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 ?