The support provided during and after the selection convinced me that KTH is directly interested in you as an international student
Alessandro comes from Italy. He graduated as a bachelor's student at the Polytechnic University of Turin in his home country. He is passionate about football and sports in general, along with music.
Why did you choose this master’s programme at KTH?
KTH is one of the best technical universities in Europe and the master’s programme in Aerospace Engineering was particularly recommended. However, what really attracted me to KTH in comparison with other European universities is its focus on international students. The support provided during and after the selection convinced me that KTH is directly interested in you as an international student. In fact, approximately one half of the students in my master’s programme are non-Swedish, which is a very high proportion. The campus offers a positive multi-cultural environment. Sharing experiences and backgrounds and interacting with different ways of thinking is really stimulating for me, both as a student and as a person.
Moreover, I like Sweden as a country and its very open-minded and environmentally-friendly mentality. Stockholm is the perfect city for students. It is a European capital, but it is very efficient and well-organised, and not at all chaotic.
What are the best aspects of your programme?
What I first noted about Swedish education compared to my previous education in Italy is that it has a much more practical its orientation. I like this approach because it helps you to develop skills such as working in a team or making technical reports, which will be useful in the future when you are an engineer at a company. Moreover, KTH has strong ties with European companies in the Aerospace sector. There are many events at which companies present themselves to the students and at which you can find contacts for a future thesis or internship. I feel this will be very useful for my future career.
Moreover, I like the fact that KTH gives you a lot of freedom to personalise your study plan with transversal courses. This allows you to go into more depth in a particular field you like related to Aerospace.
Have you chosen a specialisation track within the programme? If Yes, which track and why?
I am part of the Aeronautics track. In fact, my main interest is related to inner atmosphere flight. My favourite subject is Aerodynamics. I have personalised my study plan in order to deepen my knowledge of Fluid Dynamics so that I can apply it to other fields than Aerospace.
What are your favourite courses thus far?
Thus far the course I liked the most was about Compressible Flows. I really liked the way it was taught and the topics were very challenging and interesting. The introductory course on the Fundamentals of Flight was also very useful to me for reviewing my previous knowledge and consolidating it. I also liked the course on Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics on which I not only learned how to apply CFD to a practical case, but also how to manage a project in a team.
How do studies at KTH differ from your previous studies?
As I hinted above, my Italian education was considerably more focused on theory, which was more widely developed than at KTH. However, sometimes I felt that I did not know what I was studying and I often tried to answer questions like “What is the goal of studying this? Where is this thing used or applied?”. At KTH I finally found the answers. Many laboratory exercises are held in wind tunnels, for example, to allow you to practice your skills. I also feel that this more “practical” approach is useful for understanding and recalling your theoretical knowledge. Moreover, teamwork is something that I find is really useful for developing your skills as a mature engineer and sharing knowledge between students from different backgrounds.
How is student life in Stockholm?
Student life in Stockholm is great – the best I could expect. All public services and university services are super-efficient. I was positively impressed by the public transportation system since you can reach every corner of the city in limited time. Moreover, in Sweden, you never feel like you are a foreigner, thanks to its multi-cultural environment. At the international reception events organised by the Student’s Union you meet hundreds of similar minded people, who are looking forward to finding new friends. Thus, becoming familiarised with a new country takes a really short time. Finally, what I really like is the range of sport facilities that offer student discounts, which allows you to practice your favourite sports.
How would you describe your time at KTH so far?
So far I have had a great time as a student at KTH and in Stockholm. The further I progress with my studies here, the more I am convinced that I have made the right choice. I love Sweden as a country, Stockholm as a city in which to live and KTH as a university. As a master’s student, I really could not ask for anything better. Moreover, I am very enthusiastic about the future, since I feel I am being very well trained as an engineer.
What do you want to do after graduating?
I am still not sure whether to try to find a job in a company or to apply for a PhD if I have the opportunity. I really like the Swedish approach to studying and am therefore attracted to continuing my education in Sweden after I have completed my master’s. However, there are also plenty of opportunities in companies. So I hope I will make the best choice at the right time. My goal is to make the industry less polluting through the optimisation of aerodynamic design. I am not just referring to the Aerospace industry; I am thinking more broadly about all forms of transport and industrial plants in which fluid dynamic optimisation can be applied.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for their master’s studies?
I really feel I could not have made a better choice than KTH. I am very enthusiastic about my education and feel I am being well trained as an engineer. Moreover, life in Stockholm is simply brilliant. I would say to potential future students that they should not be afraid about moving to Stockholm, because the environment is perfect for a foreign student. So be excited and jump on board this adventure!