And how are things in Göteborg?17 January 2017
My international semester in Sweden actually started sunny. I arrived in August in Gothenburg, which is Sweden’s second largest city. As it is on the west coast, Gothenburg has the same climate as the Netherlands, but five degrees lower. In summer it can still be 25 degrees if you’re lucky. Because there was a large culture festival happening during my first days as well, these were unforgettable.
The rest of the semester was also quite warm, for Swedish standards. Even during my trip to Lapland, which is the northernmost part of Sweden, the temperature was only just below freezing. Even though this caused the roads and paths to transform into ice rings, I managed to clear the complete Lapland to-do list. This included a ride on a dog sled, snow mobile, going from a warm Swedish sauna into and artic lake, and off course seeing the beautiful Northern lights. If you’re ever in the area, take your time to visit Lapland, it is very much worth it.
This was another benefit of studying in Gothenburg; it is a good starting point for Scandinavian trips. It allowed me to visit all its countries. If you want to do this as well, be sure to have quite a high budget, as the area is rather expensive. Thankfully, I was not the only one with that problem, and the “Gothenburgers” have found something for this called “after work”. You get to have a simple meal and a drink for a nice price on Fridays. Altogether, I very much recommend visiting Sweden. And when you do, be sure to go everywhere, because time flies over here too!
The quality of education seems to have slipped at TU/e. In the latest Dutch-language guide to universities (Keuzegids Universiteiten), Eindhoven's university has dropped from third place in the overall ranking to seventh place in the course of a year. "It's understandable but it's not good," says President of the Executive Board Jan Mengelers, "and it is all the more reason to push on with introducing an upper limit on student intake to our programs. This is a result of the strong growth in student numbers."
Eindhoven's iGEM team has arrived in Boston. In the coming days, the students will participate in the Giant Jamboree, competing with nearly three hundred teams from all over the world. Their competition entry is their project GUPPI, in which they propose encapsulating tumors in a gel to prevent them growing and spreading.
As well as professors, from now on associate professors (UHD-1) at TU/e may also confer doctoral degrees on PhD candidates. Sixty associate professors were awarded the right to confer doctoral degrees at the start of this academic year after the move was approved by the Upper House of Parliament in the Netherlands shortly before the summer recess. “We couldn't wait to introduce this here.”
Before you google yet another one of my invented diseases and subsequently begin to question the title of this story, let me tell you this. With a new academic year having begun and a shiny new batch of freshmen accompanying it, the university is full of people suffering from the so-called octopus syndrome.