Nr. 1 student interview

Posted in: Allmän on 14 January, 2020 by Nada-Katarina

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NK: Hi Max. I am so happy you have agreed to participate and that you are the first one to break the ice. Please introduce yourself and tell something about your educational background!
Max: Hi, I am JingFu Xiong or Max. I come from China, from the city Shenzhen 😀
I used to be a pharmacy student and I am 23 years old.

NK: What do you love the most about Sweden?
Max: I love coffee, the weather, my friends. I find it very comfortable to live here; people are very friendly and the city itself is very small. I can use my bike every day to go around the city or to the university.
Shenzhen is a city with a population of approximately 12 million people, while here in Linköping everything is in very close proximity and it doesn’t require a lot of time to get familiar with all streets, shops, etc.
The food is quite nice as well. But honestly, I still prefer Chinese food. My favorite Swedish dish is Meatballs with potato (from IKEA specifically ;)). Luckily, in Linköping, there is a Chinese shop where I can buy food and ingredients from my country which are essential for me.

NK: What are the 3 things you love most about Linköping University?
Max: – PBLs (problem-based learning) and re-exams haha
– I love that there is no hierarchy between students and professors. The respect between these two groups exist of course, but I find this non-hierarchical status very convenient. I think this allows students to approach professors without any pressure or fear.
– and of course FIKA time 😀

NK: Why did you decide to study Experimental and Medical Biosciences?
Max: In China, I have finished a bachelor’s program with a major in Pharmacy and I wanted to continue in that direction.
I choose Medical Biosciences because I love medicine and research. I wanted to study something related to medicine but on the other hand, the idea to become a doctor was never attractive to me.
At the moment my field of interest is Immunology and Neurobiology. I will finish soon with my Advanced Immunology course and I am planning to enroll in Neurobiology course in the upcoming semester. So we will see what the future brings…

NK: Advice for future students?
Max:  Huh, this is a tough question! You shouldn’t ask first-year students this! 😀 
Chose Linköping University since it is the best University. The time you will spend here will definitely shape you and transform you. Liu is a very open university, you can meet different people from all over the world, you can get familiar with different cultures, acquire new friends easily…The diversity is simply amazing!




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Diversity ♡

Posted in: Allmän on 23 December, 2019 by Nada-Katarina

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Hello, lovely people from all over the world! 🙂 

Today, this hippy-philanthropic soul of mine has finally decided to publish something which has been on my mind for quite some time.  

One of the reasons why I am doing this thing is the opportunity to help foreign students on their journey to come and study in Sweden. Another thing of great significance to me was the possibility to experiment in a variety of ways to maintain a balance between creativity and logic – which this role and platform have proven itself capable of delivering.

I like to start from scratch, to build and create something out of nothing. I perceive this blog as a huge, blank canvas where my experiences and stories become colors and patterns spread across the entirety of it. But these colors and experiences get more beautiful in nature when I am sharing and co-creating them with other people. Not just in here, but in life as well. Sharing small moments of happiness or sadness with people we love and care about is truly the most divine masterpiece of life. 

Hence, I decided to involve other people from my master studies for this journey.
After four months of studying in Linköping – one of the main words which describe my cohort is diversity. Diversity among people in terms of educational background, private life, desires, goals, future plans, etc. Human beings are the best source of inspiration. Always have been, always will be.

People can teach you so many lessons.
People can help you.

People can heal you.
People can move you; encourage you.

People can make you feel like home.
People can make you be you. 

If you let them be.
If you let them talk.

If you know how to listen.

To talk, to be heard, to share and to be acknowledged are the four pillars for a bond between two or more people. Through stories, through sharing our personal experiences, through battles we won or lost, through acknowledging problems of one another and accepting each other as we are – we bond. We connect. We develop trust. We share. We help.
In the course of the next couple of weeks and months, I will publish weekly interviews with my classmates, their stories, experiences, what they love and will explain through them how they ended up being where they are.

I hope you will be able to see the beauty in different faces and stories behind those faces as I have 🙂




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Santa Lucia

Posted in: Allmän on 16 December, 2019 by Nada-Katarina

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Hej, Hej 🙂 

With one of the busiest and most engaging weeks of this semester finally behind me, it is a time for a new blog post! Two of them in fact! 

This past week was an extremely busy, fast-paced one, filled with exams, different deadlines, events, and other daily errands. I have a feeling that days simply passed in a blink of an eye. 

Additionally, the fact that only 15 days separate us from New Year’s Eve and a new decade(!) blows my mind.

Having an exam in Advanced Immunology and Analytical Techniques on one hand and having daily lectures about Genetics of Complex Traits and Programming with R have kept me busy and interested, however, on the other hand, haven’t left me with much free time, but I somehow managed to squeeze some amusing stuff into my schedule

Another thing that happened was the Christmas party organized by my dear digital LiU team and was held on Tuesday. It was a beautiful occasion to meet everyone once again, drink some Swedish mulled wine (glögg) in the name of the new year knocking slowly on our door, and eat some saffron-flavored buns (lussekatter). I have to admit – I am not a big fan of pastry but the one I had had sweet, buttery taste and I loved it! I’ve met my fellow digital ambassadors and we took a few photos (for which I am still waiting on, and will post here for everyone to see). 


On Thursday afternoon the Farewell dinner for exchange students took place in KK. KK is a popular party place and a good spot to hang out with your friends that is located right in the city center.
It was also time for the exchange students to go back to their home country, but I am more than convinced that all of them have had an AMAZING TIME studying at Linköping University. Two girls from France told me in a conversation that they are planning to come back and do their full Master studies at LiU! During the Farewell dinner event, I’ve had an opportunity for the first time to experience Santa Lucia celebration (13th of December). Santa Lucia is represented as a bearer of light and is a part of Christmas tradition in Sweden.

The Lucia celebration in Sweden consists of young women dressed up in white dresses with a red belt around their waist holding candles and singing Christmas carols. The voices made from the choir that night sounded like those from heaven. I was amazed by their performance. It was outstanding to say the least, and a new experience for me. Standing in a dark room filled with people around me and a choir of girls dressed in white holding candles and singing carols and songs in Swedish is a brief description of how it all looked like. I didn’t understand a word of what they were singing but I felt one thing which everyone around me felt too – peace.


In this manner, I would like to end up my blog post right here. 

Thank you once again for taking the time to read my blog 🙂 





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Why Experimental and Medical Biosciences at LiU?

Posted in: Allmän on 3 December, 2019 by Nada-Katarina

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This week, as promised in my previous post, I will dive into the thematic of Experimental and Medical Biosciences at Linkoping University, what is so special about this master’s programme, how the curriculum is organized. I will also explain why it is amazing to tailor your personal curriculum according to your wishes, preferences and abilities and few other things related to this topic.
I personally believe that humans share the same or very similar core traits but each-and-every one of us is different. That difference needs to be embraced and used as one’s main tool for the development of academic skills, but more importantly, it needs to be used for our personal growth and development.


So, how does the overall structure of the master’s program look like? 

One of the main reasons why I choose this program was the possibility to tailor and plan my own curriculum. As a highly independent person, who cherishes freedom more than anything, and doesn’t like norms or following a crowd – this was highly appealing.
Our master’s program is conceived as a program that embraces both theoretical and practical knowledge. Additionally, if you want to do research (lab work) that opportunity is possible in a form of 15 or 30 credits project within the first year of your program.
For your master thesis which is in the last semester of the second year, you can stay in Linköping or you can go abroad. 

What about Courses?

Some of the courses offered are Advanced Immunology, Tumor Biology, Neurobiology, Cardiovascular Biology, Pharmacology, Infection Biology, Stem Cells, and Applied Regenerative Medicine, etc. (for a full curriculum please visit the LiU web-page). There are only two mandatory courses which are Laboratory techniques and Analytical Techniques held at the very beginning of the program. These two courses are like foundational pillars upon which everything else is based upon and supplemented additionally. The idea is to bring all students to the same starting level since there is such a diversity in the educational background among students.
Meaning? You, for example, as a dentist can also study and build, with a little extra effort, a solid foundation during those two courses. 

What are the Teaching methods used?

This one might be very different from and depending on what you are used to.
Teaching methods could vary from course to course, but most of them are structured around the classical Power-point presentations. Learning through seminars, PBLs (problem-based learning), as well as doing research for your written assignment and others are also very viable options.
It is also worth noting that all courses are separated into a few obligatory assignments which will contribute to your final grade in the end.
For me personally, and for you as well, this was not a ‘’big deal’’ and huge step-up in the game, except for the group works. Group works and presentations are a pain in the you-know-what, but I am trying to improve those aspects as well. 

How am I sure this is the right thing for me?

Love, passion and even more love 😀

To be completely fair – you must love what you are doing or studying. To show up every day for something that you are not passionate about, something that you somewhat love or “kind of enjoy” will not be enough. Determination is one of the key values you must possess if you wish to succeed and not waste your time. You don’t have to have everything planned in advance, because sometimes things simply don’t turn out the way we intended. You have to be open and curious to learning new stuff.
I think with this master’s program you have more than a chance to explore different fields within biomedicine and possibly encounter something totally new which will spark curiosity in you.
Because at the end of the day you need to be aware that this will be a major part of your life, therefore making a wrong decision could potentially have a negative impact on your future self and career. It is okay if you feel this is not the right thing for you. Otherwise, don’t let anything or anyone stop you or get in your way. 

Thank you for finding the time to read my post. I really appreciate each-and-every one of you and be aware that you are a huge motivation for me and the reason as to why I am writing this 🙂 

I hope this helped you!

Until next time,




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Hello :)

Posted in: Allmän on 23 November, 2019 by Nada-Katarina

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Greetings to all of you who have intentionally or just randomly decided to click on this post and got directed into the fast-paced and adventurous life of one biomedical student here at Linköpings University. That student would be me. In the case we didn’t meet already, my name is Nada-Katarina.

I’ve imagined this first post as an ice breaker (PS. ice breakers are popular in group works & PBLs but more about that soon).
An ice breaker in which I am going to introduce myself, give you a short educational background of mine as to why I chose this master program and biomedicine, in general, to be my life calling.  

So, as some of you may know, I’m 24 years old and was born and raised in Serbia. Besides being a digital ambassador for our university I am a full-time biomed student enrolled in the first year of Experimental and Medical Biosciences. I have moved to Sweden three months ago, leaving six years of life in Vienna (Austria) behind me, and currently enjoying this bitter-sweet 90-degree change of life.
Why bitter-sweet – you will get to know very soon (or you already do depending whether you study medicine or not 😛 )
My road to here was tough but it was worth it, and I would do it all over again if the opportunity presented itself.
Back in 2012, I have finished medical high-school and straight after my graduation I’ve moved to Vienna to study Pharmacy – it turned out I ended in slightly different waters. My bachelor study program was Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology which honestly made me go crazy at some points and pushed me out of my comfort zone enormously number of times, showing me how much I don’t know and how much more there is to be learned. Looking back on those years I can comfortably say that those years were the pivotal ones for me as a person, my educational foundation and for sure my future career.
Fast forward to January this year, I’ve decided to apply for two master programs in Sweden after realizing that I have enrolled a master’s program which I didn’t like and enjoy. This was constantly accompanied by the feeling that I’m making a mistake by forcing myself to love something which I don’t.
In March I’ve got a job in a pharma company followed by an acceptance letter from Linköpings University a day after. I turned the offer down and decided to go to Sweden!
Do I regret it? No! For the first time in my life, I have a feeling that I am in the right place at the right time. Like Bukowski wrote in one of his short poems ‘’It has been a beautiful fight. Still is.’’

Thank you for your time. Seeing as this post is already long enough there will be a second part in which I will dive into the thematic of why Experimental and Medical Biosciences at LiU and why biomedicine.




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Nada-Katarina´s blog

Nada-Katarina Kasic
Well, hello there :)
I´m Nada-Katarina and I come from Serbia. Driven by my gut feeling for a change and with a spike of curiosity, I packed my life in two suitcases and came to Sweden. Right now, I am a first-year master student of Experimental and Medical Biosciences.
Catch the flow and let’s explore life in Linköping.

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