"I really enjoy the flexibility it offers to choose subjects, which allows you to build your own track according to your interests"
Rebeca comes from Costa Rica. She got my bachelor's degree from University of Costa Rica. She likes doing yoga, training, and taking photos of nature.
What made you choose KTH and your programme?
When I was in my last year of my bachelor’s studies, I knew I wanted to do a master’s abroad. The master’s programme opportunities in Costa Rica were limited and did not offer what I was looking for – Electric Power Systems. I researched all the universities that offered this programme or a related programme, and KTH stood out. I narrowed down the list to universities in cities/countries where I wanted to live, and again KTH stood out. The decision of choosing KTH was a combination of being among the top in the world in Electrical Engineering and the fact that it was in Stockholm.
The ultimate decision to choose KTH was closely related to choosing the programme. When I compared the programmes between different universities, I was surprised by how much KTH offers. The number of subjects you can choose from is very rich, which allows you to pick a specific path in Electric Power Engineering, whereas other universities did not offer such flexibility. Another impact factor in my decision was the quality of the research at KTH and the professors. KTH stands out in the research community of Electrical Engineering, and this gave me confidence that it was the right place to be.
What do you like most about your programme?
I really enjoy the flexibility it offers to choose subjects, which allows you to build your own track according to your interests. Also, I really enjoy one mandatory subject called The Sustainable Electric Power Engineer, where we discuss topics like our education, our goals, our “dream job”, and electric power topics; and basically, we tie all these things together with reality, engineering, and sustainability. At the same time, it works like a space for interaction with the teachers, and our opinions about the programme are also listened to for constant improvement.
What do you like most about KTH?
Besides the great academic offerings, the KTH campus is stunning. This is an important factor for me; I like to have a good environment to study in. KTH has many buildings with spacious and well-illuminated classrooms, and this make you feel more awake during the lectures. KTH offers many facilities for the students like study rooms, laboratories, and spaces for relaxing. Also, the KTH campus is in the middle of the heart of Stockholm, which is very practical.
What are your impressions of Stockholm and Sweden?
I can certainly tell you that I had a love-at-first-sight encounter with Stockholm. The city is so beautiful; the famous Gamla Stan, the stunning architecture of the city, as well as tons of places with a great potential to become your smultronställe. For those who are not familiar with the expression, in Swedish, smultronstället literally means the place of wild strawberries, but it is often used to refer to your favourite, cosy, “secret” place (basically a place you enjoy being in!).
Sweden is a beautiful country, with a lot to offer from north to south. In general, coming from Costa Rica, to live in Sweden is a completely different experience, in a positive way. The well-marked seasons in Sweden allow you to adapt your activities to the weather, making the most out of it. I encourage you to explore the beautiful landscape at different moments, because each season has its own beauty.
Sweden is a very organised country, things simply work as they should. I find it quite refreshing how people respect others, and remember, don’t mess with the queues.
What is your best memory from your time at KTH so far?
KTH Campus is so beautiful, especially during autumn when the walls come to life with their fiery red ivy. However, there is another moment when the campus is even more beautiful... The first day of the spring semester back in January, the whole campus was covered in snow and warm lights. That’s when I felt like I was studying at Hogwarts. After all electricity is almost like magic isn’t it?
Are there any differences between studying at KTH and your home university?
Yes, but at the same time they are surprisingly similar. The way lectures are is very similar; there is close contact between teachers and students, allowing us to ask questions during the lectures and to have conversations with the teachers during the breaks (I know not many places have this privilege). However, there are many things that differ, for example, each course has its own structure, some are merely based on group work, others on partial exams, others on final exams, and other on labs.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master’s studies?
The most important thing is to find a programme that suits your interests and to read about the courses they offer. If this programme happens to be at KTH, from my experience, you will not regret it. Studying at KTH will open many doors for your future.
Are you taking part in any student activities?
I am the student representative of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) PES (Power & Energy Society) Sweden Chapter. Together with Professor Lina Bertling Tjernberg, Chair of the Chapter, we are building a student community at KTH interested in research topics of electrical engineering with a close collaboration with the industry.
Do you have a dream job after graduating from KTH?
Yes and No. You never know what opportunity will come into your life, and it also depends a lot on which path you decide to take. I have two paths that I would like to follow. If I decide to go for a more technical network approach, I would like to work with distribution companies or with the transmission system operator. Then there is another approach I also would like to follow, which is more from the energy system perspective. What I do know is that I want to work with something to help build a sustainable system.