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Alafiya comes from India, and studied the master's programme in Vehicle Engineering at KTH. Before coming to Sweden, she completed her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, India. She loves to sing and read books in her free time. She also likes to swim and explore the city on foot which is great in Stockholm since it's a very pedestrian-friendly city. She usually spends her weekends socialising with people while exploring the beauty of Stockholm. 

Why did you choose this master's programme at KTH?

There are only a handful of universities in the world that offer automotive/vehicle engineering, KTH being one of them. I chose to do the Vehicle Engineering programme because I'm very passionate about cars and bikes, and I aim to have a successful career in the automotive industry. As we all know, the European automotive market is the best in the world and what better way to get into this profession than to study at one of the most reputed technical institutes in Europe. The course structure also played a significant role in my selection as it is very well structured and offers you the flexibility of creating your unique profile. 

What are the best aspects of your programme?

The best aspect of my programme is definitely the laboratory work. Getting hands-on experience is very important in my field, and that is what I'm getting here at KTH. I recently attended the Assembly and Disassembly Lab, where we learned all about the IC Engine while disassembling a diesel engine. Also, the professors are very knowledgeable in their fields and very approachable. This makes the learning process more manageable, and you can grasp important concepts within no time. And of course, you can ask your doubts freely.

Have you chosen a specialisation track within the programme?  

There are two specialisation tracks available in the programme: Road and Rail track. I chose the road track since I'm more inclined towards road vehicles and aspire to work with the leading automotive brands in Europe. The courses cover all the basics, and there is also a focus on sustainability.

How do studies at KTH differ from your previous studies?

I would say that KTH focuses more on practical knowledge along with theoretical knowledge. The whole year is divided into quarters, and we get a lot of time to study individual subjects in detail, whereas, back home, we used to have two semesters in a year and had to study more than six subjects per semester. All of them had written examinations at the end, which was very stressful. There are a lot of group assignments, which is fun and a great way to learn new things from people from different countries. Studies at KTH are also more interactive which makes the learning process more fun! 

How is student life in Stockholm?

There are many things to do here for everyone, right from kayaking and hiking to café hopping and clubbing. Stockholm has it all. I love Stockholm because even though it is a city, it is enveloped in nature. There are nice hiking trails for people who like to do that, and you can literally swim anywhere, which is pretty cool! There are also tons of lovely restaurants around the city for all the foodies out there. The student union at KTH – THS also organised a lot of events for international students, which made it easier to make friends and expand your network.

What do you want to do after graduating? 

I aim to work in the R&D department of an automotive company in Europe. There are so many upcoming technologies that we could have never thought of 10 years back. It's marvellous really! I want to contribute to making the cars of the future. And, of course, focus on making the vehicles more sustainable and eco-friendly.

What would you like to say to students thinking of choosing KTH for master's studies?

For prospective master's students, I would say that KTH is one of the best universities to study vehicle engineering globally. It is also ranked among the top 100 universities by QS Ranking. KTH's quality of education and collaboration with companies will help you find your dream career. KTH is closely involved with many different companies, and you will have the opportunity to complete your master's thesis at one of these companies, thus opening more job opportunities. All your expectations will be met, if not surpassed, and will be a great help for your future.

Apart from studies, there are also a lot of extracurricular activities going on. You can join tech teams like Formula Student or Hyperloop, giving you a place to apply all that knowledge. Student activities and events are going on continuously, and I would suggest you attend as many as possible. It's super fun, and you get to meet a lot of people.