Kategori: Scholarships

Almost there!

A few weeks ago I made a post about my first interview in Swedish. The number of international students interested in Chalmers has been on the rise of late so therefore my expereince, I feel, can help find answer to the two most common questions among the international community at Chalmers; is it possible to work here after studies and can one learn enough Swedish in two years to do so? I would therefore continue to the second half of my story.

I got called for a second interview at Traifkverket Stockholm office. I reached there a night before, since I needed to be at their office at eigth in the morning. The day was divided into three sessions; two written tests, a presenation about ”An event that changed my life” and an interview. The day kicked off with a small presentation by Trafikverket about the recruitment process and the prospects of working with them. We were 15 students in total, and were split into two groups.


Trafikverket office in Stockholm

Trafikverket office in Stockholm

The first test was a rather simple personality test where you were supposed to rank eigth things-in descending order-that can describe you as a person. But each thing should be described in no more than a couple of words Then eigth things that other people think are your personality traits. It was a rather fruitful excercise which drives you in a mode of self analysis, like you would have never experienced before. It is tough to evaluate yourself and come up with adequate words to describe your own personality. This test was followed by a logical test. Now, this is where things got tough for me; the Swedish language in that test was very advanced for me and I felt so disappointed sitting there. I remember saying to myself ” I took a seven hour bus ride for this disastrous test, I am not going to make it !!!”. Well, I did not have much of a choice so I tried my best and answered as much as I could. There were 5 different texts, and after each text there were questions,  which were supposed to test your analytical and logical thinking pattern.

Then came the presentation. Perhaps the most inspisring part of the day was when each candidate was given a small tutorial about how can they make the presentation more impactful and personal. I found that very useful and many tips would stick with me for life. The four minute presentation went smooth, I felt I was in a good flow of speaking Swedish. The flow just carried on and I managed the post-presentation question answer session pretty well I tought. The questions were related to my personal life, and my goals for the future.

The last part of the day was another interview, where your performance from all the different tests you had done during the recruitment process were discussed. There were five 5 tests in total, and no surprise I scored terrible in the last one. But, this is where I tought I was treated fairly and I felt I was competing on a level playing field; the person doing the interview skipped this test in my evaluation, since he felt that it was not designed as a language test so it dose not reflect my competence in Swedish language and is thus to no avail. This was a confidence booster for me. I was very tired by then and was not as energetic as I was in the first interview. But I think I managed to express my ideas. The questions were again related to personal life, but were meant to dig in deeper into how I am as a person. Surprsingly, I was asked what the strengths and weaknesses of my dad were! Totally caught me off guard there, I did actually laughed for a moment and continued to answer!

Now, I await a final repsonse from Trafikverket. Wether I make the cut or not is not the most important aspect at this point. I think the experience has been very exciting and something that would help me evolve as a person and hopefully contribute in handling interviews successfully in the future! Lets hope for the best! Sorry, but I was so nervous I forgot to take pictures so there are not any in this post! 🙂

Meet & Greet Christmas mingle at Chalmers!


If there is something that one could unmistakably say about Chalmers, is that they take great care of its students. Ever since the first day I set foot in the university, at the welcoming activity for newcomer master students, we were flooded with all the opportunities and services that are provided to us: from health care and counseling to personalized help to write essays. And this quality is much more present when it concerns international students. For us coming from afar and jumping through a few extra hoops to reach our desired educational destination, Chalmers recognizes our determination and appreciates the value of having a multicultural classroom.

As an additional effort to strengthen the ties with international students, accomplish a more direct contact and being able to provide personalized answers, a new kind of event has been launched under the name Meet and Greet mingles. Unfortunately I could not attend to the first one that was held in October, touching topics like exams, IT services and help in studies. But the second time around, I plan not to miss it:

The theme for the next mingle will be Christmas and Swedish culture, which you could guess is a favorite of mine if you have been reading past posts. Subjects such as activities during the Christmas break, scholarships, medical care and career planning will be discussed in the company of staff from the Student Centre, and the Scholarships, Admissions and Career Services departments. You can also expect some fika (and I’m crossing my fingers for some yummy non-alcoholic glögg).

Göteborg & Co, Fysiken, Akademihälsan and Region Västra Götaland will also be there, so be sure to mark your calendar for December 11 at 11:30-13:00 if you wish to have a chat with them. For more details you can check out the Facebook event here.

Hope to see you there!

Honoured with the Rune Andersson Scholarship

Oskar Kvarnström, Jeanna Perman Sundelin and Ann-Sofie Hörlin have been awarded the Rune Andersson Scholarship 2014.
They received their awards of about half a million SEK each at a formal ceremony in the House of William Chalmers.

There is always a celebration when Chalmers is awarding the Rune Andersson Scholarship. The chandeliers are twinkle in the House of William Chalmers, there are lit candles on the tables, the scholarship recipients and their families are beaming and donor, Chalmers Alumni and industry legend Rune Andersson, is all smiles as he mingles.

The best students
Karin Markides, President and CEO of Chalmers, was the first speaker at the award ceremony.
– This is one of the finest celebrations at Chalmers, she said.
Markides thanked Rune Andersson for his generosity:
– It’s amazing that we have alumni who truly understand the value of what Chalmers students can contribute to society given the opportunity. Ever since I became the president in 2006, I have been very interested in how we can manage to deliver absolutely the best education and absolutely the best students.
The president pointed out that the scholarship is an important part of this effort.
– The understanding of what an engineer can accomplish in society by adding additional skills in leadership and economics is central. You know this and that honours you, she said as she expressed both hers and the University’s thanks to Rune Andersson.

Shared his long experience
As is his wont, the donor himself held a speech in which he talked about his 40 years at the top of Swedish industry.
– When I started, technology factors dominated basic industry. But much has happened since then and today marketing costs are completely dominating. Both areas have to work in balance. One disturbing trend I’ve noticed over the past 20 years is that venture capital firms have taken over many Swedish companies. A strange situation, and one I don’t think is particular healthy. Time now has to be spent on both short term marketing and long term technology development, said Rune Andersson.
According to him, venture capital firms are not interested in the long term, since they know before they even take over a company that they will sell it within a few years.
– This situation undermines any incentives to start long term projects. Nevertheless, I’m hoping we can manage to run a large percentage of long term oriented companies in Sweden.
Rune Andersson continued:
– Regardless of the industry you’re in, a two pronged attack is vital – comprising both commercial and  technical expertise. Both are equally important and that’s why I founded this scholarship. I believe the chance to supplement your education is important.

The three key persons of the day
This was followed by the award giving with focus on the three key persons of the day: Oskar Kvarnström, Ann-Sofie Hörlin and Jeanna Perman Sundelin. They received flowers and diplomas, which were handed out by Karin Markides and Rune Andersson.

Jeanna Perman Sundelin has a master’s degree in Biotechnology from 2005 and a Ph.D. from the University of Gothenburg. She works in the life science area and has now been awarded SEK 500,000 to complement her already excellent education with an MBA at the prestigious Cambridge University.
– I’ve always enjoyed studying. I enjoyed natural science and I had fun studying at Chalmers. I hope I will be able to pass that forward and be part of building up new life science companies. I want to thank you for this amazing opportunity that I now have, thanks this scholarship, said Jeanna Perman Sundelin.

Oskar Kvarnström (F11) was awarded a scholarship of SEK 466,000. He graduated in 2011 with a master’s degree in Engineering Physics and was active in various student associations during his time at Chalmers. Kvarnström is currently working as a consultant within process energy, energy policy and business development, and now aiming for a Global Energy MBA at Warwick Business School in the UK.
– I concentrated on sustainable energy during my last year at Chalmers and feel that it’s what I want to work with now, when the world needs to make the switch. I have very strong technical skills, but feel I’m missing out the marketing part and financial side, he explained.
Oskar Kvarnström started his MBA in May.
– I accept this scholarship with great gratitude and will do my very best to continue to be a good ambassador for Chalmers in the future.

Ann-Sofie Hörlin (V98) has a master’s degree in Civil Engineering and works as Sustainability Manager at Braathens Aviation, in a role with great emphasis on the environment, ethics and economics.
She was awarded SEK 498,000 to study for an MBA at Stockholm School of Economics.
– I’ve dreamt about an MBA for quite some time and thanks to the scholarship, that dream can now come true, said Ann-Sofie Hörlin in her acceptance speech.

The ceremony on September 3rd was led by Marianne Gyllensten, Development Officer at Chalmers, who took the opportunity to thank Sirpa Pöyhönen, who for many years have been an important cog in the machine for Friends of Chalmers and is now retiring.
– Without your “sisu” we will be feeling rather flat, said Marianne Gyllensten.

Awarded for the eighth time
Rune Andersson Scholarship was awarded for the eighth time this year. So far, Andersson has donated a total of SEK 13.5 million to the scholarship carrying his name at Chalmers. The scholarship is for continuing studies in economics or law and is open to people with a degree from Chalmers and some years of work experience.
The majority of those awarded the scholarship – now an exclusive group of 25 persons – have chosen to sharpen up their Chalmers degree with an MBA from abroad.
Each scholarship is worth approximately SEK 500,000.

Text: Michael Nystås
Photo: Jan-Olof Yxell

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Welcomes and receptions : Other side of the story!

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.

On the first day of CIRC reception

On the first day of CIRC reception

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.

MPCOM mingle!

MPCOM mingle!

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!

Their gift supports cancer research at Chalmers

Chalmers alumni Folke Edler (K47) was a man who got rich on paint.
Together with his wife Marianne, he bequeathed one and a half million kronor to Chalmers. The money will now support young researchers in their quest to solve the mysteries of cancer.
”Folke was a Chalmers student and was very much involved in Chalmers throughout his lifetime, and took great interest in the organization. He thought that Chalmers was one of the finest universities that existed, ”says Marianne Edler’s niece, Anita Setterberg.
Anita speaks warmly about her aunt and uncle, both of whom were born and raised in Gothenburg:
”They loved Bohuslän and the sea and Gothenburg … They met around 1951 or 1952, and I think their meeting had something to do with Chalmers. I was only four or five years old when they married in 1955. My experience of Folke is that he was an ingenious and very humorous man,” says Anita.

Edler the inventor
Folke Edler was born on October 24, 1923. His father worked as a teacher at Hvitfeldska in Gothenburg. Folke, however, was to select a different path. As a twenty-year-old, he enrolled in chemistry studies at Chalmers, graduating in June 1947.
”Folke was an inventor. He loved technical solutions and became interested in paint, that’s how it started. He had his own paint mixes and he made his own glue. They were everywhere when I was a child, the little pieces he used and pressed together to try out different types of glue. That’s how he made his money, testing out new impregnation methods, he did quite a bit of that,” says Anita.
Did Folke speak about his university years?
”He thought Chalmers was one of the finest universities that existed. He did a lot for chalmerists at the time, even my family had a lot to do with Chalmers,” says Anita Setterberg.
Another of Folke’s main interests was model boats. He built his own, large model boats, which attracted much admiration.
”He left behind two boats – Passat and Bohuslän – and they were quite large. He was very interested in the sea and lived for his boats.”

Discovery: tung oil
At a trade show in the 1950, Folke Edler discovered China wood (tung) oil along with companions Ragnar Bergstedt, another Chalmers-trained chemical engineer, and the painter Rolf Hansen. Tung oil turned out to be an ideal material to be refined for wood impregnation, and they began importing it to Sweden.
”Yes, it was the Chinese oil that he was changing. I remember very well all the pieces lying all over the place at their house when he was testing durability and other things,” recalls Anita Setterberg.
The new product was named Westcoast, and became a market leader in the 1970s. For many years, Folke Edler and Rolf Hansen ran a paint factory of the same name in Lerum.
”I remember that when Folke had developed that impregnation agent, they remodeled their summer place, and all the wood was dipped in big baths of it – even the roof tiles. I’ve now taken over the house now and the wood is still just like new,” says Anita.
Folke shared various paint mixtures with friends and acquaintances so they could help with the tests.
“My father had great fun with that. He always said that if you were to go see someone you knew, but didn’t know where they lived, all you had to do was just look to see if there was paint from Folkes factory there, and you were in the right place,” laughs Anita.

A life devoted to teaching
Marianne Edler was born on March 7, 1929. She devoted her life to the teaching profession.
”She started out as a preschool teacher at Götaberg School. Then she went on to study special education and worked with handicapped children until her retirement,” says Anita Setterberg.
In the early 1950s, she met Folke Edler and the two married in 1955. It was a happy marriage, but they never had children of their own. Instead, they cultivated a common passion for travel:
”They traveled an awful lot, I think they went just about everywhere you can go. My aunt said that she never did make it to Egypt, but otherwise they had been just about everywhere. It started very early on. As soon as they got married they started traveling to faraway places. These were no short weekend trips.”
”Music, art and literature were other major interests of theirs. But Folke’s big thing was experiences. He had a lot to do with the United States, and he did a lot of business with them – both with adhesives and repellent,” says Anita Setterberg.

Cancer diagnosis
In the 1980’s, Folke Edler was diagnosed with bladder cancer. As a result, he and Marianne began talking about setting up a fund for cancer research, for example, for the bladder and kidneys. His wish was to bequeath money to Chalmers. After Folke’s untimely death on October 18, 1986 Marianne held on for years until she herself died on June 23, 2013.
”My aunt was very particular about how things would be with the fund. She got up early and talked to someone at Chalmers about it, many years ago.”
Anita Setterberg tells how Folke did not wish to be treated for his illness, but rather preferred to let it run its course:
”He said he didn’t want to live half of a life. That was his philosophy. If there was to be any meaning, that’s how it would have to be. This was how they started talking about setting up a fund to find and diagnose bladder cancer in particular,” she says.

Contact with Chalmers
Contacts were made with Bernt Rönnäng, Vice President and President of the former Chalmers Lindholmen; Stig Ekman, former Director of the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation; and Professor Bengt Nordén, to establish a research fund.
All involved were in favor of the proposal and when the will was revealed after the death of Marianne Edler, the now-active ”Folke and Marianne Edler Research Fund” was created.
With the bequeathed funds of one and a half million dollars as a foundation, the plan is to distribute 150,000 kronor annually in grants to researchers at Chalmers, for ”basic scientific research on malignant diseases.” The first scholarship will be awarded in October 2014.

The research fund arrives
Professor Bengt Nordén is still active at Chalmers and remember his first contacts with Marianne Edler and her visit to discuss how a donation could promote cancer research.
Now Bengt Nordén will be highly engaged in the distribution of scholarships from the Folke and Marianne Edler research fund.
”I am pleased with the arrival of this scholarship for two reasons: first, because it emphasizes basic scientific principles, which experience has proven to be especially conductive when it comes to creating breakthroughs in difficult areas of research, and because it was Chalmers and not another more hospital-affiliated institution that received the donation. With the strong research in life sciences and bio-chemistry currently under development at Chalmers, there will be many worthy candidates for the scholarship and it will play an important role in encouraging young scientists,” says Bengt Nordén.

A welcome contribution
Peter Lindwall works with donations and cooperation development at Chalmers. He participated in the process of establishing the research fund and is very pleased with the Edlers’ initiative:
”Folke and Marianne Edler’s generous gift to research at Chalmers, as expressed in their last will and testament, is a magnificent example of the strong ties that exist between Chalmers and our alumni. It cannot be emphasized enough how welcome this kind of contribution is,” says Peter Lindwall in a comment.
Folke and Marianne Edler have their final resting place at the Eastern Cemetery in Gothenburg.

Text: Michael Nystås
Photo: Private

Folke and Marianne Edler research fund
To support basic scientific research that may contribute to an understanding of the causes behind environmental malignant diseases, especially cancers such as bladder cancer.
To find biotechnology-based treatments.
To find prophylactic methods for these diseases.
The development of a technological device for early diagnosis or treatment may be considered as well.

The fund amounts to 1,500,000 SEK and is managed by Chalmers University of Technology Foundation.

More than 500 SI scholarships to be given this year!

The Swedish Institute scholarship applications have opened today, on the 3rd February and will remain open till the 11th of February! I have already written about multiple scholarship opportunities, and this post is a heads up for those of you who still have not made up your mind about the SI application.

About 550 scholarships are being awarded this year! A whooping number! SI scholarship (that which I am a recipient via Challenge Yourself 2012) will include full tution fee and living expenses paid grant for two years. That is enormous funding, and those of you have already applied for a seat in University Admissions, must look at the application and give it a shot. There are two categories under which these scholarships are awarded based on the geographical location. Find the category relevant to you and get started with the application.

More than just the funds

Although the funding is the most attractive and quintessential part when you are an applicant, the SI scholarships open up a whole gamut of opportunities. Every scholarship recipient gets to be part of the SI: Network of Global Leaders. On this platform umpteen number of workshops through the two years, multiple get togethers, talks, conferences and a host of other insightful events are conducted. I have already participated in a workshop of human rights and democracy), and the kick off party. Many more events have been consistenlty organised, including many interactive events during the Nobel Week, where many SI scholarship holders had the chance of meeting Nobel laureates. Next, I have applied for a conference on investigative journalism happening in March, up in northern Sweden Umeå. Although the selection of this event is not out yet, many such events are open to us, and not only these widen our learning horizon, but also present us with unmissable opportunities.

Tips on your application

While I am never a giver of advice in terms of your application, of late many applicants have been writing to me asking for suggestions. My only blanket rule for your application would be ”Be honest, and depict your passion”. There aren’t any secret formulas!

SI Scholarship holders for 2013

SI Scholarship holders for 2013, at the kick-off party

New book delves into the cultural history of chemistry

”The Last Alchemist in Paris & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry” (Oxford University Press) is the evocative title of Chalmers Professor Lars Öhrström’s new book, which just landed on bookstore shelves.

On December 5, he will present his book at the Lohrs Pocket Med Mera bookshop in Gothenburg.
”The idea is that there should be a mix of high and low. There is a spy story about one of the most sophisticated sabotage attempts ever made. With that one, I managed to pick up on something that was pretty unknown. Then there are things that are more well-known, like the story of Napoleon’s buttons during the campaign against Russia in 1812. That one is commonly known among chemists”, says Lars Öhrström.

Lars Öhrström was born in Gothenburg and received a Master of Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Chalmers.
”Basically, the book has the periodic table as its theme, but it is completely different from other books of its kind. Many authors have written about how each of the different elements were discovered, but this isn’t that at all. There are virtually no scientists at all in my book. The focus is on other people, known and unknown”, he says.

A winding road
”The Last Alchemist in Paris & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry” takes the reader on a meandering journey through the history of civilization. It is chock-full of literary references. Peter Höeg, Agatha Christie, August Strindberg and Stieg Larsson are just a few of the names the reader will encounter.
”Stieg Larsson is included more as a curiosity than anything else. He appears in a chapter on arsenic which also includes Astrid Lindgren’s Master Detective Blomkvist (“Bill Bergson, Master Detective” in the English translation). Of course, Stieg Larsson’s main character is also named Blomkvist, and is even called Kalle Blomkvist sometimes. But the most interesting thing is that the name of the female protagonist Lisbet Salander also comes from the Astrid Lindgren character Eva-Lotta Lisander. So Stieg Larsson was probably inspired by Master Detective Blomkvist when coming up with both names. That, I think, is less well-known,” says Lars Öhrström.

Executions in Stockholm in the 1700s
The book is full of enticing chapter headings – often with a humorous twist: ”From Bitterfeld with Love,” ”War and Vanity” and ”The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Airship.” Not to mention ”Death at Number 29”:
”29 is the atomic number of copper. I make the point that people fight for silver and gold treasures, but globally and historically, many regimes and rulers have fallen because of copper, and not so much because of gold or silver,” Lars explains.
The chapter begins with an execution in Stockholm after the peasant uprising at the Fourth Dalecarlian Rebellion (“Great Dalecarlian Dance”) in the 1740s.
”The uprising was led by a man who was an accountant at a copper mill up in Dalarna. Next I talk a bit about Chile, the Congo Crisis, and Dag Hammarskjöld, all of which is copper-related. Competition for our finite natural resources is also a recurring theme in several chapters.”

The foreword allows the reader a peek into the world of bestselling author Dan Brown.
”We usually see the periodic table in the most ordinary way, the way everyone recognizes from school textbooks. Then there are those who are keen to rearrange the system and bring out other interesting correlations. It is said that there are at least 700 different varieties. There is also the numerological connection, for those who are so inclined. I think Dan Brown would get a lot out of the periodic table, and I simply suggest to him a possible approach,” says Lars Öhrström.
How did you find all these stories?
”I have collected them for years. The Napoleon story is an anecdote among chemists, which still lives in some textbooks. His army wore clothes with tin buttons, and tin undergoes a phase transition from metallic tin to a more diamond-like structure, in principle at thirteen degrees below zero, but it picks up around minus 30 to minus 40 centigrades. This is called tin pest. As the volume increases dramatically, the buttons start breaking. Some people think this was the reason that Napoleon lost the war with Russia 1812. That’s probably a load of rubbish, but it’s an interesting story. I attempt to get to the bottom of it,” says Lars Öhrström.
The Napoleon story is probably the one he spent the most time on while working on the book, which has taken five years towrite. The author finds it nice to make it to the finish line.
What type of reader are you imagining will pick up your book?
”Of course, people who are starting to study chemistry, but even those who are generally interested in history, culture, history and science,” says Lars.

In Swedish 2014
Reading Lars Öhrström’s book, one can’t help but think of Ulf Ellervik, Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry at Lund University, who wrote the acclaimed popular science books ”Ond kemi” and ”Njutning”, or ”Wicked Chemistry” and ”Pleasure”, as their titles would read in English. The two know each other previously.
”The Last Alchemist in Paris & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry” will be released in Swedish in 2014, from the same publisher that publishes Ulf Ellervik’s books, Fri Tanke Förlag.
How did it come to be that Oxford University Press publishes the English edition?
”I got in touch with them when I was asked to read a few chapters before the reissue of another chemistry book, and asked if they were interested in my book. They are huge and have a somewhat different organizational structure than a traditional book publisher, since they are part of the University of Oxford. You have to pass a council of Oxford Professors who decide whether a manuscript will be taken on for publication. They have been really professional,” says Lars Öhrström.
”The Last Alchemist in Paris & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry” is his first popular science book. Previously, he wrote the specialist monograph ”Molecule-Based Materials: The Structural Network Approach” (Elsevier), along with Dr. Krister Larsson, now IT strategist at Maxlab at Lund University.
”There were nearly a 100 000  US dollars in sales, but each copy itself is quite expensive, so there was a total of not more than maybe 700 copies sold. But that’s not bad for such a slim book.”

Crucial support from the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation
For the past five years, Lars Öhrström received support from the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation, the Hasselblad Foundation, the Foundation of San Michele and The Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), which allowed him to free up time to write his book. It started with an author’s scholarship in 2008 from the Hasselblad Foundation. This gave him the chance to spend a month at the classic Hotel Chevillon in Grez-sur-Loing in France. For the final stage of the work, the Chalmers University of Technology Foundation stepped in and supported the author:
”It was incredible. The Foundation gave me financial support so I didn’t have to teach and could finish writing the book. That was really helpful during the final crucial phase. And without the initial support of the Hasselblad Foundation, there might not have been any book at all,” says Lars.
He is also grateful for all the support and encouragement he received from colleagues at Chalmers, particularly in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, where many stepped up to teach in Lars’ place and helped out in various ways.

Text and photo: Michael Nystås

Lars Öhrström presents his new book >>>
Where: Lohrs Pocket Med Mera, Landala Torg, Kapellplatsen 2, Gothenburg
When: Thursday, December 5, 2013, 18:30
Map: www.hitta.se/lohrs+pocket+medmera+ab/g% C3% B6teborg/xWs5UHb77e

Lars Öhrström’s chemistry podcast on Chemistry World >>>

Follow Lars Öhrström on Twitter >>>

Scholarships for international applicants

In my previous post I briefly reminisced about my own scholarship experience for the benefit of new applicants. Considering the time is ripe for new admissions for international students, I will remain focused on scholarships that international applicants can benefit from in this post too.

When applying to Chalmers programs, there are more many scholarship avenues to tread upon. The national competitions in Brazil, India and US for this term have closed – http://challengeyourself.in/  for instance – the path that led me to Chalmers. This apart, there are few other promising scholarship opportunities when applying to Chalmers, or to Sweden as a whole.

To just make this post extra informative I spoke to two scholarship holders in my class – MPCOM. Both of them have been awarded the Swedish Institute scholarship, and this scholarship basically comprises of a full tution fee waiver, and an all living expenses paid deal for the tenure of the program (two years). My scholarship is also the same, only the process was different.

Durga Priya from India and Issac Sackey from Ghana are doing the same program as I am enrolled in – Masters in Communication Engineering.

(I am not quoting them verbatim, but paraphrasing their comments with attribution to them)

SI scholarship holders Issac and Durga from MPCOM-1,Chalmers

SI scholarship holders Issac and Durga from MPCOM-1,Chalmers

SI scholarship for applicants from India

Durga Priya, was one of the twenty finalists of Challenge Yourself 2012. Although there was only one winner in that competition, she used her result from the competition to apply to the Swedish Institute scholarship. Challenge Yourself closes in mid-November, whereas SI scholarship opens only in February.

Durga Priya received the SI scholarship for the same academic year to begin her Masters in September 2013 at Chalmers. According to her there are about five other Indian SI scholarship holders in Chalmers alone, and hence a bigger number when considered across Sweden.

SI scholarship for applicants from Ghana

Issac Sackey is one of the two SI scholarship holders at Chalmers from Ghana. In the discussion with him he laid emphasis on his work experience and his CV that might have led him to Chalmers with a scholarship.

Issac says there was nothing special in terms of documents or procedure that he had to engage in to apply for the scholarship. He had applied for Chalmers on the centralised admission portal – universityadmissons.se and cited the application with his well made CV and motivation letter to the SI scholarship challenge. He is doing well now at Chalmers, and hopes more applicants from Ghana apply this year.

More on the upcoming Swedish Institute scholarships


Avancez Scholarship

The Avancez scholarship by the Chalmers foundation is another popular scholarship for students applying to Chalmers. This scholarship does not cover living expenses, but still comprises of 75% fee waiver. The application deadline is on 15th January, 2014.

Other scholarships

The most comprehensive list of all valid scholarships when applying to Chalmers are documented on the Chalmers website. Keep a watch on these and apply to the ones that suit you best.



While it might be pretty exorbitant to move away from your home country, pay tuition fee and settle in Sweden in pursuit of your higher studies, these various scholarships are the tickets to a bright future that come without being exorbitant 😉


New challengers to Sweden

Seems like a full circle already, or atleast one of the concentric circles is complete.

It was last year in November that I had taken up Challenge Yourself 2012 to apply for Chalmers. And by this time, last year I was notified as one of the twenty finalists in the competition for Chalmers. During those proceedings, I did not have the faintest idea that within one year, I would already be three months in, and into Sweden.

Now, when I have many applicants, challengers to the Indian stint of Challenge Yourself are trying to contact me, to know about the challenge, Chalmers and life in Sweden, I had an awakening realization of the time and events that have gone by. Having to address queries from enthusiastic students – a place I was in before a year – to see what direction my course of life has taken makes me feel philosophical about it.

What other place than in Sweden, and what other time than past midnight on a winter night to lay back and introspect on what choices I have made, and am going to make!

When the new aspirants to Chalmers, or Sweden in general ask me about life and education here, it is gratifying even to myself when I tell them wholeheartedly that “It’s awesome here!”. Nuanced questions about how is Chalmers, how is your course, how is the teaching, what are my future prospects – are the general repertoire of questions. In answering these it helps me compose myself and to look at what is next for me. Of course, these are the only questions one can come up with in preparing to apply for course. What I have experienced here, were things I could have never imagined. I won’t spoil it for them, and will hope they will experience it themselves.

The warm embrace of sorts with which I have been assimilated into the city of Gothenburg, into the life of Sweden and exposure to the multicultural Europe have not mellowed down yet. These in fact, coupled with my increasing admiration, and growing critique of the many many things I have the opportunity to observe as part of my stay in in Sweden have, to the disappointment of many back at home not made me homesick.

If some of the new applicants are reading this post, an encapsulation of what you can expect coming to Sweden : you will be positively overwhelmed with everything here, and yet it will all seem very subtle – that’s the Swedish way – lagom is their principle. If curious read up online as to what it is.

And if you have already applied for Challenge Yourself India, or are looking at applying with scholarships check out the Swedish Institute scholarships. Follow up here: http://www.studyinsweden.se/Scholarships/SI-scholarships/The-Swedish-Institute-Study-Scholarships/

And as I said, full three months here in Sweden (I arrived on 22nd August, 2013) and it still hasn’t got unbearably cold or anything. In fact I am waiting for those deeper sub-zero temperatures. Forecast says mild snow early morning – I may not be up by then, will wait, for it shall cometh in abundance.


PS: On a related note, from archives of 2012.

Entire team from Sweden, including the Swedish Ambassador to India during the prize ceremony in Bangalore last year. We visited Volvo, Bangalore as part of the event

Team from Sweden, including the Swedish Ambassador to India with participants during the prize ceremony in Bangalore last year. We visited Volvo, Bangalore as part of the event

This is Ben – our new student blogger

Chalmeristbloggen is proud to announce a new student ambassador blogger!
Ben Owilli will team up with Raghavendra Selvan and will start blogging this upcoming weekend.
Ben is studying Structural Engineering and Building Technology and we took the opportunity to ask him a few questions to introduce him to our faithful readers.

Welcome to the blog, Ben! How do you do?
– Am enjoying the University. Its quite interesting and I can say that coming to Chalmers and Sweden as a whole has changed me a lot. The way I view the world, reason and think has completely changed, Ben says.

Please introduce yourself! Age, country, interests, program at Chalmers.
– I am 28 years Old from Uganda. I like adventure, sports, writing and reading, meeting new people and of course not forgetting my course. I am studying Masters in Structural Engineering and Building Technology.

Why did you chose to study at Chalmers?
– It wasn’t easy to get the future I wanted from my home country, I believe it needed some effort beyond home or an upgrade of what I learnt from Uganda. I chose Sweden and particularly Chalmers because of a number of reasons with a few highlighted below; First of all Chalmers and Sweden as a whole has various numerous quality educational schemes and courses. It wasn’t an easy tasks given that Chalmers and Sweden had a lot of my dream causes that appeared beneficial for both my current and future life but thank God I finally made it to this.
– Chalmers also has a lot of continues research projects; a tending development for innovations derived from the whole Swedish Culture  and this makes it among the top countries in the world that invests in research and innovation.
– Chalmers also works in collaborations with many international Companies with some of the research projects done together. Eg. ABB, Volvo, COWI, SKANSKA among others. They also have well and experienced lecturers making a student to gain both theoretical and practical experience concurrently. A student who therefore completes his or her studies from Chalmers and Sweden in general should fully be well assured of his or her bright future.

What do you think so far?
– I feel happy and I believe I made the right independent choice for myself to come here.

What are your future plans?
– After acquiring my University Skills, I would like to get a challenging position in an organization that is ready to foster practical developmental projects to the society.

What can the blog readers expect from you?
– The readers should expect explicit inspiring and developmental issues on Social life, Cultures, future and general academic developments.

Ben Owilli’s studies at Chalmers has been made possible by a Swedish Institute study Scholarship ticket.

Chalmeristbloggen is looking forward to reading Ben’s blog posts!

Text: Michael Nystås
Photo: Private