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Swapnil says that the amount of freedom to select your own coursework at KTH makes it different from other universities

Swapnil comes from Bhopal, India and studied at KTH between 2016 and 2018. He is passionate about fusion music and dreams about visiting the architectural marvels of the world.

What made you choose KTH & Sweden?

I applied for master's studies to different universities in the USA, Australia and Sweden. In the end, it was my quest for sustainable construction and energy efficiency that made me choose the programme here at KTH. This programme is not only related to core civil engineering, but it is also evenly poised with my field of interests which is net-zero energy buildings. Also, with Sweden being a world leader in sustainability and use of renewable energy sources, my decision of choosing KTH over the others proved to be the right decision.

What are your impressions of Stockholm?

Stockholm - The Capital of Scandinavia is an innovation leader in the field of technology and engineering. The society has a forward-thinking culture which promotes cutting-edge developments and advancements in technical innovations. Stockholm benefits from a world-class transport infrastructure, which is a plus point for the city that is built on 14 different islands. Sweden has an abundance of natural beauty, from the wonderous archipelago to the never-ending beaches, it is blessed with picturesque landscapes. It would be wrong to say that Swedes are reserved by nature; it's like they respect the privacy of others and don't want to bother anyone. The people here are really helpful when you interact with them or ask for any help.

What do you like most about KTH?

The amount of freedom it gives you to select your own coursework is what makes it different from other universities. The courses are quite comprehensive and demand attention upon details of the subject. One of the best things would be the importance of working in group projects; this is something I love the most here. It is like a passive learning of the industrial ethics of teamwork, negotiation skills, strategising, and effective communication skills which will be vital for students in their future professional career. Working with fellow students from all around the globe brings up different sets of work practices, which are characteristic of their culture and countries. The long project meetings and constructive discussions to find that final solution is something I like the most working in the international environment of KTH.

Are you taking part in any student activities?

Absolutely! I am actively involved in student activities in THS (the student union of KTH). Currently, I am working as the HR Manager at THS International Reception. Last year I was a part of Flavours KTH International (Indian Students Association at KTH) for the Diwali festival celebration variety show as a compère. I have also applied for a position in the volunteering committee of Armada, Scandinavia's largest career fair held at KTH and I am looking forward to being part of it.

Stockholm being a student-centric city, there are events happening all over the year in which one can learn valuable lessons of event management, and enhance one's soft skills and capability to handle stress. I would strongly recommend students to be part of these activities. There are many events which are specially designed by the students providing a great chance to exhibit creativity and penchant for art. The Student Nobel NightCap and Quarnevalen parade are some never to miss out events.

What is your best memory so far from your time at KTH?

The sense of achievement I got on securing an A grade on the Sustainable Buildings course; because of my keen interest in the same field, this is one of the best academic memories from KTH.

A golden part of my time here was organising the International Reception with my project team-mates at THS, which involved planning and executing numerous events in August for over 1800 International students. I got to learn so much from this experience and met new people from all around the world. The camaraderie and relations that I developed with my team working on this project will be one of the golden moments of my time at KTH. I wish to add more of such golden moments during my journey.

What do you think are the differences between studying at KTH and your home university?

The main difference is the amount of focus laid on the practicality of the subject at KTH. In India, the study plan mostly revolves around theory, whereas at KTH most of the time is spent in labs and working on projects. The agenda of studies is on how to tackle practical problems faced in the field, which is equally as important as learning the theoretical concepts of the subject.

Personally, I prefer the courses which involve working on a project task as an exam, rather than the traditional written exams. The project courses at KTH allows you to work in teams on the software and simulation tools which are presently being used in the industries. I remember the words by the vice-head of Building Science division for my project consultation on being asked about the correct solution, to which he wisely replied; "It's not important to do the correct thing always, the point is to inculcate the learning aspect from the whole experience of it."

What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master's studies?

Who you are and who you want to be is just a leap away, take that leap, trust me!

The two years here at KTH will be the most amazing period of your life, make the most of it and try to squeeze out the best in you in every opportunity you get. Meet new people, socialise at the University and events outside, that's the best way to build your network. Learning at this place is all around you and not limited only to the campus. Strive for being a better version of yourself and build a well-rounded personality in this genuinely international environment of KTH and Stockholm.

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Master's programme in Civil and Architectural Engineering