It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since I was admitted to Chalmers. But on the other hand, so much has happened that it’s harder to believe that it has only been a year!
In my time in Gothenburg my life has expanded exponentially: most importantly I’ve had the opportunity of being exposed to a wonderfully different educational system. I’ve been infected with the Swedish spirit of studying to learn instead of studying to pass a course, and have been in awe with the welcoming, helpful attitude of the teachers in Chalmers.
I have experienced the differences in culture, and overall, embraced how different people live their lives in other parts of the world. I have learned about myself, of my reactions to new situations, and of the subtleties of living away from home for the first time.
I have tasted so many different foods and have had to learn how to cook the dishes I’ve missed from home. I’ve learnt how to bake, and suffered the addictive consequences of it! I’ve been to 3 new countries, traveled on my own and even crossed the Arctic Circle! I’ve seen the princess from up close, been to more concerts than in my 24 years in the Dominican Republic, actually MET some of my favorite musicians, learned how to ride a bike, formed part of a Committee, retaken my habit of writing, been in a ferry for the first time, seen a moose, fed a reindeer, stayed overnight in school studying, celebrated several pastry days (Fettisdagen for the win!). I’ve been part of academic experiments, witnessed the superb quality of Swedish cinemas, lost important stuff and then found it, been to the Opera for the first time… The list is countless, and much more so the list of “firsts”.
I have missed people from home but also gotten to welcome new, amazing people into my life.
The options in Sweden are endless, and that is definitely something to take advantage of. This adventure has been different for each person I’ve met, but so far everyone has had an amazing Gothenburg story of their own.
So going back to when I saw the word “Admitted” in University Admissions, I recall (Slightly, because it was so exciting that I can barely account for my actions) screaming in the middle of a food court in a mall and then jumping around like a kangaroo. In that moment, after all the anxiety and expectations, I knew that what was coming was great. But honestly, I never thought my experiences would be as diverse and enriching as they have been.
So for those of you who have been accepted, CONGRATULATIONS! Be proud that your efforts have given a result. If I had to give any advice, it would be to, first, apply for a residency permit as soon as possible (that’s a whole adventure on its own). Second advice is to definitely brace yourselves, because no matter where you come from or how you have been living up until now, you have the ride of a lifetime ahead of you!