Hej!…or, should I say “¡Hola!”?
My name is Ricardo Monroy Villa, a master’s degree student in physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I am enjoying myself in Gothenburg, Sweden thanks to the Linnaeus-Palme International Exchange Programme.
Currently I am working on a project on the determination of pH of two colliding droplets in the Optical Levitation laboratory at the University of Gothenburg with Dag Hanstorp. Also, I am working on another project about the collision of two solitons on Bose-Einstein condensates with Remigio Cabrera from UNAM.
My experience here so far has been super awesome and I am having a lot of fun learning many things, getting to know this amazing country, trying new food, etc. In terms of work, the mindset is different from Mexico: you get to work very efficiently in a small amount of time. It’s something quite easy to achieve since the facilities of the school are complete and the environment is very nice; we have fika every Friday…isn’t it great to finish the week with some delicious cake and coffee? But there is more, from time to time we get to play some snow activities and enjoy time outside of school. It’s important to relax!
I think coming to Sweden is turning into a great experience for my scientific career mostly because of the new opportunities that this can lead to in the future. A more global perspective of science is evident here; the way the projects are developed is very well-structured, and the interaction with society and industry is very important.
As you may expect, I also want to share my overall impressions until now, most of them based on the cultural shock:
– When I arrived, at the end of January, the weather was cold, cold, and cold! So be sure to bring your best coat and be ready to wear it for many months. After some time you will get used to it and start to like the snow.
– The public transport is worldclass: comfortable and extremely punctual.
– People here dress so well that you will probably learn how to dress better. Well, maybe it’s only me, but don’t miss the chance to find excellent clothes at an authentic H&M store.
– Did I mention cake? Well, Swedes bake a ton of delicious pastries. I recommend cinnamon rolls and semla.
– IKEA. It’s a good chance to try Scandinavian food and to buy all your kitchen utensils and accessories here for a good price.
– The city is beautiful! The architecture and landscapes are breathtaking and there are always many activities. Most of them will be free due to the fact that you are a student. The city is also well-organized, and it will take time to explore every corner of it. Not to mention the fact that cities like Stochkholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark or Oslo, Norway are very close to Gothenburg.
Particularly, Gothenburg is a peaceful city with a perfect balance of urban and rural lifestyle, that somehow reminds me of my hometown: Cuernavaca.
In general, Sweden is a great country to come to study. You can feel a more global perspective of science that is reflected in open-minded society who cares alot about sustainability.
My list of recommendations/impressions increases every day but for today is enough. So, I encourage you to come to study in Sweden, Gothenburg will give you a warm welcome.
(Finally, please check my pics from my Instagram account @richie.monroy)
Coffee and Semla at Steinbrenner & Nyberg
Free bicycle at Cykelköket.
Prometheus statue near Kungstorget.
Chalmers University of Technology
Coffee shop caféva at Haga.
Lindholmen Science Park
Coffee and view from the Institute of Physics of theUniversity of Gothenburg
Until next time, regards.