Amal was impressed by the depth and quality of the programme
Amal is 23 years old and originally from Chennai, India where he studied at VIT University in Vellore. He now resides in Stockholm as a student in the master's programme in Production Engineering Management.
Why did you choose KTH?
As I was completing my bachelor's programme, I began to strongly feel that I wanted to do a master's programme and I also knew exactly the type of programme I was interested in. A course in production engineering that was technical but also prepared you for the management side of industries. This type of course was offered by a few universities and I went through the course plans that they all offered, and I was impressed by the depth and quality of the programme offered at KTH. It was exactly what I had in mind when I first started out and that was why I applied to KTH. I only found out about KTH's ranking in Europe and the world after I had already applied and it was a nice surprise!
What is your best tip for a new master's student?
There are a number of tips I would offer a new student:
- Firstly the weather is not as bad as everyone says. The winter is cold and long, but it can be easily managed with proper clothing and preparation. Plus the summer in Stockholm makes up for the winter by being awesome.
- Be open to meeting new people and making new friends. Thats one of the greatest things about KTH, you will meet awesome people from all over the world with all sorts of backgrounds, who are just as lost as you in this new place. So with a little effort, making friends is easy.
- Try not to convert how much you're spending, from Swedish currency to your native currency. Its best to adapt as soon as possible, although you will know all the stores with the best deals within a few weeks of arrival.
- Everyone speaks English here, but you can always learn a few basic Swedish words and phrases for greeting friends or getting a coffee. Swedes do appreciate your effort and are always willing to help you get it right.
- If you would like to find employment in Sweden it is best to start learning Swedish as soon as possible.
- The course work can be quite intensive at times so make sure you spare some time to hangout with your friends over the weekends or to get fika with your group mates.
What are your impressions of Stockholm and Sweden?
Sweden is an exceedingly beautiful country with its capital Stockholm being the jewel in the crown. Especially in the summer when the Sun is out, everyone likes to get out of their houses and hang out at outdoor restaurants or have a BBQ. Swedish people are very polite, friendly and lots of fun. Stockholm being the cultural centre of Sweden has a lot to offer to those who like to just walk into and get lost in museums or art galleries, my personal favourite being the Vasa Museum. The city of Stockholm is composed of 14 Islands and therefore you are never far away from a large body of water, one of the most fun things to do in city is to take the ferry to these Islands and tour the archipelago. The main thing I learned from Stockholm is that when you have a great day outside, you need to go out, enjoy the day and make the most out of it.
Is there something about life in Stockholm and Sweden that has surprised you?
The biggest thing that surprised me and impressed me when I came to Sweden was that for a European country whose native language wasnt English, almost everyone spoke English, especially in Stockholm. This does make life a lot easier for new people who do not speak Swedish. Another thing is that everything in Sweden is designed just to improve the convenience of the people. Almost everything is always on time, be it buses or trains. The buses even lower one side when they pick up passengers so that the bus is almost on level with the sidewalk. This is just one of many examples I can think of. Pretty much everything in the city works the way that it should and that really allows you to concentrate on other things without stressing yourself out, like on your studies for example.
Do you have a place in the city that you enjoy spending time at?
My favourite place in Stockholm is a place near the Slussen metro. From the Slussen metro you can walk for a few hundred metres and climb some stairs and you reach a road called klevgränd. At one end of this street there are a few benches that are almost always empty. I think these benches give you some of the best cityscape views of Stockholm. It is quite high up and I love coming here with friends. But before we come here we always make sure to get a herring burger from nystekt strömming, without which the experience is just incomplete. The view apart from being beautiful also exemplifies Stockholm for me, where the classic merges with modern.
Are you taking part in any student activities?
Right now, I just finished helping organise the party for the new students of our department, apart from that, the projects that I am working on are the only official student activities at the moment.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time i'm usually hanging out with my friends, Stockholm is a great place to chill with friends, be it at a restaurant for lunch, fika at the coffee shops or at your favourite watering hole. There is always a place for you. Though we are usually really caught up with our work, i'm lucky to have batchmates that like to take time out to meetup and catch up with each other often. So we have class parties at someones house, sometimes for a birthday or housewarming, but sometimes also for no reason whatsoever. But if i'm not doing any of that then i'm probably at home reading, watching something on TV or cooking together with mates in one of our corridors.
What do you want to do after you have received your degree here at KTH?
I would love to continue living in Europe and work as a production engineer in one of Europe's big manufacturing industries. Long term though I would like to start my own company that focusses on additive manufacturing parts (3D printing), the exact nature of which I am still yet to discover.
Is there any advice you would like to give others that will live in Stockholm and study at KTH in the future?
Keep an open mind and welcome new experiences, you will never be left wanting.