I embraced mesmerising calmness around me just when I got down the train in Karlskrona. This unheard city in Sweden is home to one of the top most universities in the world i.e., Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) where I got admitted for a life-changing and enthralling experience. The members of Society of Indian Alumni of Swedish - European Universities (SIASEU ) guided me to Sweden regarding all practical arrangements including Residence Permit Issues & Travel Arrangements. BTH staff i.e Director – Project India , received me with a smile at the railway station as I was only student from India to study bachelor education.
I couldn’t feel the weight of my heavy baggage as I was floating in the cool breeze and amazing sceneries gripped my eyes throughout. The smell of greenery made me forget myself and I was lost in a fairy tale of my own. The walk from the station to the apartment where I was accommodated was more or less like a Hollywood flick. Seeing all the Swedes walking around me boosted my adrenalin and the thought of this becoming a dream scared me and I was pinching myself throughout.
I always dreamt of studying in European universities due to their quality of education and value. Now-a-days everyone aspires to study their Masters (MS) in USA or Europe, but I wanted to be the ‘other one’ and thereby went onto pursue my Bachelors (BS) of Electrical Engineering with emphasis on Telecommunications. I selected BTH because it has fantastic campus with truly international environment and known for its quality education and research. The program manager of Electrical Engineering with emphasis on Telecommunications, explained and guided me in preparing my learning plan.
Sweden is well known for its telecommunications industry and my university represents one of the many reasons for it. Telecom City, the cluster of telecom companies, is situated in our campus and telecom giant Ericsson is partnering with BTH. Every subject that I got to study was never mere books and labs, it was more of like a job and like a project work, as more emphasis is given to the practical part. We never followed the curriculum experiments but learned to research on the existing ones and even find out new theories that never existed before. This thought amazed me and I was always trying to discover something new which made me to read the topic many a times not for exam sake or any other but for my own personal satisfaction and for the joy of it. This approach never ever suggests us to by heart anything and if we do so we will never pass the course. Their aim is to make us the masters of the subject and their questions test our skill of connecting all topics and refining it into real time thinking.
My university is famous for software engineering, sustainable development and telecommunications systems and stands among the world’s best. Life on campus is multicultural with students and faculty from many countries in the world. BTH also collaborates in exchange programmes and networks with universities in Europe and other parts of the world. The education system in BTH is flexible and comfortable, and suits the needs of the students.
Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was a Swedish chemist who established the Nobel prizes in 1895 which are given in the Swedish capital Stockholm. Sweden, situated at the northern most part of the world, is a country of 365 days, 24/7 snow. I hail from Visakhapatnam which is one of the most hot and humid places in India and therefore I got to feel both the extremes of temperature. During winter, sun rises at 11 a.m. and sets at 2 p.m. On the contrary, during summer it begins to become dark at 12 in the midnight and we see sun coming out of the horizon by 3 a.m. in the morning.
In the classroom I was surprised to see my fellow classmates eating burgers and drinking coke and the total atmosphere was nothing less than a movie theatre. Teaching is the toughest and testing job in Sweden as you must be prepared to repeat your class again and again. This fact is more than suggestive that students and their needs are utmost important for the universities in Sweden.
No ‘sir’ and no ‘madam’ which is a dictionary rule in all other countries except in south east Asian has surprised me. I couldn’t resist calling my professors by these tag lines, they always told me to call them by their names which I felt awkward but then I got to know how important it is to treat a teacher like a friend but not in the negative terms. Students have wide range of opportunities and they can also choose their own study plan. The thought of being away from my parents had given me nightmares but the moment I boarded the flight I was completely driven into the thought of being in a foreign country for the very first time. Life has taken a drastic change but as said change is good, I got exposure not just to their lifestyle but also to the immense respect they have for each person and every creature who according to them is born not just to breathe but with the right to live a healthy and happy life. People out there respect individuality, according to them age is never a factor to judge a person’s capability.
Their principle is that we must contribute to the world till we last and make a lasting impression.
There is so much that I learnt and still there is much more for me to learn from Sweden, a country where dreams can become reality.
Krishnaveer Abhishek Challa,
(Student of B.S.E.E
Blekinge Institute of Technology