Why Gothenburg, Sweden and Chalmers?

I spent a week in Gothenburg, Sweden, because me, along with 6 other people, won Chalmers Global Challenge this year (as I have told you before, here). You might wonder, how different is the education system in Sweden (specifically, Chalmers), in comparison to American education system?

I was wondering about the same thing, too…

Hint: there is a (great) balance between work and life. Chalmers, also has a great number of international students!


I was not expecting how much fun I would get at Chalmers University of Technology, and Gothenburg for the whole week. Besides meeting other winners, the student ambassadors, and also Chalmers people, in general, including professors, staffs, as well as researchers.

Sweden, as expected from Scandinavian countries, is really beautiful.

The transportation system is amazing. You can easily go from one place to another, using tram, bus, or ferry! ~Since Gothenburg is in the west coast of the country, it also has several islands close by.
I also went to Liseberg, the biggest amusement park in Scandinavia. It was a lot of fun!
As a port city, you can easily see cranes in the horizon.

Another impressive thing: while most part of the world is still having one single trash can for any kind of waster, Sweden (or Gothenburg), has separated its waste into not only 2, or 3, different categories: plastic, glass, paper, metal, and others. Sometimes, you can even find more than 5 categories since they have different categories for different types of plastic and paper, for instance.

Chalmers itself, was founded by a rich person’s will when he died (Just like why Harvard is Harvard: John Harvard donated a lot of money when Harvard was founded). It is older than MIT, and is one of really prominent universities in Sweden and Europe. Since it has a strong background in Engineering, it has so many connections with the industry (Volvo is from Gothenburg, too!), as well as with the city of Gothenburg. There are different ongoing research and projects, and all of them have a specific focus: making the world a more sustainable place.

I was so impressed by its facility: it has a huge clean room for nanotechnology research, and there is also a research group in the main power plant for the campus heating system. MIT, for instance, is still building its nanotechnology building (MIT.nano), but Chalmers already has this since 15 years ago. They also have a strong emphasis on group work, with a very diverse group of students. You can also learn Swedish, even though the main language for graduate programs is in English. The undergraduate program, however, is taught in Swedish.

One of the campuses: Chalmers Lindholmen Campus.

Chalmers has two campuses: one in Johanneberg (near Johanneberg Science Park), and one in Lindholmen (near Lindhomen Science Park). This seems to be a new trend: the universities are close to science parks/ technology centers. It also happens in the US: MIT is side-by-side with all the tech companies in Kendall Square, ranging from Akamai, Google, to biotech companies; Stanford is also relatively close to Silicon Valley. People already know, there is a strong mutualistics partnership between university and tech companies. This is where discoveries and inventions bloom. This is, basically, the future.

Sweden is probably not on your radar when you are considering to continue your education. It is worth your consideration, in addition to other (already popular) destinations for education: Germany, USA, UK, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore.

Plus, where else can you find amazing people whom you can take selfie with (using selfie stick) since day one?

Photo by: Akshay. Thanks for the beautiful picture!

For more info, you can look at Chalmer’s website here, or its instagram. Chalmers is also a part of edX (the MOOC initiated by MIT and Harvard), which you can check here. Otherwise, you can send me e-mail to ask more specific questions, or add a comment on this blog post. I will try my best to answer them in timely manner. Cheers!

PS. I have also decided on the winners for my postcard quiz (the Washington DC one and the MIT one). Expect a blog post about all the questions you guys sent me through e-mails soon! Congratulations to following people.

  1. Hartika Rahayu
  2. Hamdani
  3. Peggy Nirmala
  4. Muhammad Ilham Azlan Syah

I hope the postcards will reach all of you soon. For the people who didn’t get one, I still want to extend my gratitude for taking your time to write me an e-mail. Thanks for all your kind comments, suggestions. I received about >25 e-mails, which were unexpected. I guess most of you are silent readers, haha. I am going to try my best to write (better quality) more blog posts 🙂

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