Asian Correspondent » Chalmers University of Technology Asian Correspondent Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:36:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Welcome to Gothenburg Sat, 28 Apr 2012 21:01:00 +0000

Picture post!
This will sound funny, but I swear it is true. I had my braces removed (after 3 years of wearing them on my lower teeth) and now I have to wear a plastic version of them to keep my teeth from moving again. It hurts, it is annoying and I am not supposed to take it of. I deal with it by screaming every now and then and producing sounds like a cat whose tail is stuck somewhere. But the funny part is – since my mouth hurt I am too lazy to write a lot of text in this post. I know, I know, what does not being able to speak has to do with writing? Nothing really, but I just cannot focus enough to create a readable sentence.

Enjoy the pics, I have put map tags on them so you can see where in the city they were taken. I guess for those who are coming it is nice to see a little bit of the place. I stopped after 2 hours of browsing through the pictures, I have 500GB of photographs from August 2010 till now – all from Sweden and student trips. Too much material :)

Centralstationen, night picture (August, 8pm)

One of the first “big” views of Gbg, made from Skansen Kronan

 Another panorama, this time from Masthuggsberget 

Another view of the city from a hill, this time other side of the river Ramberget 

You’ll walk down this Vasagatan street a lot: it connects Avenyn with Haga.

I didn’t include pics from Haga here, but this is another area you should (and will) often visit as a student – Andra Långgatan

Near the famous Fish church you can find the Språk Cafe, Pustervik and some

important offices (especially if you are interested in learning Swedish / SFI)

And if you are tired of the city streets, just pick a park out of many in and outside of Goteborg.

Museum entrance in Slotsskogen park.

Or maybe a Botanic garden instead of “just” a park. Or the other one across the Stora theater.

My personal favorite – unnamed park

Big free zoo on top of the Slottsskogen park.

You could always visit a lake as well.

But, of course don’t forget that you are supposed to study as well :) Home sweet home and last year’s Cortege. I was really excited for it since 30th of April is my birthday! What can I say, the whole city celebrated it ;)

Happy end of April :***



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Four countries in ten days–my travelling story during Easter! Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:31:05 +0000

  Finally, I made my 10-day-travelling story into 8 hours blog! That I would like to spend so much time on typing and selecting pictures is because this trip is worth my time for compiling it as my permanent “fortune” and sharing with everyone.
  I have a feeling that all this semester is all about HOLIDAY, which enables me travel around Europe. Just one week after my trip to Copenhagen, thanks to the Easter break—18 days, another trip started.
  This time my group consisted of 8 people. We rent two cars in Brussel, right after the airplane from Gothenburg to Brussel, Belgium, which was our first and final stop because of the round flight tickets.

The overall route for this trip: Brussel(A&G)–Luxemburg(C)–Koln(D)—Amsterdam(E)—Brugge(F)—Brussel(G)

                               Belgium (1)
  I saw many beautiful pictures from Arieni about Brussel, and it seemed that we missed some good places in Belgium, which would probably give me to good excuse to visit Belgium once more.

  The “first citizen” of the Belgian capital of Brussels — the bronze fountain sculpture of “little pee boy Julien”. People around the world come to see the little, smart and brave boy who put out the fuse with his pee when the enemy tried to destroy his city by a bomb.

The grand place


Waffle with very beautiful decoration and attracts a lot of people queuing. Maybe Arieni and I bought the waffle in the same stand, right?

The famous street for seafood

Seafood mixed with rice

The following are pictures in Brugge. The stone road, Swan Lake, old church, street, etc. all remind us the Middle Ages:

The town hall

Swan Lake

 Carriages are here and there, which makes us feel going back to the old days

    The cloister

  Me in a heart!

So quiet and clean!


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Four countries in ten days–my travelling story during Easter! Thu, 26 Apr 2012 14:01:06 +0000

Before going to Luxemburg, I almost knew nothing about it except that it was a small country and known as “Kingdom of fort”. The scenery is amazingly beautiful and I highly recommend those office people working for a long time to have a short trip there.
These are a set of pictures taken on the site of fort:


Even the view outside of the hostel we stay is breathtaking!

Luxemburg in the early evening

We went to the Vianden, where the literature giant—Victor Hugo had been exiled for three times.

The fort is in front of us, and looks like an indifferent man

The bird’s-eye view from the fort: Maybe one late afternoon, hugo, just like us stand by the window was thinking about his life.

We never thought that we would gain so much in Luxemburg, this small country, but I really love it, or HER–graceful and elegant!


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Four countries in ten days–my travelling story during Easter! Thu, 26 Apr 2012 13:00:55 +0000

Holland- country of tulip and windmill! Among the four countries in this trip, Holland is of the busiest schedule and the tourist attractions are not as centered as those three. We spent a lot of time driving between two places. Holland is famous for the tulip and windmill, and I have to admit that it deserves the reputation and is a feast for our eyes.

Keukenhof Park–the ocean of flowers:


I love all the bright colors

Little girl as beautiful as the flowers

Look at my shoes, so cool!

Kinderdijk(or Children’s Dike)—Kingdom of windmill
They are standing there telling you the story of how the old smart Dutch fight with the flood.

A good view to cover so many windmills!


Giethoorn—Somewhere Outside of the world

Yes, it’s like a dream to be here!

There, we rent two boats and had a look at a wet land

My first time to see people plant flowers with shoes!

We also saw the super big cheese,  wood shoes, and house no matter how big the size was decorated with flowers. I could feel  how deeply the Dutch  enjoy their life!

  This trip lasted 10 days, very long. Whatever it is, the landscape, the historical sites, the food, or the local people, all together absolutely has broadened my horizon and made me know the world better. Maybe that is the significance of a travelling!  I hope, in the future, I will have more chance to get close to different part of the world.


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Four countries in ten days–my travelling story during Easter! Thu, 26 Apr 2012 11:46:09 +0000

Germany–nice people and food. About Koln, comparing with showing the pictures, I am more insterested at sharing the story of nice people there, which made me feel warm each time I shared it with friends!
  One story is about asking for the way to our hostel. Our GPS didn’t work when we were very close to the hostel, and we had to get off the car and ask local people. As the weather then was not good–cold and rainy, there were quite few people in the street. I felt so happy when 20 minutes later I saw an old grandpa. I showed him the name of the hostel and asked him where it was. Unfortunately, he couldn’t speak English, though he figured out that I was asking the way. Then he pointed a direction and used his body language to show to turn right or left, while describing in very fast German to me. I was a little bit confused but tried to follow. He smiled with his beautiful white teeth, patted me on my shoulder and said something, which I guessed was “don’t worry, it’s just there, girl”. Maybe he knew that I didn’t understand, and he waited with me for a while until we met another woman, who could speak a little English. Problem solved soon! I was so moved at that time! It was a pity that I didn’t have my camera with me at that time, otherwise I would take a picture of this nice man. Wish you a healthy body and long life– unknown, kindhearted grandpa!

  The Second story is about police man—Don’t misunderstood us, we didn’t do something illegal. We had a little accident when we came out from the hostel next morning—we hit one of our car on a pillar, and the backlight was slightly chafed. According to the rent rule, we should report to the car renting company in Brussel to get the insurance. However, our telephone didn’t work. We stopped at a gas station and expected a public phone in the convenience shop there, but no public phones were offered there. Coincidently, I met a police woman in the shop. Overhearing our conversation, she asked me if I needed help. Then, she took out her mobile phone and tried to call the company for us, but she also didn’t manage to make it. Then she told us, she could make a certificate for us and gave us a document showing what happened to our car! Actually, I think these were not within her responsibility, but she just did it for us foreigners!


Our car hit the pillar

Next to the Rhine

Cologne Cathedral in the night—mysterious and sacred


About Koln, we had great barbecue, typical beer in the bar next to Rhnie, and Haxe, and stories about nice people. I was very satisfied with it! 



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“Cortègen” tells you What’s going on in the parking area near the library. Wed, 25 Apr 2012 18:01:10 +0000

These days, each time I passed by the parking area, I could hear loud music mixed with the sound of sawing the wood, people shouting some “slogan”, and see people in copes of different colors. I was so curious about what was going on, and I could only sense that a big event was around the corner.
Then I asked a librarian about it, she wrote the name of the event on my notebook ” Cortège”, however, it ws a pity that she only told me that it was an annual activity for Chalmers student and on 1th May, these cars would go to the center and student would parade. Almost all people in Gothenburg will join the event. Sounds very interesting!
My curiosity pushed me to know more about it, and I turned to GOOGLE! She/he told me as follows: ” the Cortège” (Swedish: Cortègen), or The Chalmers Cortège (Swedish: Chalmerscortègen) is an annual carnival parade held on Walpurgis Night (April 30) by students of the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. The Cortège consists of around 600 students and around 50 truck carriages, each carriage depicting—in a satirical and comic way—significant events that have taken place since the previous parade. The procession makes its way through the city centre, where it is seen by around 250,000 people each year.”
It seemed that the parade would be very interesting, which drived me to their “workshop”—the parking area to dig more. At first, I am not permitted to go inside. It’s a long story why I entered in, anyway, I made it.

The gate of the workshop

 So many tents here and there

Can you recognize that they are building  a dragon?


Most Cars scraps from garbage

They even eat in the workshop:  Mini Canteen

Raw Materials—wood

Raw materials–paint

The responsible people told me that preparation for the parade will last 10 days. The groups are found by volunteers in Chalmers. On 1th May, next Monday, they will parade to the center to show their masterpieces telling people either the big event last year, or just some ideas about anything in their mind. It is kind of competition between groups, and there will be a big prize for the winners, but he said it would be a secret until the last minute.
I look forward soooooooooooooo much for the parade on Monday. Good luck for those groups!


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Göteborg on Instagram Thu, 19 Apr 2012 23:01:02 +0000


I am everywhere! Literally there is no place left on internet that I am not signed up to – Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, Google+ and now Instagram! Reason behind downloading the app is my friends, of course. They have a new term for me GESTER – geek + hipster. If you think about it for a while, it is not such a strange combination after all. I have traits of both, hopefully the best from each, not the worst :)

I am mentioning Instagram since it is the easiest way to follow me/Göteborg student life. I am so obsessed by it (at the moment), that I would post almost every little thing while playing with those filters. If you have the app you can follow me as charliebaggins or on twitter where most of these ends up anyway. Let’s see what I did thus far:

This was the first post – Oscar Fredriks Kyrkan (if I did this right, it should point out where the building is located in Göteborg).

Next is a picture over one of the bridges across Göta Älv.  It is also a view from the building I will use for my master thesis, one of the reasons I picked the building in the first place. 

Then there are three pictures from a trip to Denmark: a famous library extension, cool student housing and the new opera building. I had these in my phone and was wondering how would they look with Instagram. I am quite happy with the result.

This one is also from the trip to Denmark with Nordic architecture course held in my first year of Master studies. It was really nice, since Chalmers paid for the trip and we just needed to pay for the accommodation and food. I don’t think I would have had chance to do a trip around entire Denmark if it hadn’t been for this course. Not to mention how cool it is to listen about the architecture from Claes Caldenby. I adore the passion he has for architecture and how he speaks about it.

This is a picture from tonight’s fika with my Brazilian friend I mention so often. I am sure you will see a lot of these in the future, maybe not on the blog but definitely on Instagram. Tonight we went to Le Pain Francais – one of the best places to have a sandwich or a muffin, sit in comfy surroundings and still pay reasonable amount of money: chocolate muffin + tea was 50 SEK. 

Finally, we come to the end. This is me packing for tomorrow. I am going home for some personal reasons which also means I won’t be able to finish my thesis on time. And that means you will hear for me, on this blog, at least till January. It also means that you will soon hear details about extending your student visa. 

What I can say thus far is: people at Chalmers were very helpful and supportive of my decision and situation. From my examiner to the program coordinator, they are all helping me out with this. And I appreciate it a lot. A big shout out for all the lovely people at University!!! 

Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I get super excited before every trip and just become this ball of strange behaviour. I forget where I put stuff, what I wanted to pack (even with a list) and I start being clumsy (broke the ceiling lamp today while taking the suitcase down, luckily insurance company covers that sort of things). These things on my bed have been there since this morning. And they still are – I am writing this post instead of putting them to the suitcase. 


  But there is really no point in prolonging the inevitable. I must pack and that is it. Here is what I am listening to at the moment, one of personal favorites when it comes to Swedish music. 


p.s. I have no clue what is happening when I post here – font is changing on its own, size as well, pictures grow and shrink as they wish. strange… 


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Making a report Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:46:25 +0000

Unexpected post about reporting a crime in Sweden.

To cut the long story short, I was supposed to receive my Chalmers Master card from the Handelsbank today. My old card stopped working physically, and I needed a new one. They said I will receive the card on one day and PIN code the next one. However I got both letters at the same time, this morning. 

Needles to say, something went wrong, so my letter with the mastercard was competely open. And by that I mean CUT on top, not unglued. Everything was in it, contract, information, the card, but still… My guess is that they delivered it to a wrong person who opened the letter without thinking and then put it back in my mailbox. But if so, they should have written something. I don’t know.

First thing I did was to call Posten – the postal service in Sweden that is responsible for delivering all the letters and packages. I was not sure if maybe they opened the letter checking out what is inside (it is a strange thing to think, but I was in a state of shock at the beginning). They have an English part at the website with the contact information on it. However, the answering machine is in Swedish, and boy was I glad that I can understand it. Trust me, there is nothing more irritating than when you are in a hurry and something like this happens and you cannot talk to the people who are supposed to help. I made a complaint with them once I finally got through – of course there would be a queue. 

The girl from the Post couldn’t really help me. She said that it should not have happened and that I should report it to the Police and the Bank. So I did. 

In any case, I had to cancel the card (again) and now I am waiting for a new one (again). It is too risky to keep the card when someone was able to get all the data about it. That canceling part was easy, since I already talked with the bank a couple of times before (first time I did it was one month into my stay in Göteborg and I had so much trouble understanding the machine voice). They also have a lovely option of leaving the number so that when an operator is free he or she will call you. 

Calling the police felt awkward. This is the second time I did it in my life, first being when my house was robbed back at home. If you wish to make a report of a crime that happened here is the link. Again, you call, answering machine is in Swedish, lovely personel in English. I had to leave my data (personal number, confirm the name and address) and explain what happened. In 5 working days I will receive a report about the crime that I can use if somebody tries to pay with my creditcard. It was really fast and easy to speak with the woman who answered. And I must say that this time there was no queue and I got in touch with an officer immediately. 

To sum up, if you need to report something over the phone in Sweden – have a Swedish person standing nearby or learn basic Swedish in order to understand the answering machines. You can also send emails, but if you are in a hurry I would advise against that. After getting through to the real person it will be easy to explain what has happened and they can advise you about the next steps. The contact information is always available on the websites and they usually have an english page as well.

Hopefully, you won’t have to do any of these things I dealt with this morning, but you never know.



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Easter Sunday or Påsk Mon, 09 Apr 2012 21:01:06 +0000

Glad Påsk! 

Did you celebrate it?

Personally, I don’t care a lot about religious holidays. I am embarrassed to say that I really have no clue if Swedes do anything special over these couple of Easter days. I have seen a lot of chocolate eggs around and food in the shape of chicken. I guess it is more or less the same all over the Europe and that is why I paid no attention to it. I just wonder, do they color eggs at home and then they “fight” with them to see who has the strongest egg that won’t break? I must ask someone about this…

Anyway, what I do know and like to do is meeting up with friends to dine and wine and have some fun. For a while we had this idea of meeting together, preparing Brazilian food and just getting to relax a little bit. All seven of us are Chalmers students from different departments and it is hard to synchronize the schedules if not for events like this. 

As you might know, my cooking skills are on a very high level for I even have my own secret ingredient. Though, all jokes aside, I can cook! It’s just that I need a little bit of a push to do so. And having a Brazilian master chef in my kitchen is a push, trust me. She did the whole work though, I was just cutting the ingredients. 

I am obsessed about leek and onions and garlic , at least when it comes to cutting it. I think the only thing I love to cut more is meat. And here I am not talking about my fingers! 

This is our working space, since the kitchen counters weren’t big enough for everything we had to chop, cut and mix together. 

I guess I should explain what we ate. But given that I was just a helping hand, I think it is better for you to check Mari’s blog. I know it is in Portuguese, but there is a built in translator on it. We made feijoada, vinagrete, molho nagô, farofa (my personal favorite since even I can make it without fuss) and couve a mineira. Do I really need to mention how delicious it was? Or how I ate only once today since I still feel too full.  


We even ate desert. I have no clue why, I was having problems with breathing even before it. Two “home-made” bought pies that Dani and her boyfriend brought with ice-cream. I don’t remember the brand, but I must mention here that I ate some good frozen food here in Sweden. It happens a lot that while you are studying there is no time for preparing food and frozen meals are the only choice. 

And this would be the end of my post, but my friends wouldn’t be my friends if something strange did not happen. Maybe it is because we study at a University of Technology, maybe just because we are geeks (and nerds) or there is another explanation. But when the time came to interact with each other we reached out for technology instead of human interaction. Look at this:

    the master chef sits in the middle on this first picture

     I guess you recognize Dani  

 We are talking to each other, if that is any consolation. Or to be precise, we are drawing to each other. There is this app we adore called Draw Something and instead of playing with a normal board game or whatever, we are playing over our phones! I am honestly confused whether I like it or not. 

So, there you go. My Easter, far away from home and family, but surrounded with wonderful people I met on this journey called studying abroad.  Next time we should try to make some Swedish food. I reckon it could be fun to see how we can interpret traditional recipes.

Happy Easter!


p.s. we were so tired after eating that it seems we couldn’t even smile :) 




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SFI exam – part 2 Wed, 04 Apr 2012 21:01:21 +0000

Hello everybody,

This is a very quick post concerning the rest of the SFI exam I took last and this week.

As you might remember, today was the writing/speaking day. I still don’t know the results of the previous two parts and it is making me nervous… 

Speaking: they said we don’t really have to do it since they know from the lessons how much we can or cannot do. I personally dislike it since the amount of stuff I say during the class is not equal to the amount of stuff I can and do say outside of it, but… That is the way it is.

Writing: it is a 45 minutes part and you have an A4 page to write about a topic they chose. I, same as Dani, had to write about a party I attended or held. The goal is to answer questions written in the introductory part of the test. For example: why did you hold a party, where was it, when, what did you do there, how do you feel about it and so on. In order to get a good grade, you should try to answer all of these questions in a natural way (don’t make it as points in the text). 

Also, while we were discussing the approach to the writing, friends and I decided upon: write as much as you can and as long as you can. If there are mistakes, it still shows that you tried and that you have a vocabulary, but might miss some grammar lessons. If you write too little and than even that is wrong, you are going to have some problems. Also, my advice is to ask for a piece of paper to write everything on and then just rewrite to the exam paper it after you finish.

So, now I am waiting for the results… And luckily, weather is great: sunny, warm and simply gorgeous! One must learn to appreciate this type of weather when in Sweden since it can easily snow the next day. And what better way to spend your days than searching for a perfect sushi place or taking pictures in front of graffiti? 

One of the cheapest places for sushi is in the pass from Nordstan (Brunnsparken) to Kungsportsplatsen – Kompassen. Somewhere in the middle of it there is a street cutting the line of shops (either Drottninggatan or Kyrkogatan) and you will see this great but small sushi restaurant. The picture up is from a place at Axel Dahlströms Torg and the lower one is from this Kompassen.

And the other thing I am doing is visiting the buildings for my thesis. Though it ends more in me taking pictures of my friend and her doing the same for me than in the “serious” work of an architect. That is something I do once I am inside the house, but outside, with all this sun I just cannot act like a grown-up.

Kisses from the sunny Göteborg,



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SFI exam – part 1 Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:16:00 +0000


So in continuation of the previous post, here is more information on the SFI test. What I did was a standard national SFI test for C level.


If you ever had any TOEFL, IELTS or similar, you should know what to expect. There is a listening part of 30 minutes for this level. Two reading parts each of 5o minutes. Writing and speaking parts included. Now, yesterday I did listening and reading. Next week we will have what is left so I will explain about those then.

Listening was ok. I thought it would be worse. People used in this exercise speak relatively slowly and with a good pronunciation that leaves you with just the basic understanding of words. There is a dialog, answering machine, people speaking about what they do and so on… All the stuff you know by now, so don’t worry.

Next is reading. That was even easier I think since 99% of answers are in the text. By the way, there is only one real text per test (so 2 in total) that you should read and the rest are ads, cards, letters, tables and such short stuff. Usually you connect a picture with a title, or short explanation text with a letter… And there are also charts that you should read and answer the questions underneath. But again, it is really basic!

I think that the main reason why this was so easy (though I am sure I made a mistake or two) is that in “normal” school this would be level A2 I think. Or in best case B1. SFI – Swedish for immigrants is here just to get you started. If you really wish to learn the language you should progress to SAS as soon as possible. And even that is on the level of high school or gymnasium.

In any case, it is a great start if you can make yourself study. I must admit I spend 1% of my time working for SFI and that is not enough. They just provide you with information, but the rest is up to you! Work it out!


Talk to you next week, after the writing/reading part,




if you are interested to see why I never finished those cooking posts, click here





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Student-alumn dinner in China and Talent Race ceremony Thu, 29 Mar 2012 14:31:11 +0000

It’s in the afternoon 22 March in Shanghai and the rain pours down. Rain during rush hour in Shanghai makes it almost impossible to find a taxi. Peter Hellqvist, Alumni Coordinator at Chalmers, and I are on our way to a joint event for students and alumni.

We invited newly admitted Master’s students to meet us at the Sino-Finnish Centre at Tongji University. And we were really happy to meet around 25 students to talk about Chalmers, Gothenburg and Sweden. Eric Zhang from the Swedish General Consulate joined us to provide information on how to apply for visa and residence permit.

When the information session was over, around 15 Chalmers alumni arrived. They usually meet approximately once a month in Shanghai. A very good way of sharing experiences and building a useful and important network. This evening at Tongji, the alumni welcomed the newly admitted students into the community of Chalmers students around the world. Friends are important when you’ll take a big and difficult step into the unknown future.

Professor Jan Staël von Holstein said welcome on behalf of Tongji and the Sino-Finnish Centre and Jörgen Sjöberg, Chief Development Officer at Chalmers, greets students, alumni and Volvo Cars representatives welcome to the Chalmers event.

And finally it was time for the Talent Race prize ceremony. Talent Race – a prestigious and attractive scholarship competition in cooperation between Chalmers University of Technology and Volvo Car Cooperation. The winner receives a scholarship from Volvo Car Cooperation, covering the tuition fee for a two years Master’s programme. The winner is also guaranteed participation in the VESC programme (Volvo Engineering Student Concept) which includes: summer job, master thesis project, mentorship and possible employment at VCC.

And the Talent Race winner is – Hantang Liu!

Lars Nyborg, Vice President of Product Development, Volvo Cars Shanghai, handed out the diploma and explained the importance of young talent with engineering knowledge and understanding of multiple cultures, for Volvo Cars in their future development. Hantang Liu was also congratulated by Anders Wennberg, Chief Resource Officer at Chalmers, before the dinner started.

Students and alumni from China and around the world talked about life at Chalmers and life after graduation. It was a very nice evening and hopefully all Chinese students are more prepared to step into the challenging studies at Chalmers and also in the fellowship of Chalmers!

Saturday 24 March we held a similar meeting at Peking University in Beijing for newly admitted students and alumni. See images below:


Hope to see you all admitted students at Chalmers during the Welcome Week in August! :-)

Text: Cecilia Hillman and Peter Hellqvist


Related information:
Chalmers University of Technology on Renren
Talent Race competition


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Daylight Saving Time, did you feel it this morning? Sun, 25 Mar 2012 08:31:01 +0000

Today, it was 7:35, and I was waken up by my alarm set on my cell phone as usual. I feel proud of myself to get up so early in a Sunday morning, because I have a lot of homework to do. Then I opened my computer. The moment I saw my desktop, my pride disappeared somehow, because it showed: 8: 35!

Though I have heard about the daylight saving a little bit before, but when I felt it myself, it was different. My computer updated the time automatically, while my cell phone was kind of “old-fashioned”, and kept the old time, and I have to change the time difference manually.

On one hand, I felt not so good for the lost one hour, for another, I thought, I should be happy that my cell phone didn’t update itself, otherwise, I would lose one hour sleeping.

Haha, such a funny morning! First, reset my time on the phone, then work!!

Have a nice weekend!



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Drive to Copenhagen, Denmark! Sat, 24 Mar 2012 22:16:00 +0000

For some fresh air out of Sweden, I together with 4 friends rent a car and drove ourselves from Gothenburg to Denmark last Saturday. I should have published the blog on Monday, but this week, I was sooooooo busy for catching up with the work left behind last week for preparing for the trip: we designed the tour route, booked hostel, prepared some food etc. More importantly, we had to also, search the details of the route for our car.
It’s a little pity that the weather is not so good when we started from our apartment. We googled the route from Gothenburg to Helsingborg, and then took the ferry to Helsingor—Denmark! There we visited Kronborg Castle. Before, I only know Shakespeare wrote the story Hamlet, and it’s about the revenge story of prince, but I didn’t know the story in detail. For this trip, I specially read it and it evoked my curiosity more.

The distant view of castle

Inside of the Castle

Then we drove along the Baltic Sea instead of highway to Copenhagen.  The sun came out later and it was so beautiful view, that we couldn’t wait to stop on half way.

So clean view

Later the weather became better and better, and we really enjoyed this trip. Though we lost our way now and then, we always found something out of our expectation—“extra surprise”.  Below was a set of pictures I would like to share with you, among which I want to say more about is the mermaid. She looks a little bit sad for some reason, though she got a rose from someone. Yeah, rose doesn’t mean love, if it is not from Mr. Right, right?

Miss Mermaid, with rose, but sad


Kongens Nytorv


We stopped and continued all the way and took a lot of beautiful pictures. When we went back to Sweden, the amazing sunset view put a good ending to our trip.

From Gothenburg: welcome back!






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Second birthday away from home :) Sat, 24 Mar 2012 01:01:02 +0000

Yesterday i.e. on 23rd March I spent my second birthday abroad. No guys I am not advertizing my birthday (which is anyways over :)

Some days in your life are really close to your heart because of the attached happy memories in past and you want to spend those days with your near and dear ones reliving those experiences, birthdays are one of those days. So when you come to a completely new country leaving back your friends and family spending birthdays without them is kind of a lonely experience.

I can tell you this for sure because last year I spent my birthday completely on my own, It was my first birthday away from home. I was feeling really bad so I did some stupid stuff. Switched of my mobile, removed my birthday update from facebook and went off the grid. I had an important presentation at Chalmers and was busy from 8 to 5, came back home and went to bed and woke up next morning. Thats it my birthday was over.

but this year I had a blast, thanks to all my friends both in India and in sweden, for filling up my message boxes with greeting, for waking up at 4.30 AM in india to wish me exactly at 00.00; making a surprise visit at my apartment with cakes and birthday bumps and for a lovely dinner and amazing night :) Even the weather in Gothenburg was awesome today, it was almost like a spring day :)

The whole point of the story is, “it is upto you to decide to be happy or to be sad” and keep your friends closure, where ever they are in the world they can make your day!!

P.s. Sorry for the off the shelf pictures,  my birthday pictures are still under progress :P


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Teach yourself some Swedish Sat, 24 Mar 2012 00:16:01 +0000

Are you interested in practicing Swedish before coming to Göteborg?

I just realized that I know a couple of useful sites where you can, for free, start learning Swedish before arriving here.

The reason I remembered this is because I have my SFI test next week. Yeah, it has been 10 months from the first class and to be honest I still feel like I cannot do anything. It is not true of course, but I guess we all have this feeling of knowing less than we actually do. I am also thinking of asking to do the level D test immediately and just get done with SFI (currently I am at level C). It’s better like that because of the job opportunities and also because I don’t have any more time to go there: thesis is taking a lot of time and some other things steal my focus as well.

First site has all the material from the books we use at SFI and Folkuniversitetet. It is super easy to use and you can start there. Try with Rivstart A1 + A2 or Mål 1 & 2. Those are the books I went through.


This one holds old SFI tests, I think level D and you can test yourself if you already have some knowledge of Swedish.


This is a free site where I started my learning of Swedish when I was back in Belgrade. I like it. It is not the best place on the internet, but it is free, you have people who evaluate your work and for a quick glimpse of a foreign language it works great.


And finally, the only paid program I used for studying. It is good and easy to study with Rosetta Stone, but I have problems when I need to interact with a computer for longer than 4 hours. Half of the time I tried to study with Rosetta I would be so bored – either I knew too much for the lesson, or it felt like too much repetition… It is better when you have real people around you to study with.


And the best way of studying that I know is – outside! Weather in Göteborg is nice again and it is such a shame to waste it indoors. If you don’t have to be at the Uni, head out to Slottskogen or anywhere you like and just do your work there.

I sort of did that this week. Not the studying part, but I was out, just enjoying the sun and talking with friends. Gosh, I have too many teeth on this picture :)

So, off I go to practice Swedish and prepare for the exam. I cannot wait to get it over with.

p.s. last year at this time I was in Stockholm and I made some of my favorite pictures… next post’s topic!


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A post about garbage and toilets Sun, 18 Mar 2012 21:15:58 +0000


Today is Sunday. 

After a year and so in Sweden I have been Swedified enough to enjoy this day without any human contact. Certainly it is nice to talk with friends over Skype or Facebook, but real contact is too much! You cook, watch a movie or a tv-show, play a game (Black and White 2), clean the room and do a little bit of workout. People are not included! 

But no, not for me, not today.

Last week I agreed to pose in a photo-shoot for a guy from Göteborgs University. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea. It was one of those “if you find it interesting we could do it” messages of Facebook sent by a friend. What I basically agreed to, was sitting on a toilet while a 1.90m Swedish guy in a pink hat and sneakers is taking pictures.  


It’s really not a big deal. A lot of people said no when he explained them what the “scenography” is. Part of me understands why, but other part doesn’t really. Nobody wants you to be naked, nobody is telling you what to do or how to behave, nobody is forcing you to anything. If you are feeling embarrassed by sitting on a toilet, ok – but should I remind you that it is something you do daily? At least couple of times per day.  

I think it was a lot of fun!  

And definitely an experience to tell afterwards:

“You know, while I was in Sweden I went and sat on a toilet for 2 hours while a guy was taking my pictures. And we were cracking jokes about the toilets and other usually inappropriate topics. And I also got to see where they do the real shoots with models. The amount of technology in those rooms and how much in control photographers are with the light and everything – it’s almost a science”. Doesn’t it sound interesting? If so, send him an email to He is looking for more models and it does not matter if you have any experience or how you look or if you are a guy or a girl. Actually, he would prefer guys to answer, it seems girls are more interested in modelling. 


But the reason why I am writing this post today is something else. I don’t know if I ever spoke about how clean or not Göteborg is? It is a common topic for some of us internationals and it is definitely a BIG ISSUE during weekends for the city’s authorities. 

By my standards Gbg is very clean. The dirtiest it gets is Sunday morning, after all the craziness in Avenyn and other city centers, where drunk people did they “work”. But it disappears relatively fast and then everything is shiny and cute till the next Friday/Saturday combo. 

So, back to me. I was on my way to the shoot and decided to play a nice neighbor by throwing out the garbage. It was nothing big, just two bags filled with cans, wine bottles and empty chips packages (pay attention, it is Sunday – the day after partying, which makes chances of throwing empty bottles very high). So I took off to the tram stop, carrying bags with me and thinking that I should be able to dispose them while still on campus. I have to explain here that we have three or four different areas in Olofshöjd where it is possible to throw away your garbage. Going from my home to Chalmers there is one, and there is one going from me to the tram stop. I have thought that the latter one is a better option, given that it is in the direction I should go.

What I did not know is that only the closest station to your place is actually open for you! We all have tags to open these garbage stores and apparently they don’t work everywhere. Mind me, I am on a schedule here, so I cannot return to “my” garbage if I am to make it for the tram. No problem, right? I mean, my logic was: from Olofs to the station there are residential buildings and those guys have to throw their garbage somewhere. Right? WRONG!  I have been walking around for maybe 5 minutes, with my dangling bottles and smelly cans of tuna, trying desperately to find a garbage bin big enough. At this moment I already missed my tram and gave up on the idea that I might find a big dumpster. I just wanted a place that would fit these bags. There were some of those ground ones, but they were locked (presumably available only to the households). After another 5 minutes and silent swearing I have decided to go back to Olofs and “my” garbage which I should have used in the first place. For those who don’t live in Olofshöjd (or will live here soon enough), this means going approximately 100 steps in one direction and 100 more in another, since housing is situated on a hill. And I live on the top of it! 

With a 15 minutes of being late, I sat finally in my tram and started thinking. Why is it so hard to throw garbage in Sweden? I mean, should I take a number or stand in a queue to do so? Will it make the process easier? Did I woke up a little bit more stupid today and what happened is my fault? Was there a hidden dumpster right around a corner and I didn’t have to walk all the way back? What was that man thinking when he saw me trying to open a locked bin? He did look worried that I might actually succeed to throw my garbage into another person’s bin. And why are Swedes so concerned about their city getting dirty but they don’t put any special attention to the amount of places for disposal of stuff. I was paying attention on my way to the Avenyn and the amount of places you can use is significantly low. Maybe that is how government gets them to recycle? By not allowing them to throw anything? 


I know I am not going to this adventure again any time soon!

p.s. this is a long one and I am trying to post it 3rd time now :/ If you are intersted in reading more of this random rambling, check it out here. It is my more personal blog that has posts combined from here and some new stuff un-related to school in every sense.



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Chalmers in Brazil – Part 2 Mon, 12 Mar 2012 22:15:56 +0000



Let’s do a quick recap: Last time I wrote, I was in Fortaleza, where I made a presentation for the students of my former university. I had just been in São Paulo, where we participated in a big student fair! Our last stop was Rio de Janeiro, my hometown and a place that also happens to be the most beautiful in the world. Don’t you believe me?

Seeing is believing!


Last time I have been there was 10 years ago, and since then I had not come back. That’s why for me this trip was very special and sentimental: Just walking around made me relive so many moments – some stupid, silly things, or nice ones! Even looking at a plain bench made me remember friends and happenings. 


It was also very interesting to see my city as an evolving entity, from an architectural and urbanistic point of view. It felt good to notice that the city changed, but still kept its very particular flair. However, it felt strange to notice that some buildings that I had known all my life were demolished (my pre-school is now gone…) and some were transformed, with bad and good new qualities. At the architecture school we always learn that cities and buildings are living entities that have emotional bonds with the places and its users; however, it had never struck me as something so true until now…

The sidewalk pattern of Av. Atlântica by Lucio Costa: Our trademark.


Anyway, I was happy with the improvements: The subway system expanded, the buses are new, the city seemed cleaner and there are special traffic lanes for buses and taxis only. Maybe it is the World Cup (Rio will host the Olympic games in 2016 and the Cup in 2014) effect? I hope it is not just that.


Anyway, enough nostalgia, let’s talk about the event!

Me,probably saying “Oi tudo bem?” for the 500th time in the day. Not that I minded it! :)

The venue was way smaller than the one in São Paulo, and the visiting places quite secluded – because of that, I think it was more difficult for the students to reach us. We got to talk to a lot of people anyway, and I think we left a good impression!

We also had a small presentation, in which Göran was the star. He threw jokes around, dropped a computer on the floor in an accident (no worries, it survived!), made good comments that made people curious and got everyone’s full attention! I think it was very good, because we got a flurry of visitors to our booth right after. Even if they don’t end up in Sweden, I think some will relate the country to “that fun guy” from now on! Good job Göran!


After the event we packed up everything, left things at the hotel and went out for dinner with the other swedes in the event, the nice guys from Halmstad University. There was a lot of swedish being spoken, and a lot of stuff for me to decode! It was a nice night.


On the next day we had some free time to wander around and shop (clothes in Rio are so cheap! I also made my swede friends buy flipflops, a must!). We went walking from Copacabana into Ipanema, stopping to see the sunset in Arpoador. Being able to see that is like a miracle. How come the sun goes down EXACTLY between those two mountains? Spetacular.

Too bad the glare doesn’t show how precise is the “landing strip” for the sun. Go see it yourself, it’s an order!


We finished the day celebrating my birthday in an authentic barbecue house, those where they serve many special cuts of meat directly in your plate. I was worried about my poor vegetarian Cecilia, but they had a quite good salad buffet. I myself devoured as much meat as I could fit in my stomach, hehe! I went home literally rolling around.

Nice, huh?


The day next was occupied mostly by packing, buying the last things and going to the airport…and now here I am, back in my dear Göteborg. It feels crazy to have been to all these places in such a short time (Göteborg, Amsterdam to change planes, Rio, Fortaleza, São Paulo)! One day I was at home, being cozy with my family around me, while the next day I had the Atlantic Sea under my feet while samba tunes played on the radio, and now I’m back here munching svenska köttbullar. It’s incredible, scary and quite cool at the same time!

Ready to the take-off! Oh, of course, seatbelts…


I’d like to thank Cecilia for this fantastic opportunity – I hope I did well! I must also thank Göran, for being the nicest guy ever by lending me his arm during the many landings and take-offs, and an all around cool person. I miss them both now; I guess it was a very intensive week in terms of getting to know each other, and I’m glad I got to know them! 


Göteborg welcomed me back with a beautiful sunny day; while I miss Brazil, I’m once again very glad to be here. It feels nice to know that nowadays I can travel almost anywhere and still manage to be with dear people. Maybe the world is now my home? Guess that is the beauty of studying abroad…it seems the phrase I repeated non-stop in the event fits perfectly here: 

“Oi, tudo bom? Did you ever think about studying in Sweden?”

“I would, if I were you”. :)

See ya!



/Daniela Farias



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Måndag på Chalmers Mon, 12 Mar 2012 12:16:04 +0000

It is Monday today and I am at Chalmers working. Finally I decided to move from the flat and meet with some friends. Also, we have changed the rooms and now I am sitting in this wonderful corner office that has two walls completely in windows.

You cannot really see how bright it is since my phone’s camera sucks but you can see the view. It is also nice to be able to open the windows since in the ljusgarden rooms you cannot open them. We are 5 sitting here, all girls and we even have a girly wall. My friends will kill me for sharing this, but I just find it so cute. One wall is super serious with the works and schedules, another one is like this rest zone and it has pictures of Ryan Gosling

Today, it is also the scholarship searching day. Most of the grants are for the trips you would like to do for your master thesis, but there are some other of course. You may check it here. I am attaching the Swedish link because it happens sometimes that on the English page you don’t find all the information. 

Another thing to check out is these lectures at Chalmers. I think this one is very interesting since the last course I had was in hospital and it is a hot topic in Sweden and Nordic countries. 

Guest lecture 30 March, 2011
Tom Danielsen, Arkitektfirmaet C. F. Møller, Danmark 
Theme: New hospital buildings. Space in which to heal and work, in a global perspective.
Evidence Based Design. A help to Architect, Engineer Client or Bureaucrat?
Projects: New Emergency and Infection Building in Malmö and more

And now I have to continue working, talk to you all later!





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Chalmers in Brazil – Part 1 Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:46:02 +0000


Right now I’m sitting in the sofa of my cozy home in Fortaleza, looking at the brazilian TV with my mom while we complain about the scorching heat. It’s nice to be able to sit down and rest a bit with my family…these days have been crazy!

We arrived in São Paulo in the night of March 3rd, after 14 hours in a plane from Amsterdam (plus 1:20 from Göteborg). It was a very tiresome flight, but I actually feel it went by faster than I thought. Me and Göran talked a lot, and I also got to catch The Muppets and all my favorite series on the in-flight entertainment system, hehe. 

Our time in São Paulo was quite hectic. Two days of event, a lot of talking and a lot of explaining! I talked so much that I got tired of listening to my own voice…I had fun though, it was great to meet so many new people; some never thought of studying in Sweden, some were already in love with the country. We even got to meet a middle-aged man whose dad had studied at Chalmers! There was also a guy that was learning swedish just because he thought it “sounded cool”. So yeah, a lot of different folks, great fun!

Cecilia, me and Göran at our booth, looking sharp. ;)

But of course work is not all! I was very happy to have some time to grab dinner with long time friends I have in town. It was arranged in a rush, but it worked well! :)



On the last day of the event we gave a small presentation about Chalmers, and from there I ran to the airport to catch a plane home. And oh, it’s good to be home, missed my folks so much…

…and of course I missed the FOOD.

Delicious “green beans” (that are actually brown), very traditional in my area. They’re prepared with cream, onions and cheese…oh my, oh my.

Yesterday I gave a presentation in my home university, UNIFOR, about swedish architecture and studyng in Sweden. It was very nice; I got to meet some old teachers of mine, friends and also new faces. I got a bunch of questions by the end, so I think it was interesting.

As I was presenting, there aren’t many good quality pics…


When I got home, mom had bought me a cake to celebrate by bday in advance! My actual birthday is at March 10th, so I’ll spend it partly in Rio, and partly in the plane back to Göteborg.

No one managed to learn “Ja må hon leva”.

I love that my friends know exactly the stuff I like. Star Wars coasters, R2D2 figure, Kick Ass comic book and…fashion glasses. My mom mentioned that I’m turning 28, not 12, but I’ll just ignore that.

So yeah, so far so good! Tomorrow 3am I’m boarding the plane to my dear hometown Rio, after 10 years! Then more work…and some sightseeing, I hope!


/Daniela Farias



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Brännö Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:31:07 +0000

Picture post!!!

Weather on Saturday was so amazing we decided to go out and have some fun.

I really miss having a pet :/

Closed, but it did look interesting with all of these old boats around.

A lot of sheep EVERYWHERE!!!

Lasse Dahlquist

Awesome restaurant, and not even expensive.

Brännö is an island in the Southern Göteborg Archipelago.


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From the freezer to the oven! Thu, 01 Mar 2012 23:45:58 +0000

Heya, quick update! 

Tomorrow will be a big day! I’m departing with prof. Göran Lindahl to São Paulo, Brazil! Cecilia Hillman is already there since yesterday, and together we will try to show what it is like to study at Chalmers.

My bag is full…of Chalmers stuff! Not sure I’ll wear this hoodie there though, but it will be warm and cozy during the loooooooong flight.

You can find us in the student fairs taking place in:

São Paulo – March 3/4, Hotel Unique (opens at 2pm)

Rio de Janeiro – March 8, Hotel Marriott Copacabana

I’ll also make a presentation at my home university in Fortaleza, but that’s a closed event. ;)


My friend said it was 38C in São Paulo today…call me crazy, but I didn’t miss the Brazilian weather at all! 

I hope this is gonna be great! I’ll try to keep you guys updated about what’s going on there, both here and on twitter.

Oh my, I gotta wake up at 4am and its now midnight! Tchau tchau!


/Daniela Farias



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Melodifestivalen Wed, 29 Feb 2012 14:46:05 +0000

Have you heard about Eurovision? 

If you are planning to study in Sweden, I am sure you know how much Swedes love music. And I am not talking only about listening to it, almost all my friends sang at least once in front of me – during a sittning, party, game, dinner… 

So, about Eurovision: this year’s contest will be the 57th. Since Azerbaijan won in 2011, it will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Sweden first win was in 1974 when ABBA sang Waterloo. I am sure you have heard this song, but if not just click on the name.

Since then they won 3 more times, holding the competition twice in Stockholm and once in Göteborg and Malmö. Last year they came third, with Eric Saade’s song Popular.

The reason behind this post is Melodifestivalen – swedish song contest where contestant for Eurovision will be chosen. It started 4th of February and will finish 10th of March at the Global Arena in Stockholm. Now, if you ask people almost everybody will deny listening or enjoying these songs. If you go back in time, you will notice that music back then was actually very good and singers were already a household names. Now, it is mostly for unknown singers trying to please the audience and open some doors in the industry.

Still, I find it amusing and funny to watch with a group of friends. Last year, we were following Eurovision during the final night. I believe we were almost 30 sitting around one small, old tv and cheering up for different countries. 

So, if you have nothing better to do, organize a watching with a friend or two, three etc. I promise, if nothing else, you will have material to make fun of the performers. In a good spirit of course :)

My favorite at the moment.




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Söndags brunch Sun, 26 Feb 2012 15:01:07 +0000

It is promotion weekend!

Our adorable J.A. Pripps Pub & Café at Student Union Building has a new feature – Sunday’s brunch. If you are not familiar with the expression, this is what dictionaries say about it: 

brunch [brʌntʃ]

A meal typically eaten late in the morning as a combination of a late breakfast and an early lunch

Last week it was around 180 people coming to the pub and today I am sure we are as many if not more. 

At the moment it costs only 59 SEK, but I don’t know for how long. I think the regular price will be 99 SEK which still makes it one of the cheapest (and the best) brunches in the city. 

And since it is spring, we were sitting outside, enjoying the food, sun and company. 

Dani and I

I love people who look good when smiling on pictures. It is definitely not my case.

To sum it up, this was a very nice start of a lazy sunday. Spring is here and I still have problems understanding it. I was reading Tingting’s post here  and thinking if couple of sunny days is enough to say that Spring is here. But when I went out on Friday, there was something specific in the air. That something that says to you that the season changed and makes you very happy.

Chalmers Studentkår

on my way home

I am going to spend the rest of my day as this cat – just relaxing and thinking about nothing. What are you going to do? If nothing, next week, you could definitely go and check out the brunch at Pripps.

Sunny hugs,



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Spring is coming! Fri, 24 Feb 2012 23:46:13 +0000

I still remembered how excited I was when I saw the heaviest snow since I arrived in Gothenburg last August, because it was right before the Chinese New Year.

                                 So happy about the snow then

However, every morning, when I open my eyes, the snow is always there. It was so cold and the ground was extremely slippy, which made me fall down for three times!!! I noticed then, I was NOT excited about the snow at all. I began praying about good weather every night and even wished that all the snow would disappeare in one night!! Suddenly, notice it or not, Spring comes these two days!
The sunshine today is so great, and I decide to go out for some exercise, at least breathe some fresh and warm air.

Little plant: Mum, I need sunshine! I am so happy that the snow fiiiiiiiiinally went away!

                                            Peaceful view

As the snow went away, it’s time for us to work out and get close to nature!! Why not plan for hiking or bicycle trip this weekend?


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