Sweden, and specifically Gothenburg, is a relaxed and highly organized place. Really opposite to my expirience in Mexico City. Nevertheless I think Mexico and Sweden have a lot of things in common and is amazing how the small differences between both countries make a big difference in the big scale of the city. My expirience of exchange has been really nice and I will like to share with you some of the things that I learned.
The nicest work environment
One of the biggest surprises for me was the flexibility o the work environment. You can make your own time schedule to adjust to your needs and have agood developmet during your working times. For example, I was able to go to the swimming pool around 9 in the morning and getting to chalmers aruond 11, then working until 19, with some breaks for the coffee and share with the colleagues. Of course when you have classes you have to keep the schedule, but it is also easy to change the date of a due if you speak in time with the teachers.
Everyone is ready to help you, at the beginning they may look serious, but you can ask anybody for directions or help and they for sure will be helpful. Everyone likes to cooperate between departments and to know everything about what is your project and what you want to do. Also, sueegstions and advices will come really easily.
The most important part of all, and that for some people can be difficult, is the project development. In my case, my supervisors left all the project and the biggest desicions to me. We have several meetings to discuss and update, they always give advice and show the way that you can get help from experts or other students, but the final desicion on what to do will be always in your hands. At the beginning was kind of hard for me because I was used to get the answers from the supervisors, but at the end, even if you make mistakesin the way, you will feel completely satisfied with a work or project that is entirely yours and you feel more prepared and motivated to solve new problems.
Janna and I at the Elitidrott 2015 with the Swimming Technology projects
The country of bikes
If you like biking, welcome to the paradise! The infrastructure for biking in the cities is really good (for a person that comes from a city in which biking infrastrusture is almost null). They have bike ways separeted from the cars almost everywhere, you can rent bikes in several points around the city and you can trasport your bikes in the ferries and trains between cities (not in the tram and in some buses you have to pay). It is also a nice option if you want to save money, because public transportation is quiet expensive (435 sek a month or 26 sek a trip of 90 minutes). Although, you should always have waterproof clothing with you because the probabiity of rain in Gothenburg is quite high all the year long.
You can find second hand bikes easily and the prices change between 400 and 3000 sek, but the best way to have a really cheap bike is do it by yourself! In Gothenburg exists this communitary “bike kitchen” where, for 50 sek, you can have a bike probably with some damage and arrange it by yourself with the equipment and support of the volunteers. The place is called Cykelköket and you can find more information about it in their facebook page or in this link: http://www.cykelkoket.org/
I went to a small town were there is a big concentration of rock carvings from the bronze age (I recommend this trip if you like history, more information in this link: http://www.vitlyckemuseum.se/sv/Vastarvet/Verksamheter/Vitlycke-museum/ ) But the distances are quiet big to walk and I did not have a car, so the lady from my hostel lend me her bike. I had to bike on the highway but almost all the cars were used to see bikes on the way and give the necessary space and respect. In this way I have one of the most nicest days!