Wrapping up the Basic GIS course

In the elective Basic GIS course, we’ve just finished with the exam and are now at work on the final projects, where we’re using publicly available data to calculate the cost of building and maintaining a proposed road infrastructure project in Iran, taking into account the cost multiplier effects of things like population density, annual precipitation, elevation, and soil type.

Throughout the semester, it’s been interesting to see how GIS software can be used to visualize different layers of information and perform detailed spatial analyses; you can make some pretty cool maps!

Even though I don’t plan to work directly with GIS in my future career, the multitude of uses and the relevance it has for climate change and disaster management related efforts are clear. I think it will nevertheless be valuable to have basic knowledge about what GIS can do and how it can be used, in order to better communicate with those who do use it, who I (and you future DRMCCA students reading this) may well be working alongside in the future.

Here are a few screenshots from a couple of recent GIS lab days:

Here’s a photo of IDRISI, one of the GIS programs we use, being slightly over-dramatic…

A map we created to visualize the ‘view-shed’ of a proposed wind farm project (areas the wind towers would be visible from)

Here’s a map created with ArcGIS, another of the GIS programs we work with in the course. This one is visualizing protective zones that have been built to mitigate agricultural nutrient leaching into a watershed in Skåne.

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Academic quarter

On my very first day at Lund university, I had a lecture at 10:00 am. I woke up early in the morning and had breakfast checking a lecture room. I arrived to school at 9:45 and no one was in the lecture room at the moment. I sat in the middle of the empty hall after waiting for 10 minutes, some students came in. Nevertheless I was afraid of being in a wrong place or having confusion on my schedule. I re-checked the schedule of the course and it was definitely right place at right time. I’ve decided to stay more in the half empty room. Finally a teacher showed up at 10:05 and started connecting his computer to the screen with any rush. The lecture had begun only at quarter past ten and he did not mention any sorry words. In addition, it happened again at the second class. I was extremely disappointed at him and Lund university. I was complaining to my classmates and they started laughing at me and got me to know reasons behind it.

Clock of Lund cathedral (Wikipedia)

The following definition of the academic quarter is given in Svensk Uppslagsbok, Vol A – Apostat, 1947: ‘the 1/4 of an hour that passes after the appointed hour before lectures and the like start at Swedish universities, as a matter of tradition.’

Being fifteen minutes late was tradition! This tradition goes back to long long time ago when students did not have their own watches. It was of which church bell was a general method of time keeping  At that time nearly all students of Lund university lived adjacent cathedral. When the bell rings every hour, students and teachers leave houses and still have 15 minutes to make it to the lecture. Hence a  lecture would start at 10:15 even if it is stated with start time of 10:00.

I hope my story helps you to be “on time” to classes in Sweden!

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So far, so good

Third semester in, perhaps it is a good time to reflect 🙂

Coming to Lund has been the most valuable decision I could have made. Many people study abroad but it is most exciting when you study in the right place. There is a reason many people end up calling Lund their home years after studying; there is a way in which Lund creeps into your heart and finds a soft spot.

To be honest, I have only just settled in, only just claimed my space and engraved the streets into my memory. It took a while, moving across the world is no easy hurdle. So here are some of my thorns and roses so far:

Thorns:

  • I lost my residence permit the first few weeks of arriving in Lund. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was exceptionally upset about it. It was my first lowest point. Highly disappointed in myself, I dragged myself to the police station. Upon arriving I was shocked to see the police station closed. My first culture shock.  In South Africa, the police station is open 24hours, every day. It was then I realised if crime fighters can take a break, then I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.
  • The winter. Enough said.

My snow woman

Roses:

  • My best academic record has been here in Lund. That is not to say the work is easier than my previous qualifications. It is because of the exceptionally conducive academic culture. The attitude against competitiveness goes a long way. From the fairness of lecturers to having enough time to digest each course you do, I appreciate how Lund has made me enjoy school.
  • GYM. GYM.GYM. This is how I got through the winter
  • Opportunities galore. Internships, scholarships, activities, start-up support, summer jobs, conferences, seminars, networking, thesis topics, job fairs… these are literally all at your fingertips.
  • Friends. I can attest, you will find lifelong friends when studying abroad. In Lund, the international student population ensures that you find people that make memories all the more sweeter.

Friends at the scholarship ceremony

Ambassadors 2018/19/Student life/Uncategorized 0

A different Sunday afternoon

Hi people, it’s already october in Sweden. Exams are nearby (sorry for the reminder) and we are still able to enjoy sunny weather, enjoy while you can! I wanted to write this post to talk about what I did last Sunday. As I am from Spain, you might know that football is a pretty big thing in my country. And since I am a huge football fan, two Sundays ago I went to watch a football match in Sweden!

It was a match between the first and second in the Swedish second division (Superettan), Helsingborg (30 min away from Lund by car) played against Falkenberg (1h and a half away approx.). Despite the category, the atmosphere was great, around 8000 people attended to the game, ranging from parents with their kids to young people enjoying some candy, hotdogs or burger while watching football. And for me, it was quite odd to see people having candy while watching the game.

In the end, Helsingborg won 1-0, achieving top 1 of the table after the victory. Every Helsingborg supporter (basically three quarters of the public) went crazy after the victory and applauded heavily the players after the match.

Overall, a different experience that I highly recommend if you enjoy football. Last year I also went to watch a first division (Allsvenskan) match to Malmö (only 15 min by train from Lund), which had a pleasant atmosphere, but more boring football (sorry Malmö!). Football league in Sweden goes from March/April to October/November due to the magnificent Scandinavian weather, so hurry up to see a match before the league is over this year!

P.S.: If you are student you get a small discount on footbal tickets in Sweden:D

 

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Learn Swedish for free in Sweden

Though there are not many things you get for cheap, learning Swedish comes free. 😀

Thanks to Swedish for Immigrants (SFI) course provided by Lunds Kommun, now I can understand and speak my initial words in Swedish. If you are a master’s student for more than a year, the Swedish government offers free SFI courses to learn Swedish. This gives everyone here an opportunity to learn the language and get more involved with the Swedish culture and people. You could find the application link here. https://www.lund.se/komvux-lund/utbildningar/sfi/ansokan/

I personally could not find much time to invest in my first year there but would love to learn more in the coming year.

I feel the most important aspect for learning Swedish is you need to speak a lot to learn it. Also, there are a lot of language cafes that are free and help you out with this process.

Happy learning…

Lycka till…!

Studies/Swedish culture and traditions 0

Mobile apps to make your life easier in Lund

Hope you guys are having a good time.

Here comes my 2nd post and this time I bring to you a list of apps which can make your life easier in Lund.

I was just going through my phone and found a lot of apps I had installed over the past year and figured they could come in handy for you guys too…

  • Blocket

Buy and sell items in Sweden. This app is really awesome if you like getting second-hand stuff at a good price. You chat with the seller and agree on a location for transfer. I got my bike from this place.

  • PostNord

Track your consignment

In case you are sending a lot of parcels to/from your home country you can use the app to get information and notifications about your parcel.

  • BankID

Must have to make bank to bank/Swish transactions here in Sweden

  • Swish

Pay your friends using their mobile number alone.

  • XE Currency

Online currency converter.

  • TheLocal

For your local dose of news and happenings in and around Sweden.

Language Learning apps

  • SVTPlay

Swedish TV on your mobile.

  • Lexin

Swedish to English dictionary with a complete set of words and descriptions.

  • Memrise or Duolingo

Learn a language like a game. Fun apps to make you get acquainted with Swedish words and phrases.

These will definitely help you elevate your language learning skills.

Travel

  • FlixBus

For your bus travels in Europe.

  • Skånetrafiken

Handy app for travels within Skane and Copenhagen

Note: In case you need to avail student discount you need to be a member of StudentLund or TLTH (Teknologkåren LTH) and need to have the card with the Skånetrafiken logo present on the StudentLund and Mecenat app or else you stand a risk of getting fined by the Skånetrafiken controller.

Other apps for travels within Skane and Copenhagen

  • Reseplaner Stadsbiljetter SJ GoEuro
  • DigiBike

Rent bikes anywhere in Lund. These are the yellow bikes you will find parked all across the city.

Plus you get an additional 20% discount since we are students.

  • LTH Now

University app. Good for checking the schedule of courses among other things.

  • Bonsai Campus

Get to know about all the guild and Teknologkåren events here

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Here we go…

It’s been a month since the school started and now exams are also almost a month away. It’s always hard to get back to study mode from vacation mode. The first month is usually very hard to concentrate on studies especially when you are a new student. Lund being a student town there are lots of interesting things happening to keep your social life busy. I was also a victim of that during my first study period. LTH guilds, Nations and International desk organize various activities for new students to get them comfortable with the city and increase your social circle. Depending on your interest you can join any of these activities such as board game nights, brunches, language cafes etc. I personally enjoy language cafes a lot since you get to meet many people for different countries, different ideas and also you get to learn some new words in other languages. During my first month, I loved going to game nights and language cafes and enjoy Swedish fika. I also went on a hiking trip to Kullen lighthouse and enjoyed fika at one of the best garden cafe. I will share some pictures clicked by me and I am sorry as I take very bad pictures but trust me these places are much more beautiful than these pictures.

On a bright sunny day the Library looks amazing

Helsinborg Castle

Trekking to Kullen Lighthouse

Fika At Garden Cafe

All these things are very fascinating but there is one more reality studies lectures and labs. During the first weeks, I found it very hard to concentrate on studies as I was going back to academics after a break of 5 years and also I use to enjoy going to parties and social gatherings. The first two months go very fast and within no time you have to face your first exam. To overcome this I made a rule which helps me till now to be in the same pace with the professor “Study hard on weekday and fun on weekends”. But you can always come up with something new and get a good balance between studies and social life. Here is a still from one of the exercise class and my first lab result.

A still from exercise class

My first successfully completed lab at LTH

 

 

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Welcoming Autumn

Hej allihopa!

Yes, you read it right, autumn is coming! It was really mesmerizing for me, especially last year since it was my first time experiencing autumn! Many people said that autumn is the best season of the year. I couldn’t agree more with that. Everything looks pretty, the weather is usually nice. Well maybe… But not always in Sweden, however, autumn is still good!

It’s getting colder these past few days, and rains might come a lot real soon. But remember this term and you will be okay!

No worries, we’ll be okay. We’ll go through the weather one more time. But anyway, even when the weather might not be as friendly, remember to have fun! There are a lot of ways to have fun during the autumn. Personally, I did a visit to Skrylle Naturreservat last year. It was really nice, and it’s only 30 minutes away from Lund by bus. I hope everyone will enjoy autumn!

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Copenhagen Study Trip

Greetings to you and to the arrival of autumn!

We are a few weeks into term and my studies as the cold winds, are picking up speed. In the midst of lengthy literature readings, course work and research, there are regular fun course-related activities we always look forward to. Some might be site visits or open conferences, but on this occasion, I am talking about study trips!

As part of my elective course named Human Environmental Frames, we spent a day in different parts of Copenhagen. Our first stop was to the Villum Window Collection. It was great to hear an Art Historian talk us through the entire exhibition and leave us to explore on our own afterwards. It is in places like this that I really appreciate the development of design through time.

Villum Window Collection, Copenhagen Study Trip

The second destination and my personal highlight, was Thorvaldsens Museum. It is the oldest museum in Denmark and as such, the building is as much of an artefact as the objects it exhibits. This tour shed some light over the life of the sculptor, the methodology used in Thorvaldsens work, where he found inspiration and how all that is reflected into the architecture. As Lund and Malmo are only a 30-40 minute train ride away, I recommend you find an opportunity to go visit it!

Thorvaldsens Museum, Interior

Thorvaldsens Museum, Sculture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our discussions about lighting, colour and perception from the study trip was brought back into class in the following lessons in the A-building. The picture below might offer a clue as to what we were up to.

By me.

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And so it begins…

Lund Univeristy’s Library 

Hej hej guys, I hope you are doing great!

It’s being a hectic first few weeks of the semester, getting used to the routine after three beautiful months of summer vacations, so it took me a while to start writing but there have been many things happening lately that I would like to share with you.

The weekend before the semester started I organized a little get together with my class and the new SUDes group about to begin their master: It was a great opportunity to get to know each other and just catch up with what everybody had been up to during the summer. As there were a few students that hadn’t arrived yet to Lund, maybe we could do it again soon.

 

SUDes old and new 🙂

 

The first day of school started with a welcome speech –with fika included of course- for all the students at the A- Building. Afterwards there was a presentation given by Peter (founder and director of the SUDes program) for both the new and old SUDes class and later we gather with our teacher to get the basic information for this upcoming semester.

It was very surprising to see that this semester the group grew a lot! The past two semesters the design studios were made up of the approx. 30 SUDes master students, two or three exchange students, two students from MARK (Master in Architecture) and maybe one student from the 5 year program in Architecture; this semester we will be 48 students, so many more.

What is not surprising is why many of our new classmates chose this curse in particular: WE ARE GOING TO CHINA!

Yes, China. The site for the project this semester is in a town called Dujiangyan, close to the Sichuan province’s capital Chengdu. The whole idea behind the structure of SUDes design studios is going from the Local (1st semester) to the Regional (2nd semester) and last, to the Global (3rd semester) before going into the thesis project. So we are at the global stage of our master and its going to be a really huge challenge, but one that I cant wait to start.

I promise I’ll keep you posted, 

Tere

PS. Not to be forgotten, my friend and fellow LTH Ambassador for MARK, Nadja joined our design studio this semester ! 

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