Fall in Sweden

My First Fall in Sweden

In India, the autumn season usually gets overpowered by the monsoons. Although I love rains, I had still been waiting to go through the fall season. And this year was the first time I experienced the autumn season for real. It was more beautiful than the photos I used to see of either Vermont or Sweden. The moment when you step out of your house, see a bed of leaves lying in front of you, everywhere, all over the path wherever you walk. And sometimes, if you are lucky, you will see them falling right on you. The little child in me got alive when I saw the leaves falling, running towards the yellow partly crisp leaves, wanting to catch them each time they head to the ground. It was almost magical when they shed all at once. The wind, the fresh smell, the changing colors of the leaves, from greenish-yellow, to mustard, to orange, and then finally red until they FALL. ???

Diwali away from home

Diwali away from Home

Festivals are all about being with your family, spending time with them, enjoying traditions, and most importantly being happy! So Diwali or Deepawali was on 7th November 2018(the date changes every year but it usually comes in either October or November). It is an Indian festival of lights in which we celebrate the victory of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. I would say it is one of the most awaited festivals of the year. During the celebrations, we decorate our houses with flowers, lights, diyas, candles, and lamps, make rangolis, bring or prepare lots and lots of tasty sweets, exchange gifts with family and friends, worship God, and a lot of people burst firecrackers. Even though Diwali is a major event for Hindu and Jain religion yet all of the religions across India celebrate it. These are the kind of different rangoli’s I made each year. They are made with powdered colors.

 

 

 

Do you know people not only decorate the houses but also the whole lanes like this picture.  This year was my first Diwali away from home. It was a huge deal for me as I love the festival. A day before this Diwali I started reminiscing in the night about all the past Diwali celebrations. Each Diwali I was responsible to make rangoli, set up diyas, lights, and flowers around the house. I would wake up early in the morning for it and spend about 2-2.5 hours to make a rangoli in the courtyard. In the night my mother and I light up candles and diyas and place at all corners inside the house and along the walls outside. A day before my dad and I would set up the whole house from outside with fairy lights. Well, I was missing all of that and of course, the Indian sweets which are a little hard to find here in Linkoping. By the way, I have a sweet tooth and absolutely love Indian sweets.

About 4 days before Diwali I received a slip from postnord, which is the postal service here. I was wondering who would even send me a post or a parcel in Sweden. No one even had my address. I got really curious and 5 minutes later I received a text from my mother saying “Good morning dear! Hope you are doing well! How often do you check your post-box?”. That was really weird in the first moment for me but then obviously I figured out it would be her. I immediately rushed to Direkten in Ryd centrum with my slip and handed them over the slip. I got this heavy box. It was sent by someone from Tumba in Stockholm. Now my suspicion seemed sort of wrong. I brought the box to my room wondering if it was even mine or not but it had my name so I was like “okay, what the hell, let’s open this!”. The package had a 1kg box of a mixed variety of my favorite Indian sweets with a letter on top saying “Hello! Your mum contacted on our Facebook page to send you some sweets for Diwali festival. By sending you this we are fulfilling her wish. Your mother loves you. Happy Diwali – Priya”. I was awestruck, surprised, happy, shocked and crying at the same time! I called my mother and thanked her. I told her how she made my upcoming Diwali fulfilling and she told me how she found this Facebook page that sold homemade Indian sweets in Stockholm.

 


Well, all is well that ends well. On the day of Diwali, I had my sweets, got fairy lights from Ikea to put up in my room, and a few tea candles from Hemköp which worked like diyas, video called my family and wished them a Happy Diwali! Linköping truly made my Diwali a happy one.

Why study in Linköping, Sweden?

Going for early morning classes!

Hello Everyone! This is my first blog!

Since, everyone keeps asking me why Scandinavia and why Linköping University, I thought the first post should be about that. I am studying MSc. In Statistics and Machine learning here at LiU. After looking at all the courses related to Data Science and Machine Learning across the globe, Sweden had the maximum number of courses related to this field. In my experience of 3 months till now I think the coursework is challenging here and very practical when it comes to implementing it in the real world which I hope will be beneficial for me. We have labs, assignments, and seminars for each subject. They encourage independent and creative thinking which I think I never experienced back in India. Sweden is now known as the startup capital of Europe with tech companies like Spotify, Truecaller, King, Klarna, iZettle, and many more! The work-life balance and gender-equality here are given a lot of importance if I compare this with my home country I would have to say there is NO work-life balance in India and gender-equality is not taken seriously. Plus, each day here I breathe and drink in the purest environment. All the more reason to come here!

Following are the reasons why LiU was my first priority even though I had only heard about KTH as a famous university before.

1) The programme structure and the subjects are according to my liking. Given that the programme aims at making us a good Data Scientist or a Data Analyst, it has the right blend of statistics, computer science, and machine learning. Most of the other courses were either more inclined towards only statistics or towards computer science. According to me, one should consider both statistics and computer science as factors to do a better analysis. One needs an extensive set of skills for becoming a Data Scientist. MSc. in Statistics and Machine Learning programme at LiU has these courses like R, python, Statistical methods, Machine Learning, Data Visualization, Big Data Analytics, Neural Networks and Learning Systems, and much more which made a factor for me to choose LiU.

2) LiU is in a student city where I can travel anywhere by bicycle. Be it going to university, the main city, a ride in the woods or to Ikea. If I were to stay in Stockholm I would have to travel by the trains and buses together with a minimum of 45 minutes of travel almost daily.

3) Student housing with LiU is provided to the first year international students. Otherwise, I had to search by myself before even coming here. For living in a bigger city like Stockholm meant I won’t be able to afford to live in a house near to the campus which is in the city. Also, housing here in Sweden overall is difficult to find. And Linkoping is relatively cheaper compared to other big cities.

4) The student corridor apartments are just 10 minutes away from the university by bicycle. Even if you want to walk it doesn’t take more than 28 minutes to reach inside the building into the exact room (yes, I noted it). We mostly live in the area called Ryd(I have added a google map link for you to see the distance from Ryds to the Zenit building in the university which would be the center of the campus. It is also the building you will visit on the first day you come here at LiU).

5) Next to LiU is a science park called Mjärdevi Science Park which has more than 370 companies. This gives students of Linköping University a great chance for networking, applying for master thesis, and jobs. There are 3-4 events every week that happen at CreActive in Mjärdevi.

6) LiU has a great international atmosphere. A lot of students here are from different countries. In my class currently, there are only 4 Swedes (I was expecting more though :P) and rest are all from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. Honestly, I think it is great to know about them, work with them and learn new things about their life. It is one of the major international cities in Sweden. Most of the people speak in English here.

That’s all for now. I will be making another post about the procedure to apply for courses here in Sweden- so stay tuned.