"I have loved getting to explore the nature here in Sweden"
Maureen comes from Chicago in the United States. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Ecological Engineering from Purdue University. Some of her favourite hobbies include travelling to new places, hiking and being outdoors.
What made you choose KTH and your master's programme?
I came to KTH for a summer exchange during my bachelor studies and absolutely fell in love with Stockholm in such a short period; I knew I had to come back. I also knew that Sweden had an amazing reputation for being a sustainable and environmentally conscious country, so I knew the EESI program would be a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the best researchers and people in the realm of sustainability.
What do you like the most about KTH?
What I love the most about KTH is the incredible international community. Coming to Sweden, I would never have thought to make friends from not only all over Europe but also all over the world! I also love that KTH provides many opportunities to connect with the professional world here in Stockholm through seminars and social events that let you meet KTH alumni and network for the future.
KTH also has so much to offer in the way of student life, THS Student Union always has fun trips and events planned.
What are your impressions of Stockholm and Sweden?
My impression of Stockholm is that it is a very accepting, safe and cosy city. It is easy to find your niche here, and it will make anyone feel right at home. People are very independent and mostly like to keep to themselves. But once you get to know people, they will become your best and most loyal friends.
I also love how strongly people value family and traditions. I have loved getting to experience all the Swedish holidays and celebrations. Some of my favourites have been Midsommar, Valborg and All Saint’s Day at Skogskyrogården.
Stockholm as a city is very clean, and it is easy to travel around with its amazing public transportation. There are always accessible grocery stores and so many different restaurants to choose from! Though, I wouldn’t recommend eating out too much as it gets quite expensive!
Sweden outside of Stockholm has a lot to offer! Uppsala is a short train ride away and is known for its lively student culture and always has fun things to do. I also would recommend taking a trip to the north and experiencing life in the Arctic. If you’re really lucky, you may even get to see the Northern lights!
What do you like most about being here?
What I like most about being in Sweden is getting to learn about the Swedish culture. I love how sacred coffee is, and how important it is to find that perfect cosy spot for you and your friends to spend time together. I love the history that can still be felt through countless museums and beautiful architecture throughout the city. I also love that you are never far from water or a beautiful forest trail. You get the best of both worlds living in an urban city while still having nature nearby.
What is your best memory so far from your time at KTH?
Boating around in the archipelago and hiking the different islands with friends in the autumn and summer time. There are so many places to explore, and every island had something different to offer! It has been especially fun to have Swedish friends to show you around their favourite places on the islands.
What do you think are the differences between studying at KTH and your home university?
The biggest difference is the challenges you have to learn to overcome being in such a diverse place. You have to learn how to culturally respect people and do things differently than you have ever done before.
I have also had to learn how to respond when interacting with literature and people who do not have the same native language that I do. It has helped me to be more adaptive, patient and creative in communicating.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master’s studies?
I would like to say that coming to Stockholm and studying at KTH would be the best decision of their academic career. KTH is a place where you will thrive academically and will have people cheering for you to succeed the entire way!
Also, one small piece of advice: as soon as you are fully committed to coming to KTH, make sure to start looking for accommodation right away! It can be challenging to find the perfect place to call home, so make sure you give yourself enough time to find something great!