"I really like the flexibility in the curriculum that the Nanotechnology programme allows the students"
Saumey is from Delhi, India. He is in master’s programme in Nanotechnology at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at KTH. I graduated from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT University), Vellore, India, with an engineering degree in biotechnology. He loves to pursue photography, explore the city, cook, and read books.
What made you choose KTH and Sweden?
KTH is one of the world-renowned research universities, especially in the field of nanotechnology, with a broad and distinguished programme and a wide variety of courses and research opportunities. KTH provides a well-established international platform for students to explore a myriad of opportunities enabling all-around development. Research activities carried out at KTH allow the students to learn about the industrial aspect and applications as they are carried out in close collaboration with industries. KTH not only provides its students with research facilities, but also provides the opportunity to do internships at various companies
Furthermore, with Sweden being well known as a hub for entrepreneurship and its industrial and engineering prowess, I believe that it provides me with innumerable opportunities to learn and adapt to new technologies as well as to network with the vibrant and diverse student population.
What made you choose your programme?
I was looking for a Master’s programme in Nanotechnology, which would allow me to explore my interest in the field of nanotechnology with an amalgamation of biology to supplement my interest in the field of nanobiotechnology. The flexibility offered by my programme in terms of the curriculum was a major point in my decision to pursue Nanotechnology at KTH, as it allowed me to select my own coursework and to engineer my own study plan. Nanotechnology is a booming and a pretty versatile field, allowing a wide variety of opportunities and career tracks for students as per their interests, which KTH provides in a well-established fashion.
What do you like most about your programme?
I really like the flexibility in the curriculum that the Nanotechnology programme allows the students. The tracks in the programme – Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials – enable the students to pursue their interest and are very comprehensive. Although there are several mandatory courses and some rules you need to obey, there is also an opportunity to supplement or swap the electives with other courses from other departments and schools in order to follow your interests and study what you want to learn. The non-hierarchical Swedish society enables an informal interaction between the professors and students. the professors make an effort to ensure that students understand what is being taught, even if it requires them to give some background that some students lack. My programme has a lot of courses that require the involvement of students in several group projects and thus offering students the opportunity to interact with each other and implement the knowledge from the classroom in a practical context. Working with fellow students from all around the globe brings up different sets of work practices that 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 about working in the international environment of KTH.
What do you like most about KTH?
I really admire the learning atmosphere that KTH provides, especially the vibrant student population, the research and career development opportunities, and the extra-curricular opportunities. I love the KTH campus because it is so close to nature and allows you to unwind and relax before and after classes. One of the best aspects of KTH is the learning environment. The lecturers are extremely friendly and open to discussions, while the course content is well-balanced between labs, projects, and final exams. The library and the computing clusters are the best places to work and are well equipped. KTH provides exceptional infrastructure, which means you can have a healthy balance between studies and other activities. The student clubs and chapters are pretty active and have a lot of events, ranging from rowing to orienteering. There is something for everyone to do and follow their interests other than studies. You could always go and soak up the sun on the library terrace (which is one of my favourite places to work during the spring).
What are your impressions of Stockholm and Sweden?
Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited with its national parks, archipelagos, and the old town. It was love at first sight. It is very safe and quiet, making it perfect for living and studying peacefully. Stockholm is an extremely vibrant city with people from all over the world who are helpful and welcoming making it one of the best places to live. People here love and respect nature and are environmentally friendly. You can walk, cycle, or even row around Stockholm and explore its rich culture and history. Stockholm is very lively with a lot of events and concerts every week. There are a lot of things to do to relax and get out of the monotonous life; you can take a break at the nearest park, small forest, or even the sea, which is amazing especially when you’re living in one of the major cities in Sweden. The public transport system here is well connected and efficient. Yes, it gets cold during the winter, but I really admire the way the city deals with it and you’ll face no hitches! “Fika” is not just coffee and pastries, it is a way to relax, meet people, and exchange ideas wherever you are, be it in the university or in a company.
What is your best memory from your time at KTH so far?
I have been here at KTH for a little more than a year, but I have a treasure trove of cherished memories. If I had to choose the best memory from my time at KTH, it would be the KTH Welcome Reception at the Stockholm City Hall, where the Nobel Prize ceremony is also held. It was a ceremony to welcome us into this institution and celebrate a new phase in our life. The choir and the orchestra, the new faces all around and the beautiful hall was a boost to begin my post-graduate studies at KTH. I will always remember experiencing my first snowfall and the skiing trip with my friends as well.
Are there any differences between studying at KTH and your home university?
There are many differences between KTH and my home university. Firstly, KTH gives me a lot of control over my own curriculum, to plan and decide what I want to study. This was slightly restricted at my home university. Secondly, the time I spend in classroom lectures is less, and home assignments, group discussions, and self-study play a major role in learning. Lastly, KTH provides well-established and state-of-art research infrastructure and facilities, which is very difficult to find and access in India, especially during post-graduate studies. Vellore Institute of Technology laid down the foundation for me and gave me a platform to continue my study at KTH and to explore and experience a completely different and interesting approach to science and research.
What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master’s studies?
As the popular ABBA song goes “Take a chance on me”; I assure you that you will always look back with a smile and appreciate the fact that you chose to come to KTH for your master’s studies. It is important to get out of your comfort zone to learn and explore something new to improve and grow as a person. The vibrant student community with the best of what KTH and Stockholm have to offer will be a new experience, and you will make new friends and forge new bonds. Meet new people, socialize at the University and events outside; that’s the best way to build your network. Although the decision to enroll at KTH was not the easiest one, I regard it as one of the best decisions I have made in my life. KTH provides a superb teaching culture, exciting research, and job and entrepreneurial opportunities, allowing me to gain knowledge and experiences that will guide me throughout my life. So, take a good chance and join us at KTH and explore the myriad opportunities it entails.