KTH has an interesting schedule. Each semester has 2 periods with different modules. Somehow, my timetable for this period gives me 5-day weekends almost every week. Now what does one do with 5-day weekends? Say no more (yes, I did get a horrible haircut), travel of course!
First stop, Gothenburg! During the introduction session, our coordinate told us Gothenburg is a must go (mainly because she came from there) and throughout the first period, I’ve been hearing nice things about the second largest city in Sweden, especially its archipelago. So, we set off to couchsurf in Gothenburg! I went together with 2 hostel-mates Tiago, from Portugal, and Sofia, from France, from 9 to 12 November.
To Show our appreciation to our host, we cooked for him on the first night. This was the first time any of us couchsurfed and initially we were apprehensive. However, our host was really friendly, joining us when we explored the city and joining us for beers in the evenings. Serendipitously, he owned instruments that we knew how to play. We had a jamming session on the first night where he played the base, Tiago and Sofia took turns to play the guitar and I played the violin.
If you ever go Gothenburg, the archipelago is a must go! Unlike the archipelago in Stockholm, the Gothenburg archipelago was mainly granite formations. Even though it was cloudy and drizzling the entire time we were there, the views were stunning.
Next stop, Copenhagen! I have high school friends who are on exchange there so yet another city with free accommodation. Jarvin and I were there from 16 to 18 November. Copenhagen was a good respite from the gloomy short days in Sweden. We experienced sunny weather and their days were an hour longer than in Sweden. My friends brought us around and we spent most of our time (and money) eating good food.
The Christmas markets were open in Copenhagen and I got to experience the European Christmas Markets for the first time! Definitely going to be visiting many more Christmas markets.
This period also marked a change in modules. During the previous period I cleared by 3 technical courses, so this period is for my HASS and one other module to make up the credits. The Swedish way of splitting each semester into 2 halves has its pros and cons. The good side is it allows you to focus more on fewer mods. Another benefit is by taking more mods during the first period, you can free up the second to do other things. However, 2 months can be too short for project work. This is especially true for my HASS module, open user innovation, which requires us to do a project on a novel way to use open data. Another area which SUTD does better than KTH is the project-based hands-on learning. The courses in KTH are mostly theoretical and having gotten used to the practical approach, I’m getting fablab withdrawals.