Tag archives for school

Semester Update from Gothenburg

I’m still alive. I promise. Though alive and well, I’ve been busy with work and life over the last few weeks, but I’ll try to bring you up to speed on some of the most important stuff.

At Chalmers we’ve actually just started a new quarter – my final round of classes before I start my thesis work in fact. That’s both exciting and nerve-wracking to contemplate; time flies when courses and exams are condensed into eight weeks modules. Anyway, I am currently enrolled in three courses: Applied Signal Processing, Electroacoustics, and Design of Silent Products. I can already tell that the signal processing course is the one that’s going to kick my butt – mainly because I’m relatively inexperienced in this area compared to the other people in the class who have studied signals and systems/communications.

The good news is that I’ve had a little time to mentally prepare myself since I took Active Noise Control in the first quarter. This course did a nice job of introducing the basics of adaptive filtering, and we were able to use this knowledge to essentially learn how to use a sound wave to cancel (or at least reduce) another unwanted sound wave. It really seems like evil magic unless you know what’s going on, and even then, it still seems a little crazy when an algorithm you created actually attenuates sound significantly. This principle of active noise control is used to create things like noise-canceling headphones and active mufflers and ventilation systems.

Active control of sound in a duct system (on the right). Photo by Brett Seward.

Read more » >>

The cost of living in Sweden

Being in Sweden is one of the most satisfying experiences to have. There are plenty of attractions throughout the country and an abundance of culture to take part in. However, as a student, staying in Sweden can be challenging. Coming from the US everyone was under the impression that Sweden was a “more expensive” country than a America. To a degree that is true. So for anyone out there who is thinking of moving to Sweden for whatever reason I would like to go over the monthly costs that you will have to face:

  • Accommodation: 3000+ SEK. Accommodation is the hardest thing to find when coming to Sweden because it requires you being in a queue for some time and may be the reason that some people won’t come. So if you are able to find a place to stay consider yourself lucky. On the low end you can be paying about 3000 however you will probably will be sharing a flat or a corridor. The more you are able to pay, the better your accommodation will be.
  • Transportation: 560 SEK (student price). Getting around Stockholm is very easy with the public transportation system. You are able to buy a monthly SL pass that will give you unlimited access to that system for the month. For anyone new to Stockholm I recommend getting it so that you have a good chance to explore. If you are looking to save money though you might not have to get this pass if you live close to school and perhaps a grocery store. Some people also buy bikes a ride those around during the warm months and only buy a pass for a month or two in the winter.
  • Food: 1200 SEK. This amount will depend on what exactly you eat and will vary. 1200 is the value that I spend on average a month for food.
  • Insurance. Remember you have to get insurance, both home and health/dental. If you are a student find out what insurance you can get abroad.
  • Phone: 150 SEK. I have a smartphone and use Google Maps a lot to get around so I had to make sure I got a plan with data on it. There are plenty of companies to choose from. The most popular one for students is Comviq. I have a prepaid plan from Telenor. I pay 150 SEK for 3000 minutes, 3000 texts, and 500 MB of data for 30 days. I have never reached any of those limits so I though this was the best plan for me.

Putting everything together, at the very least you will be spending about 5000 SEK per month living here. That does not include things such as: eating out, buying books, or any extra expenditures that you have. I hope this information is useful for anyone considering on coming over to Sweden.

Photo of an ice cream cone and Mehsum Rupani at Kista Centrum – Photo by: Kazem Behbahani

The Past and The Future

This year has been a crazy one, full of lots of adventures and new experiences. Living in a new country is always interesting, it comes with both good and bad; the one thing I know for sure is that there is never a dull moment. I have really grown to love the Swedish lifestyle, however there are still many small things that I miss regularly about Canada.

Obviously, I’ve spent most of my time in Sweden this year going to school and studying. To some this may seem like a boring way to spend your time, but it’s not quite the same for me. My friends like to call me a life long student. Going to school, sitting in a lecture hall with a cup of coffee and learning from some of the smartest people in my field is what I like to do.

Besides studying, I have had a lot of time to really experience student life. There are an endless amount of corridor parties, nation pub nights, gasques, and club nights. There is no doubt that the student life here in Uppsala is lively and experiencing it all is a must if you are student.  The pub nights are a great way to relax and get away from schoolwork and the student gasques give you the opportunity to get into your formal gowns and suits, while eating a 3 course meal and drinking snaps.

Read more » >>

School Lunches in Sweden

One of the biggest contrasts that I noticed about Sweden was the difference in diet. I found that people are much more conscious and even knowledgeable about the food they eat everyday. It is important that every meal fulfills all nutritional requirements. While it is without a doubt Swedes enjoy their candy, I feel they are much more concerned about having a balanced diet with the occasional sweet treat.

The same can be said for school lunches. Any other school I have been to has had a cafeteria full of fried or microwaved food, something you would not find in Sweden. I had to always bring a lunch because the school cafeteria was full of junk.

Read more » >>

Time for a Break!

The life of a student is a tough one. A full-time education can be stressful; going to school everyday, constantly reading, and always studying can be exhausting. Your brain is usually going all the time.

The Uppsala University library where many students spend their time. Photo:Mirko Junge/Flickr

Being a full-time student doesn’t always allow you free time to do the things you should while your young.

As a student you are always stuck dreaming about traveling to far off places with some sort of non-stop adventures. However, there are usually a few things in your way. First of all, a student budget does not always allow for far-off adventures. Also, intense course schedules do not allow for time to get away.

Easter break proves to be the perfect opportunity. While it varies for every class and every program, students usually get to enjoy anywhere from 3 school days to 1 week off from their studies.

Luckily enough, Sweden also has numerous cheap airlines and student discounts on train tickets. The combination of cheap travel options and a long easter break combine to make the perfect travel experience.

So it is time to forget about school, relax and do some traveling.

Sweden provides the perfect location for laid back touring around, lots of access to nature, and of course many chances for biking and hiking. Some popular locations include the bigger cities of Stockholm and Göteborg, but also the beautiful island of Gotland.

This Easter I will be traveling to Skövde to spend some time experiencing the more Southern region of Sweden. The warm temperatures, great food and friendly company will make for a perfect, relaxing Easter.

Wherever it is, I am sure that this Easter break students all over Sweden will be relaxing and enjoying a well deserved rest. So whether it’s sitting by the coast, camping in the forest or just hanging out with some family it’s the perfect time to clear your head and take a break from the monotonous life of a student.

Hjo, a small city in the south of Sweden near Skövde. Photo: digicanon/Flickr