What goes around, comes back around, and at Chalmers it does every year. Last September, I was one of the many thousand new students being welcomed by a grand reception, both at the institutional and department levels.
This year, the tables have quickly turned (woah! It’s been one year), and I have been part of both the welcome groups. While the institutional reception is industrially organised by the very talented CIRC, the department reception is a more homely affair, and along with three other class mates we’ve been putting up a small, but fun reception for the new students in our program.
CIRC reception, as I said is done at a massive scale, and our roles as ”Phadders” is nothing more than a convener. While the CIRC teams slogs off, we get to flaunt around their work to the curious new students. I haven’t been entirely involved even in the Phadder role (my thesis work has held on to me tight – more of that in a subsequent post), barely sticking to the mandatory events for the CIRC events. Nonetheless, I think in the few events my group has been part of, we’ve had fun. Campus tour, After Work, Park Hangout, Tram Race and Pub Crawl are few of the major events organised by CIRC, and this is one of the best ways for new students to network and get acquainted with their new environment.
One salient difference between CIRC reception and the one for department is that CIRC is targeted for international students, and there aren’t new Swedish students in the teams. That’s balanced out in the department reception, where all students are involved.
The department reception, for new students is aimed at bridging the new students to the department. At MPCOM (Masters Program in Communication engineering), we work with the objective of networking the first year students with the second year students, primarily. Giving them insights into the courses ahead, tips and tricks wherever possible. Also, more importantly to network them as a class already, because most courses involve group-based activities and it is always nicer to work with the new friends one has just made.
Apart from the welcome event, we have planned a Swedish games day out, Island trip and a dinner get-together. The Welcome team I know is pretty excited, and if one were to go by the reaction to the first Welcome event, even the MPCOM-1 students are excited.
Again, what amazes me is the nuanced care taken by the administration in these reception events. No one would complain if these events were not organised in the first place, but it adds to the wholesome experience at Chalmers, Gothenburg and Sweden as a whole!