Gothenburg, in Sweden, a humble city with a big heart

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When an elderly lady on the bus offers her seat to a standing 25 year old student, you have to ask yourself “shouldn’t this be the other way around?” Well, it probably should, but this is also a redeeming quality of the people of Gothenburg. “People in Gothenburg are nice, like they are almost too nice!” says Chalmers student Ning Guo from China, who told us about this particular experience of one of his friends.

– At Chalmers, everyone is equal and everyone’s opinion is respected. Your professor is someone you can have an open group discussion with. I often just go to my professor’s office without emailing first, just to ask a few questions about the courses.”

Being in Gothenburg also means you can avoid the busy crowds that the big cities have but still enjoy the benefits of being an international city, according to Ning.

– You will feel the greatness and freedom that Gothenburg has to offer by just going to Chalmers Cortégen, West Pride or Way Out West and so on.

Photo: Kjell Holmner

In terms of the academic qualities, how does that openness and collaborative spirit carry through?

– Chalmers fully understands the importance of applying the theory to practice, and almost every course includes study visits and project work. With its great connections to multiple industries, Chalmers has the resources to make this happen.

So far I have visited Göteborg Energi, Valmet as well as Vattenfall, and in my CFD course, the project work is a real case from Alstom. I think this is also why industries love having Chalmers graduates work for them.

Hanna Säterskog, president of the Chalmers International Reception Committee, shares a lot of Ning’s sentiments – even though she hasn’t travelled quite as far to reach Chalmers.

– Growing up in Linköping in Sweden, I knew at an early age that I wanted to study at Chalmers. That’s why I queued up for SGS Student housing years in advance. When I started at Chalmers four years ago I easily found an apartment in Guldheden, which is a peaceful neighbourhood close to campus.

Ning interjects, “Considering I’m a fee-paying student it was not at all hard for me to find a place to live. Chalmers guarantees student housing to fee-paying international students.”

Both Ning and Hanna also felt Chalmers' commitment to the vision for a sustainable future during their studies and Hanna proudly tells us that Gothenburg, like the rest of Sweden, has an efficient recycling system.

– All the citizens are aware and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. They have introduced hybrid and electrical buses in the city. Most inhabitants prefer public transportation or biking over personal vehicles and Gothenburg is an easy and safe city to bike in.

Ning chimes in: “You will hear the word sustainable from day one to the day you graduate. From course lecturers to janitors who do the waste recycling, everyone takes it very seriously.

My classmate told me he didn’t want to buy a car because it would increase carbon emissions. In this environment, you develop a habit of thinking twice about the environment before doing anything.”

So Hanna, as the President of the CIRC, do you have any final words to encourage students to come to Chalmers?

– There are students from all over the world studying and living in Gothenburg. You will see a lot of culture and ethnic diversity and the people take pride in being open and accepting towards different lifestyles. Gothenburg is a happy city and you will always find a lot of smiles around you!

Source: Chalmers University of Technology