-term sexual assaults (including rape) by 18 women who were interviewed.

Continue reading

Why, What, How: Four MTLS students sharing their thesis stories

How important is master project? We all know that

  • It worths one-fourth of academic credits

  • Students are free to choose where to carry out their thesis work

  • 30% students (in Sweden) found their employment directly through master thesis

  • Students acquire essential skills and connections with industry/academia, which eventually build up employability

So, how are our students doing? This weekend, I have the pleasure to chat with four of MTLS students from my class, who are doing their master thesis at different places and working on a diverse scheme of topics! They are:  Leonie (Karolinska Institute in Solna), Mounika (Gabather AB in Huddinge), Dimitri (KTH main campus) and Carolina (Harvard Medical School).

 

1. Leonie von Berlin, Germany

Group: Sten Linarsson (Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Karolinska Institute)

Project: Pipeline development for definition and mapping of cells in human brain with single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq)

The most important lesson I learned is the following: Science takes time. A  LOT OF TIME. If we all accept that four months are barely enough to produce important results and stay relaxed and stay relax, the master project can be a great time of learning and scientific communication. And for having fun!

Continue reading

The amazing festivals and the fact that they are coming……

How well do you know about Swedish festivals? The daffodils and colourful feather in Easter, or the firework and maypole in mid-summer? If your answer is these two, you are perfectly catching the spirit of Swedish festivals! But, I would like to tell you more about holidays that fall between Easter (March) and Mid-summer (June), that you can join and enjoy NOW!

Cherry Blossom Festival in Kungsträgården

Date: 21 April 2018

It is neither traditional nor official, so why is it getting “viral” year after year? The longing to spring, warmth and aesthetic that beyond time, ethnicity and nationality is probably the only explanation.

Kungsträgården, April 2017

The Japanese Association in Stockholm holds the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in City Centre. Kimono and costume-play, Japanese dancing and singing, Japanese food booths will be part of the events. The event page can  be found at: facebook.com/events/137453076967571/

Walpurgis Eve (Valborgsmässoafton)

Date: April 30

Many believe that Walpurgis Eve was borrowed from the medieval Germany, when farmers lit bon fire and sang to scare away evil creatures and witches. Some are convinced that the purpose of bon fire is to instead dispel wolves and other predators for the coming grazing season. Which one is more plausible doesn’t matter much today, as they all fuse into the celebration of spring in one night. The oldest tradition as bon fire, spring song sing and dancing have been preserved. So, don’t miss the chance to see them in the city: Skansen, Riddarholmen……Check this website for the locations: stockholmdirekt.se/nyheter/fira-valborg-i-stockholm-har-ar-listan-med-majbrasor/

Bon fire on Riddarholmen

Students can’t be absent for the carnival. Therefore, the Walpurgis Eve in Uppsala, a city 1.5 hr by train from Stockholm, is recommended by many. They definitely have the reasons: students in Uppsala have celebrated the festival for more than 200 years and it is one of the largest celebration in Stockholm in terms of popularity and scale. Besides the classical bon fires, drifting across the river Fyris with DIY-boat made of all kinds of materials, is the most important event during Walpurgis:

Walpurgis on Fyris

Continue reading

Art is the underground language here

It is estimated that around 900,000 people travel underground everyday in the large Stockholm metropolitan area. The underground metro network (so-called “tunnelbana”) encompasses 7 lines, 100 stations that span 105.7 km is length: it must require a complicate mathematical model to solve the flow of passengers, the arrival and departure of trains……however, there is one thing that we know for sure: art is the ubiquitous underground language.

Do you know that:

  • In terms of length, Stockholm’s metro is the longest art gallery in the world

  • >90 of its 100 stations are covered by certain forms of artworks

  • The art project was initiated in 1957, some of it is still undergoing today

Let’s start with the all-time favourites:

ALL-TIME FAVOURITES

The exposed bedrock is the most enchanting feature of Stockholm’s metro. Here, it is both the carrier and the raw material of art.

#1 Solna Centrum

Instagram: instagram.com/explore/tags/stockholmsmetro/

If Dante is looking for the entrance to the inferno, he shall take the escalator at Solna Central.

#2 Stadion

Continue reading

Key dates and events after admission

The admission results of Fall Semester 2018 have been released on universityadmission.se. Congratulations and a warm welcome to all admitted students!

As the first round of university application in Sweden ended last week on 15th January, I hope that all of you have filed your application on time! While enjoying your post-application time, here are some important dates and events that you won’t want to miss:

Release of Admission Results

It is the most pressing issue in mind, right? According to the universityadmission.se, the the admission results will be released on 6th April, 2018. Additionally, it is possible that your department would send a preliminary notification to you approximately a week before. If yes, you had an extremely high chance to be admitted to that program. If not, also don’t worry (because not all the departments do so), keep calm and wait till 6th April.

Acceptance of an Offer and Payment of Tuition Fee

Universityadmission.se tells you that you must reply to your offer on their website before the deadline set by individual university. However, my suggestion would be to accept your offer and keep your seat even if you were undecided at that time. For the non-European students, the deadline of tuition fee payment, 31th May 2018 , would act as the de facto deadline of acceptance/denial of your offer.

Call-up week and Information Evening

Neither of the call-up week and welcoming party organised by the STUDY IN SWEDEN at your home country is mandatory that you must reply to. But, they are excellent opportunities to build a tangible link with your programme, school and Sweden!

Call-up week is a particular admission service offered by KTH and many schools in Sweden. Usually in the first or second weeks after 6th April, the admitted students will be invited by our one of our student ambassadors (very likely a current student from the same programme) via email to set up a Skype or telephone talk. So, do answer the email, pick up your phone and seize the chance to express feelings and ask questions!

The date of the Information evening varies from country to country, that might span from the middle of April to May; but you will see the invitation in your email inbox soon after 6th April. There, you will probably know the first time what a Swedish “fika” is; also, many of my international confirmed the usefulness of this event: they met friends even before arriving in Sweden!

Application of Residence Permit (applicable to non-European students)

If you are not an European citizen, you must obtain a residence permit before you enter Sweden. Once the tuition fee is paid, it is suggested that the residence permit should be applied as soon as you got the offer! The good news is, it is relatively convenient with only 3 steps:

Step 1 :Fill in the online application form at Swedish Migration Agency

Step 2: Once your application is accepted (typically takes 2 -4 weeks), visit the local Swedish embassy or consulate for personal data recording

Step 3: Pick up residence permit card at the local Swedish embassy (typically 2 weeks after step 2)

Housing

If you are a non-European student, congratulations as your accommodation is guaranteed by KTH in the first year! From now until 31th May 2018,  you could visit KTH Accommodation to see what kind of services it offers, and register for a student hostel!

On the other hand, if you come from an European countries, it is highly recommended to start looking for your own accommodation as soon as you got admitted. You should register ASAP at SSSB.se, Stockholm’s Student Accommodation, and start queuing for a student room at a lower-than-market price.

You may be interested in my previous blog All about KTH Accommodation to learn about the types of rooms you can choose, the locations of student hostels and some common questions regarding hostel application!

Below is a summary of the links that might be useful for you:

  1. Key dates and deadlines for admission: https://www.universityadmissions.se/en/All-you-need-to-know1/Finding-out-more/Key-dates/Autumn-semester-dates/
  2. How to apply for a residence permit: https://www.universityadmissions.se/en/All-you-need-to-know1/Finding-out-more/Resident-permit-for-studies/
  3. Website of Swedish Migration Agency (through which you submit your online residence permit application): http://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Startpage.html
  4. KTH Accommodation: https://www.kth.se/en/student/studentliv/accommodation/housing-information-international-students/accommodation-1.9721
  5. Stockholm’s Student Accommodation (SSSB): https://www.sssb.se