Hi! My name is Noah, and I'm the student ambassador for the Master's programme in Sustainable Energy Engineering. 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
Why did you choose this programme?
"In my home country, I worked as an electrical design engineer for an esteemed engineering consultant firm. A constant topic that usually came up in meetings with our clients was that engineers who design energy systems should consider resilience, sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. That got me thinking about how we best can harness energy without harming the environment. As I was considering furthering my education, I decided to find a university that teaches engineering and values the environment and sustainability. That’s how I ended up here at Lund University, as Sweden is one of the primary countries for sustainability, and the university’s programme objectives and courses aligned with my goals. Then there was Lund University’s high-ranking status and the international community, which showcased how keen the university is on transferring knowledge to students."
What do you think about your programme (so far)? Does it live up to your expectations?
"The programme has exceeded my expectations. Just to highlight a few things: first and foremost, the professors in my department are accommodating. They are keen on helping students understand concepts and how to apply them. There is no barrier between students and professors, so approaching them with my questions and concerns is easy. Unlike my home country, where there is a hierarchy between students and professors, Sweden has no such thing, and I believe it has helped with my studies as it is an enabling and conducive environment. Students can share their ideas freely and ask questions. This is something I find exceptional."
What is the best thing about your programme?
"I will highlight the flexibility of the programme. This aspect differs from my home university because I did not have the opportunity to select specific courses I would like to study, unlike my current programme at Lund University, which offers me this choice. Most of the courses were designed and planned by the department; you just had to take them. Here, however, there is flexibility as the programme offers you a range of exciting courses you can choose from."
Why should prospective students choose this programme?
"I would encourage prospective students to choose Sustainable Energy Engineering due to the programme’s flexibility. Students can choose the courses they want to study, depending on their interests. In that regard, it helps the students choose what they want to specialise in. This also enables the students to form relationships with other members of the faculties because most of our courses are interdisciplinary. So, the flexibility that the programme offers is one of the reasons why prospective students should choose this programme."
What is your favourite course and why?
"I will say Theory of Turbomachinery course. I love this course because of the aspects we learned in class and how we went further to use the design software to design, analyse and optimise various turbomachines. So, it was an opportunity to apply the concepts I had read in theory and strive to use the software to validate the results I had gotten. That is one of the courses I enjoyed. I will give an example. We had a project in the Turbomachinery course where we had to design, analyse and optimise a centrifugal turbo pump for a hydrogen-fueled rocket engine, and this was an excellent project because it brought all the aspects we had learned, enabling me to put all the pieces together. It also provided me with an opportunity to interact with colleagues and members of the faculty. So, this course improved not only my academic capabilities but also my social skills and teamwork, opening me up to different ideas and thought processes."
Have you gained any practical experience during your studies?
"Oh, yes, absolutely! There are several activities that we do. It depends on the course, as some courses have study visits while others do not. For instance, we had study visits in the solar and thermodynamics courses. We also had laboratory work in the solar course. Our laboratory work included the exploration of the various aspects of photovoltaic panels. In other courses, we had to write academic papers. So, this, of course, helps students to go deep into research and understand the course better."
What do you think of the teaching style at Lund?
"Something that caught my attention is the fact that we call our professors by their first names. To me, this enhances the relationship between professors and students as you view them as friends and not only professors."
Thoughts on being an international student at Lund and tips for prospective students
What is it like to be an international student at Lund University?
"My learning experience as an international student is that Sweden is rather diverse. You get to meet people from all over the world, which is essential and makes me enjoy the classroom setting. This is because we are all from different backgrounds with different opinions. This broadens your understanding and approach to others as you become more open and accepting of others' views and experiences. This has impacted me personally and academically as I have benefitted from different perspectives."
What do you do in your spare time? Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?
"I like hiking, taking walks in parks, and visiting nature reserves. One thing that I love is that, in Sweden, you do not have to walk long distances to be in nature. You find it all around you, even in the cities. You can walk in the city one moment, next, you are immersed in nature. I find it fulfilling to walk in nature after a long day of studying. With the numerous nature reserves, I spend some of my free time hiking and visiting these places with my colleagues."
Do you have any advice for other students who are considering coming to Lund?
"Lund University is a place that enables you to delve into your creativity and innovative ideas. Prospective students should keep in mind that most of the courses they will be taking have been designed to help them understand theoretical principles and how to apply these principles to real-life issues. This means you do not have to memorise a book; you have to go a step further to actually understand concepts and principles to be able to solve the pressing issues the world faces."
Swedish culture and speaking English
What have you liked most about living in Sweden, and what have you learned from living in Sweden?
"Fika! That’s the first thing that comes to mind – the 'fika' culture. This is not just about enjoying coffee with colleagues and feeding friends. It goes beyond that. I see it as therapeutic, a moment to relax, breathe and enjoy the company of others. This is a welcoming break after a long period of sitting in class. It promotes overall well-being. Although Sweden has this fika culture and the concept of 'lagom' – not too much, not too little – education is treated rather seriously in my opinion. I see this as a good balance as one does not go to classes for the sake of it, but to increase critical thinking. This cultivates a culture of honest feedback and positive criticism. I find this fascinating as it is quite unfamiliar to me."
Have you been able to get by mainly with English in Sweden?
"Yes, absolutely. One thing that most prospective students need to know is that Sweden has one of the highest rankings in terms of proficiency in English as a second language. So, I would say I have gotten by very well, just using English. However, I am in the process of learning Swedish. Most people speak English, so most of the time, if you go to the store, you can get by easily speaking English."
Do you have tips on overcoming homesickness for students from your region?
"I would advise them to interact with people because when you become homesick, you feel like talking to someone. From my experience, what I had noticed in those moments when I was homesick was that it was easy for me to be comforted by friends here because I had already created a community of friends quickly. I could quite easily share my concerns with them. So even in winter, I mean winter is the concern of most international students, I would say you must be social. You must interact with people. You do not have to close your doors to others."
Future plans and career preparation
What are your future plans?
"I want to help my country as my country is still developing. We lack a certain expertise. So, one of the reasons that brought me here is to gain knowledge and expertise and go back home to see how much I can contribute in terms of development."
In what ways do you feel your programme has helped prepare you for your future career path?
"It has enhanced my technical abilities and helped me view problems from different perspectives because Lund University has offered me an opportunity to interact with my friends from different countries."
Have more questions for Noah?
You can chat with him and other current students directly via Unibuddy by clicking the card below.