Hi! My name is Marie and I'm the student ambassador for the Bachelor's Programme in Mathematics. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about the programme, courses, student life, and life in Lund and Sweden via the Unibuddy Platform, where you can chat with me (see below). Please note that I cannot answer questions about the application process, scholarships, or residence permits.
Learn more about Marie's experience of the programme and life in Lund
Why did you choose this programme?
"For a very long time, I didn’t feel that I was challenged enough. I live for the challenge. So, I wanted a programme that I considered hard to achieve. There is the personal motivation of wanting the challenge, but I also wanted to be involved in science. I then can use math as a tool to help solve the issues related to the climate crisis. It took me a while to realise my passion could be achieved through math. Before that, I thought it was natural sciences only. All sciences are hard, but math puts me in a situation where I am learning in a deep way. I get a broader perspective through mathematics."
Is this programme living up to your expectations?
"I am extremely satisfied with the courses that I’ve taken up until this point. It is still my first year, so all my courses have been compulsory. In the second and third years, I can choose my emphasis. I am going towards mathematical statistics, which will help me translate hard math into real-world practicalities. I am looking forward to it a lot because I know it will live up to my expectations for sure. "
What is the best thing about the programme so far?
"There are three main aspects. First, my professors are such nice people. They care about us as students. They see us not as a number, but as humans with all our struggles. The environment to learn is very supportive, you can have a great one-to-one interaction with professors. You can feel comfortable in class, everyone is open and helpful. Even when you have a personal situation that is affecting you, they can also help to accommodate you in that. The professors are helpers and not dictators. They like new ideas and new perspectives.
We also get involved with computer science. In other programmes I’ve heard that the programmes are centred around very hard, formal math, however at Lund you have assignments where you are translating the mathematical language to the computer science language. This is such a useful thing, especially when computers are so relevant. How to solve problems in a fast and optimised way is highlighted.
The other interesting thing is that some people think that in math you just sit and write down notes and only listen to what your professor is saying to complete the exam. However, here at Lund, you are encouraged to publicly express yourself through assignments and presentations. We were told on the first day of class that at some point you will have your own thesis and proofs, where you will need to communicate these ideas to people who are not well acquainted with the subject. Deliver it verbally, not just through paper. Therefore, in our first week of class here, the professor said that the following week we need to present proof of something that we don’t even understand yet. While you aren’t very comfortable with the topic, you have the blackboard, you have your colleagues, and you present your proof. It was shocking, but it's one of the useful tools for the real-life work environment where these skills are needed."
How international is your programme?
"I think it's half and half. I have a lot of Swedish classmates, which is good because we can easily learn about the Swedish culture, language, and other things. We also have a lot of Europeans, and we do have some from the Americas and Asia as well. It gives you the best of both worlds. You have some people who you can relate to, the internationals, and you have a learning opportunity by getting to know the Swedes."
What is it like to be an international student at Lund?
"I think that Lund and Lund University is designed for international students. I am extremely glad that I chose this place to grow and develop myself because the university gives you all the opportunities to do so. I feel that Sweden is very open to other cultures. They like to learn about you, they make you feel welcome, and they are always polite. I think that is so helpful, especially if you are coming from a place so far away. Everyone here speaks English as well."
What do you do for fun in Lund?
"In Lund, sports are great. I just started swimming here. Lund has the best facilities to do sports. I feel that any sport you want to practise, you can do it here.
For my extracurricular activities, I am part of the Lund Student Ambassador programme, where you really get to see another part of Lund. You learn how to better approach what it's like to be an international student here, and what that represents for Sweden and the University. Lund is so diverse, and I saw that in a deeper way when I joined the ambassador programme.
Fika and dinners are also great with my corridor mates, they are the best people ever. I was so afraid when I realised that I had to live with strangers, in such close corridors. However, I would highly recommend it now! All the international students help to make every day feel like an adventure. You get to feel that every day is an opportunity to learn something new.
I am a different person than when I first arrived six months ago because I have absorbed so much from being an international student at Lund. I see the world with different eyes now. You have to be open to the idea that international life is going to change you. It's not living with strangers, but it's living with excellent students that are in this great university who have this great background."
Do you have one piece of advice for potential students considering Lund?
"I saw a video before I came here to Lund. It said 'Lund University is your best friend and toughest challenger' and that is what you should expect from Lund University and the Mathematics programme. You are going to have all the tools, and all the opportunities, all the support to concur one of the hardest things that you will have to do. I think you will feel very happy about the journey you are taking."
Have more questions for Marie?
You can chat with her and other current students directly via Unibuddy by clicking the chat card below.
Want to know more about Marie's journey to the programme? Check out her blog post!