Mahnaz from Kuwait
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background?
"My name is Mahnaz Wahidi. Before starting this Master’s programme, I did a Bachelor’s in computer science in Kuwait. I moved to Sweden because I was so passionate about studying this programme at Lund University."
Why did you choose Lund University and why did this particular programme appeal to you?
"I was really amazed by the fact that VR and AR are revolutionising our lives. For example, it is fantastic to see how these technologies are solving many learning difficulties in different areas. That is why I chose mathematics as my major in high school as it is one of the basic tools for VR/AR learning. I also like designing and this programme gives me the opportunity to design my ideas in the VR/AR area."
What do you think of the teaching style and the way of studying here? What are the lecturers and professors like?
"So far, I am enjoining my courses and I am gaining a lot of valuable knowledge. For example, the Interaction Design course derives the designer focus beyond developing the product, to explore how the user might interact with it. The Computer Graphics course is about teaching the abilities needed to make art. More specifically, it is about implementing visual effects that enable us to convey an idea. The lectures are helping me to understand how these technologies are working and the professors are helpful, flexible and open to feedback."
Have you been able to gain any practical experience during your studies so far?
"Yes, we have lab sessions after each assignment has been published for courses like Computer Graphic and Image Analysis. Our teachers are there to assist us, discuss problems and answer our questions. Also, we have weekly workshops and meetings for Interaction Design projects which gives us great experience in UI/UX."
Have you had any opportunities for networking within the programme? Do you work with companies?
"Yes, there are many networking events, such as ARKAD, that enable us to interact with interesting companies. Currently, I am not working with any company since I am fully focusing on my studies and projects."
What it is like to be an international student at Lund University and how international is your programme?
"The students and teachers here are very friendly, always open for a chat, and Lund University really looks after their international student’s every step of the way. My programme has students from all over the world. Of course, it can be challenging to move to another country and fix practical things such as accommodation or getting an ID card, but you can always ask people for help."
How do you like living in Sweden? Did you feel welcome here? What surprised you most about Sweden?
"I think Sweden is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and living here is exciting. There are excellent public services such as efficient transportation. Also, people here are generally very welcoming and helpful and not speaking Swedish is not a problem as almost everyone speaks English. I am happy that I decided to study in Sweden. I have to say the thing that surprised me was learning how progressive Sweden is when it comes to recycling and recovering energy – that is another positive thing about this country!"
What are you planning to do after your studies?
"I don’t really think there is an end to studying when it comes to this area because we always have to stay up-to-date with the latest technology, but I am planning to extend my experience by working in some big companies in the VR/AR area. If possible, I am also planning to apply for a PhD."