The Swedish Institute Scholarship

If you are from a country outside Sweden you need to pay a tuition fee to have your studies here. The values for the courses can be challenging for some of us and thus a scholarship is a great option.

When I started to look for masters abroad I knew I needed a full scholarship once I had no means to support myself in another country. I was already interested in studying in Sweden since my semester in Norway as a undergrad. That was when I came across the Swedish Institute, a government fomenting agency that gives scholarships for students from selected countries. This year the scholarship changed a little bit from last year, but is is essentially the same. The scholarship includes: 

  •  – Full coverage of tuition fees 
  • –  A monthly extipend of 10.000 SEK (about 1.000 euros) 
  • –  A travel grant of 15.000 SEK
  • –  Be part of the Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL) 

Before I come to Sweden I had no idea what this Network meant, but it ended up being a great surprise. The NFGL is how the Swedish institute invests, supports and enhance our potential during and after the masters. Within this network you will meet your fellow colleagues from around the world, have the chance to participate and organize events in different topics and take part in study visits all around Sweden, so it is a great plus that should not be taken for granted. 

They have different categories of scholarships depending on your country, so you need to check your applicability. To apply you need to fulfill some requirements, such as: 

  • – Have at least 3.000 hours of working experience that must be proved (different activities can count as those) 
  • – Leadership experience that also needs to be proved, but it can be within your current position (it was my case)
  • – Two recommendation letters 
  • – A motivation letter

As I explained in another post, you apply for the scholarship in the Swedish Institute website after you have applied for admission in one of the eligible master’s programs via University Admissions. 

Swedes are very detailed in their instructions, so if you read the website carefully it is very possible that you won’t have any doubts, otherwise you can ask me anything, I know how it can be overwhelming.

Although it looks very difficult to get this scholarship, just show your true self in the application and trust your motivations. That was what I did and it worked out, can’t still believe sometimes!! So believe in yourself and who knows, next year might be you writing this blog.

 

 

How to apply for studies in Sweden

If you are thinking about having your masters abroad chances are you have looked for it in different countries. Although Sweden was my first option, I had to go around and see what else was out there and I must say, in no other country I saw such a organized and simple application system. 

Going through any application process is stressful, you need to understand what they are asking, how to provide that to them and how to upload everything until the deadline. Most of the times, each university has its owns procedures. In Sweden, the application is unified under University Admissions website, thanks Sweden!!! 

The application process at University Admissions

In Sweden you can apply for up to 4 different masters programs in any of their universities and you will rank them in order of preference in one same website, University Admissions. There it is also the place where you need to upload the required documents and where you will receive your results. So the steps are more or less as follows (dates are valid for autumn 2019): 

  • – First you select the courses you want to apply, the website Study in Sweden has all the information one might need 
  • – Between 15th of October and 15th of January you apply for the programs you have chosen 
  • – By 1th of February you need to have uploaded all the required documents 
  • – In the beginning of April you will receive your results and you need to accept or reject the place you have been given (you will only be offered one spot following your priority order, so choose wisely) 

There are three basic documents you will need to upload, besides the specific ones you program might ask, being those: 

  • – Academic records 
  • – Diploma 
  • – English test 

Therefore, start early to prepare it as you possible will need verified translations. 

Each masters has additionally other documents that can vary from recommendation letters, motivation letter or thesis ideas thus you have to check their website beforehand the application. Nevertheless, usually you will upload everything in the same place, what makes everything easier. 

And scholarships applications? 

Scholarships application are a completely separated process. Each university offers a limited number of scholarships for admitted students and normally the selection process happens after you have already accepted your offer. Those scholarships usually cover only a share of the tuition fees, so chances are you still need to pay part of the tuition fee and also afford your living expenses during your studies. 

Also be aware that for some of those university scholarships there are specific requirements. At LiU, you need to have put Linköping as you first choice. You also have other options for scholarships, as the one offered by the Swedish Institute, which I will talk more about in another post.

I know it seems a lot of information to assimilate, but once you have gone through everything you realize how simple it can be. Good luck in your applications! 

The courses of my first semester

It’s been four months since I arrived in Sweden and I hate to say such a cliche, but time flies! I am already about to finish the first semester of my masters and that means soon I will have completed one quarter of the required credits, so I decided to share with you my reflections on the three courses I took this autumn period. 

Overall, I’m enjoying very much how things have been evolving. Sustainable development is one of those topics that can be addressed very superficially if one so chooses, but not at LiU. As an interdisciplinary program, the courses go in depth both in social and natural aspects, what can be interesting given the very different backgrounds of the students. 

  • Critical perspectives on sustainable development 

The first course of the semester really put us to think and rethink the concept of sustainable development, touching upon ecofeminism, post-colonialism and the own definition of what it is knowledge, how it is produced and circulated. I personally loved this approach once it made us way more critical about the possibilities of sustainability. 

  • Environmental use and resources challenges

Still taking on a critical view, in this course we looked to more technical aspects of natural resources and their interlinks. The classes where mostly in the form of seminars, so there was a lot of discussions. One of the things I liked the most was how we had to exercise communicating scientific content in a popular format, even simulating a interview, for example for a television news. 

  • Climate science and policy

This last course hasn’t finished yet, once the final exam will be in January, but most of the classes are over. The course was given in two different parts: the first one focused on the science of climate and the second on its governance. What impressed me was how deep we were able to go in the science part, discussing geochemical and physical aspects of earth’s climate. 

In general terms, the three courses demanded from us a lot of reading and  group work, which itself can be challenging. The examinations where mostly written assignments or reports and in many moments we could chose in what topic to concentrate. The program is research oriented and thus has a focus on academic writing and referencing. At the same time, the last course is touching upon decision-making processes and making use of GIS resources. 

This first semester has shown me how a truly interdisciplinary program works and I am very pleased both with the content and the format of the courses. Can’t wait to see what the next semester is holding for me. Here are some pictures I took around LiU for you to get inspired by the content and also by the view ?

The Norrköping Decision Arena

Yesterday I had my first class in the Norrköping Decision Arena, one of the installations of the Linköping’s University. When I was deciding which master’s program to take I read about the Decision Arena in my course’s webpage and felt very excited. For me, this type of structure shows the innovative side LiU has to offer and how they seek for new approaches to knowledge. Now that I have been there, I am only more excited to experience its possibilities in depth.

The Norrköping Decision Arena – localized in the other campus of LiU in its nearby city, Norrköping – is a 360° projection panel with interactive functions. The Arena enables the connection of many computers at the same time, projecting its screens in this circular room and facilitating data visualization. During our class we got to explore different GIS (Geographic Information System) applications related to climate change vulnerability assessments.

Bilden visar Beslutsarenan. Picture shows the arenaPhoto:Thor Balkhed

Such applications make it possible to analyze the differences in possible climate change impacts across a region, in the cases we study for example, the many cities of Sweden and Norway. With so much data available sometimes it is complicated to visualize the big picture and come up with objective information for decision-making.

The Arena makes this process easier and promotes a great space for discussion and brainstorming, and we could feel that during the class. While each one of the students were analyzing a different indicator, all results were projected side by side and we could compare it way more easily. The Norrköping Decision Arena was inspired by others of its kind around the world, but its shape is unique and truly makes the difference. I hope you come to Linköping and get to experience how is it to be the decision-maker in the Norrköping Decision Arena.

 

Julmarknad: Christmas market in Linköping

I guess we never forget first times right? Well, yesterday was my first time in a Christmas market, and now I can just think about going again! Maybe for European people, going to a Christmas market in December is nothing out of the ordinary, but in Brazil we don’t have that. Might be the temperature ranging from hot to very hot, who knows, but it just isn’t a thing in my country. But here it is! A very cool, tasty and fun thing.

The Christmas market in Linköping started  yesterday 01/12 and will go on for two weekends around Gamla Linköping, a very charming open museum that simulates the old days in Sweden, with real houses from that time and a nice small village vibe. The market consists of people selling different things: Christmas decorations and crafts, food, drinks, sweets and even clothes.

One thing I liked a lot is that sellers give you all types of delicious food to try out. I also got the chance to have a cup of the famous Glögg, a wine based drink made with spices and served hot that apparently Swedes cannot go through Christmas without it. I’m a Christmas lover and my first cold Christmas is being great. As a student in Linköping you will always find something fun to do, no matter the time of the year or the temperature outside.