Hi! My name is Leonardo, and I'm the student ambassador for the Master's programme in Biotechnology. 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.
About the programme and the teaching style
How did you find out about Lund University and why did you choose this programme?
"I like Scandinavia and I started to look for different universities to see what they offered. I got attracted to Lund University because it seemed like a really good university, and they had the programme I wanted to do. I also applied to other universities in Sweden, but I listed Lund University as the first option. I wanted to study Biotechnology because it relates to what I studied back in Colombia (Bachelor’s in Industrial Microbiology) and it was a good opportunity to improve what I already knew, but applied in other sectors."
What do you think of the programme so far?
"I have liked it so far, but it was difficult for me in the beginning. I came from a Faculty of Science and I have seen things before. However, some parts of this programme are focused on the engineering part, which was difficult for me because I was not used to that. We also have different study methods in the different academic areas so it was a total shift coming and studying here. However, I would say it lives up to my expectations in general and everything I have learned so far has been helpful."
What are the classes like within the programme?
"Most of them are lectures that are about two hours long, and at Lund, you have the academic quarter. This means that classes start 15 minutes past the hour. We didn’t have that back in Colombia, so it was nice to know you have 15 minutes to arrive and then you can have 15 minutes between hours to have a break. That was very nice. In addition to lectures, we have a few lab sessions per course."
What are the lab sessions like?
"You generally have one laboratory session for the specific application of the theory or concept that you learned previously in the lectures. When applying the concepts in action, you can develop a deeper understanding. At some point, you will apply this idea later in some jobs. The labs last for three days, from ten till five in the evening."
Are there any opportunities for practical experiences within the programme?
"In some courses, we have field visits to some companies. Internships are not a mandatory part of the course, but you can look for them on your own. You can also have some more laboratory experience when you are doing your thesis. During the second year, you can take an advanced course which means that you can work with someone from the department to be a research assistant."
What’s the teaching style like?
"I would say it's similar to classes in Colombia. You attend class, the professor gives their lecture and then they will ask questions of the audience. It is very similar in the lab also. You will always have some assignments to understand what you are going to do in the lab. To do the practical work, the teachers will tell you ‘okay we are going to do this’ and we have discussions about what we are doing so we really understand."
How international is the programme?
"It is very international, actually! In the class that I am in, we have people from Greece, Poland, Germany, India, China, etc. We sometimes share classes with some Swedes, but not all the time."
Thoughts on extracurricular activities, future plans and tips for prospective students
Are you in any extracurricular activities?
"Yes, this semester I started working. I applied to be a student ambassador for the programme at Lund University. I also started working for a student organisation. I started in February and it's not that time-consuming. I also play inter football with some nations and sometimes I go running in Lund. Before I didn’t do that, but here in Lund there is so much space to enjoy running."
What are you planning on doing after your studies?
"I would love to stay in Sweden or at least in some part of Europe working in the Biotechnology sector. That's my main plan. I love Colombia, but for my career, it's not going to be well-paid there. I want to get more experience here and then I can go back and bring all the experience that I’ve learned here back home. I’m thinking about a PhD, but I’m not sure yet."
Do you have advice for prospective students considering coming to Lund?
"I would tell them that they should attend every event, job fair and workshop that is around, so that way you can know what companies are looking for people. Here in Sweden, most people do speak English, so you don’t need to learn Swedish, but it gives you an advantage over others in companies to at least know some Swedish. Their protocols might be in Swedish and they will want you to know how to read those. Also, enjoy yourself! You might be afraid of coming, but you need to also enjoy your time here. Don’t stress!"
Have more questions for Leonardo?
You can chat with him and other current students directly via Unibuddy by clicking the card below.