Ask Fika questions about KTH and read more about her decision to study at KTH, thoughts about Sweden, advice to prospective students and her plans for the future.
My name is Fika, and I come from Cirebon, Indonesia. I graduated from Chemical Engineering at Universitas Indonesia (UI). Before studying master's programme at KTH, I worked at a petrochemical company as a planning and optimization engineer for plastic pellet production.
Why did you choose this master's programme at KTH?
The main reason was that this master's programme offers a syllabus that I think is very much in line with my interests. Seeing the accumulation of plastic waste in several countries globally, I want to learn further about selecting raw materials, options of production processes and the combination of several materials to obtain more sustainable polymers. I would say that KTH is the bridge to accomplish my personal and professional goals. The other reason was KTH has excellent quality of education internationally.
What are the best aspects of your programme?
KTH establishes close connections with the companies or industrial sectors, so it is not surprising that some courses will involve experts to give guest lectures or seminars. Through these activities, you will not only learn on paper but also have the opportunity to know how to tackle issues in the real world.
I appreciate that sustainability is a serious thing in this master's programme. It is shown that most of the courses here include the topic of sustainability in their lectures, especially regarding the chances of polymer in the sustainability community. I think that is pretty cool!
Have you chosen a specialization track within the programme?
I did not choose any track in this programme. However, I am planning to focus on the development and production of polymeric material. I want to develop more sustainable materials that positively impact both human needs and the environment.
What are some of your favourite courses so far?
My favourite courses so far are biopolymers and polymeric materials: structure and properties. Although these courses were held online, this condition did not lessen the essential things about the courses. Biopolymers course provided series of seminars and panels from experts in the field of biomaterial and sustainability. These experiences enriched my understanding of the related field.
I also like the polymeric materials: structure and properties course because it explained how slight distinctions in polymer structure could lead to significant changes in its properties and application. Through this course, I can learn to tailor polymeric material as required.
How do studies at KTH differ from your previous studies?
I would say the difference is how the exam is conducted. There would be a midterm and final exam for each course in one semester in my previous study. Each exam was conducted for approximately two hours. In contrast, there is only a final exam for each course in one period and is performed for about four hours. The most exciting part for me is that students are allowed to bring food and drink to the exam room.
During the pandemic situation, some exams were held online by oral exams. Of course, the oral exam is held in a shorter time, around one hour. From my experience, taking an oral exam not only assess my understanding of the course but also expand my knowledge since I can get direct feedback from the teachers.
How is student life in Stockholm?
Stockholm is quite a big city with several universities, including KTH. Since KTH is an international university, there are a lot of international students here in Stockholm. This allows me to learn about different cultures from other students, making my time here more enjoyable. Also, Stockholm has many historical heritages and effortless access to nature; therefore, many activities for students range from cultural, natural, and social activities. I could say that you will never get bored living as a student in Stockholm.
How would you describe your time at KTH so far?
I feel so fortunate to be a student at KTH. The teachers and staffs are supportive and helpful. As far as I remember, there is no stupid question for the teachers here. I like this system because it allows students to express their way of thinking.
Also, the international reception held by the student union was extraordinary and fun. Despite the limitations due to the pandemic, the student union has managed to provide fun activities to connect new students.
What do you want to do after graduating?
I would like to continue my journey as PhD student because it will allow me to explore the possibilities of applicable polymeric material further yet sustainable and environmentally friendly.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master's studies?
Choosing a university depends on what issue you want to solve, what knowledge you want to expand, what your future goals are. In my opinion, KTH provides a great variety of master's programmes and specialization tracks; thus, there is flexibility that can meet your interest and future goals.
Also, I must say that Stockholm is a really attractive city that consists of several islands. You can enjoy your free time by island hopping.