Ask Siyuan questions about KTH and read more about his decision to study at KTH, thoughts about Sweden, advice to prospective students and his plans for the future.
My name is Siyuan Tao and I am from China. I am 23 years old and studying the Master’s programme in Macromolecular Materials at KTH. My home university is China University of Petroleum (UPC). I like reading, climbing and anything that is challenging!
Why did you choose this master’s programme at KTH?
To be an extraordinary engineer has been my dream since I was a kid. KTH is well-known as the cradle of engineers in Europe, so I decided to come to KTH to further my studies and get closer to my dream.
What are the best aspects of your programme?
Chemistry has its own beauty and mystery and I find it is the best way to satisfy my curiosity. Nowadays, plastic pollution is giving “chemists” a bad name. However, by being a material chemist, you have many opportunities to help change the pollution situation that all human beings are facing. Nobody can contribute more than we do in creating a more sustainable earth.
Have you chosen a specialisation track within the programme? If Yes, which track and why?
I didn’t choose any track but I am focusing on biomaterials, which are more sustainable, degradable and reusable. We need to pay attention to the issue of pollution and we need to do something that makes a difference.
What are your favourite courses thus far?
My favourite courses are Advanced Organic Chemistry and polymer physics. I wasn’t very good at organic chemistry before coming to KTH, but the teachers from AOC have been extremely helpful, especially Markus Kärkäs, who gave me a lot of advice and patiently described the basics to me in order to help me catch up.
How do studies at KTH differ from your previous studies?
The courses here are more like “conferences”. Students are encouraged to ask questions about anything they don’t understand. Also, they are encouraged to come up with their own suggestions and solutions towards the phenomena they see based on the learned theory.
How is student life in Stockholm?
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and I love the internationalism and the vitality of the city. The advanced level of English makes it very convenient to live here, even with no knowledge of Swedish.
The students enjoy a lot of social welfare here in Stockholm, including health insurance and medical care. Apart from this, work and internship opportunities are more than I expected. Thanks to the internationalism of Stockholm, many international companies have their headquarters or branches here.
How would you describe your time at KTH so far?
To be honest I don’t think the education in KTH is that hard, but if you want to dig deeper, you will need a lot of time. I appreciate the help that I have received from all the supportive teachers. Because of this, I have found a lot of beauty hidden behind the mysterious veil of a world of uncertainty.
What do you want to do after graduating?
I have had a deep desire to explore the unknown in the world since a very early age. KTH has provided me with a good platform to further my education. So, I would definitely like to continue my life as a PhD student.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for their master’s studies?
It depends on what you really like; it depends on what society needs; it depends on how you want to fulfil yourself; it depends on how you want to contribute to the world we live. Don’t let other people judge your path. Keep going and you will get there!