Lea Miko Versbach from Germany
Why did you choose this programme?
“During my Bachelor’s studies, I made the decision to study abroad. Having an interest in Scandinavian design, I looked up programmes available in English in Denmark and Sweden. This is how I found Lund University. After reading more about the University, I decided to apply, as I liked the idea of a University with a strong focus on international degree and exchange students.”
How would you describe your studies in Lund?
“Coming from Germany, I was used to a very professional and stiff relationship between professors and students. I was therefore positively surprised at how student-oriented the teaching in Lund is. The Master’s programme offers the possibility to specialise in pure mathematics, statistics or numerical analysis, or a mixture of all. I think it is a big advantage that the students have a lot of freedom to choose courses within the programme. It helped me find out that I want to continue working with numerical analysis.”
What is your relationship to classmates and programme staff today?
“Having a very flexible and small programme has one disadvantage: most of the time I had different courses with different classmates, so there was not much of a group feeling. However, I have friends all over the world now, as there are many exchange students in all courses. I actually met one of my best friends in one of the courses. The relationship with the staff was always friendly and supportive and the transition from colleague to friend was very smooth.”
Could you describe your current PhD position?
“I am now a PhD student in numerical analysis. Being a PhD student in our department means that you do research, help with teaching – up to 20% of your working time – and that you have to complete courses – 90 credits in my case. The workload is quite heavy, but it is fun if you really want to do research. We also have an extraordinarily supportive group of PhD students in the Math Centre right now. We have many fun and interesting discussions during lunch or ‘fika’ breaks.
I like the combination of working on my own research project, having contact with and helping students, and increasing my knowledge by taking courses that are more specialised. Moreover, I travel to conferences to present and discuss my research and I collaborate with a research group in Cologne. It is very interesting to be on the ‘teaching and research side’ now.”
What do you wish for current and future students in your programme?
“I hope that they experience the same as I did: supportive, open-minded and friendly teachers, and also that they meet interesting classmates. I hope they find out which area of mathematics they want to specialise in and learn interesting new things.”