New country, new school

I have been studying Computer Science at Reykjavik University for two years now. This month, I started my 3rd and final year of my Bachelor degree, but in Sweden. I am starting my semester as an exchange student in The Royal Institute Of Technology in Stockholm.

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Currently, Stockholm is the home for 100,000 students. There are 18 universities in Stockholm and KTH has the highest number of international students. The social life at the school is quite different than at home. There are many traditions here that I find interesting.

There is one big organization called, THS which is the student union for KTH. THS contains 21 chapters which separate by different study programs at KTH. The chapters have their private facilities at the KTH campus, and they offer microwaves, a place to eat, study area and a pub. In my first week here in Stockholm, before the school started, I noticed some people in colorful trousers or long black dress suit jackets wearing fancy hats with a tail. The trousers and the jacket were most of the time filled with batches that they have gained or collected somehow. A group of first-year bachelor students followed these students wearing some hats, sweatband, signs or baseball caps. I asked a Swedish student about this tradition, and she explained to me that the trousers or jackets are for the students that are members of the chapters. The trousers are in different colors which represent different chapters. For example, the computer science chapter wears pink trousers. When they go for example to some event or party, they have to do some tasks to earn those batches.

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Luckily, I earned my first batch in my second week here at KTH. There was an event at the campus that was a pub crawl for the chapters bars. All the chapter bars were open at the same time, and your goal was to get at least six stamps on your “bar passport.” It sounded easy, but I did not realize how many students attended this event. But I managed to win my first batch!

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Another thing that is different in comparison to Reykjavík University is that each semester is two periods. The whole year is four periods: P1, P2, P3, P4. Therefore I take three courses (6 credits + 6 credits + 1.5 credits) in Period 1, and I will take two courses (7.5 credits + 7.5 credits) in Period 2. I am also taking one 1.5 credit course at RU remotely, so it all sums up to 30 credits. I will, therefore, have exams at the end of October and at the beginning of January.

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The workload is similar to RU, but the number of lectures, seminars, lab exercises and tests depends on the course. I look forward continuing to experience my new home, Stockholm and my new school, KTH.

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