As we are coming to the end of the year and almost 3 courses behind us what better way to finish the year than doing a recap of our first semester! You always hear my opinion but what about the rest of our class? To give you a broader perspective I interviewed 4 of my classmates that were kind enough to answer some questions about this first half of the year. Without further ado let me introduce you to Kia, Niko, Siqi & Makis!
Kia was born in Finland but lived most of her life in Belgium. For her bachelor’s degree, she studied Global Nutrition and Health in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is working in a research group independently of our studies. Additionally, she is also an active member of the Students for Sustainable development at KI. During her free time, she likes to knit, read, watch series, be with friends, and explore Stockholm!
Niko is Hungarian and Welsh. In her time before KI she finished a Neuroscience bachelor’s and then worked in an advertising agency then taught in a language school, and produced music. At Karolinska Institutet, she is participating in the organization of the TEDxKI in the upcoming year! In addition, she writes, creates, and teaches music! Expansion of new hobbies is always on the list currently that encompasses drawing, exploring nature, and writing.
Siqi Chang is from Shanghai China where she completed a bachelor’s degree from a medical school. For the new year, she is looking for some research to do related to Nutrition at our faculty. As an introvert in her spare time, she prefers to spend time inside and watch movies, series, or read books.
Gerasimos Mavrogiannakis (or in short Makis) is from Athens, Greece. In his bachelor, he studied pharmacy and worked as a pharmacist for 1 ½ year in Greece. He also finished his military service training in the mountains. Outside of our classes he enjoys running and lifting weights in the gym or outside. In his leisure time he listens to music, chills with friends, and with more time on his hand investigates the science behind lifting weights and nutrition.
Why did you choose Karolinska Institutet?
Kia: I chose KI for its reputation as an amazing research university, because of it being in Stockholm (I wanted to try living in Sweden :D), and because they had a course that really interested me.
Niko: I was drawn to the content and structure of the Master’s programme, its location, its reputation and industry connections.
Siqi Chang: There’s no doubt that it’s a prestigious school with global fame, and I believe it can provide me with a perfect academic experience for further study.
Makis: Initially, I heard about KI from one of my friends back in Greece that has been studying in Sweden for the past 2 years. Then I searched for more information online. I would say the main reason I had chosen KI was its reputation.
What is your favorite part about this Master?
Kia: I mean.. the topic. 😁 I like the topics covered and I appreciate the focus on research. And I really like the people I am studying with, makes much more fun!
Niko: I love how approachable the professors are, which initially took a little adjustment. It helps your learning to be treated as an equal. I also like that you have to take responsibitiy for your own learning but will always get help if you feel stuck. I also appreciate the breadth of the content, that the course explores nutrition from various angles (sustainability to molecular switches). Personally, I loved the modul looking at the molecular and genetic mechanisms of nutrition.
Siqi Chang: My favorite part about this program is that I’m able to meet awesome classmates from all over the world and share our frame of mind. They are all intelligent and friendly, and I can always learn a lot from every single one of them.
Makis: My favorite part is the fact that all the teachers here at KI want you to be successful. The more you try the more they try to help you. I found this quite impressive, especially if I think about what was going on back in Greece.
Do you have any other takeaways from the first semester?
Kia: I would like to learn more about nutrition related to different diseases as well as the physiology of nutrition in an even deeper level. But many of these things are things that you can study more of during your second year as you have a lot of freedom to choose how to build your study year!
Niko: (the following only applies to ones who don’t identify as “a highly organised person”) If you can become a little more organised than you usually are, you will easily stay on top of your course without sacraficing your weekends and most evenings. If a topic/lecture grabs your attention, take the opportunity to talk to the lecturer and ask them any questions about it.
Siqi Chang: The course arrangement of this program is really nice because it provides both basic and advanced knowledge for students from all backgrounds. And for living here, just bring enough warm clothes with you because the winter here is going to be freezing cold. So, keep healthy, and keep curious.
Makis: Most of my classmates have different backgrounds and sometimes it might be difficult to work together at the same pace. On the other hand, this is also important, because we can hear and learn different opinions or approaches on one topic.
Do you have tips for applying students?
Kia: I feel like the course is very much focused on the research aspects of nutrition so if you are more into working as a dietitician/nutritionnist, I wouldn’t choose this course.
Also, as cringy as it sounds (and everyone says it), if you want to study at KI – just apply and see what happens! You might think you aren’t good enough or your application isn’t the best but you never know what might happen! 🙂
- Explore Opportunities. KI has a lot to offer, part of which you’ll be readily exposed to but also think beyond the obvious and explore the opportunities this university has.
- Get to know your peers. You will be spending a lot of time with your classmates who come from really diverse backgrounds, so talking to them (whether it’s discussing course material or getting to know their experiences a little) can also be an added bonus to your learning experience.
- Be proactive. In the very beginning, adjustment can be challenging, but think of this: you will soon feel at home here, you will soon find people to hang out with and you will grow to love it if you are proactive and curious.
- Ask Questions. A powerful tool that helps you learn is to tell others (lecturers and peers, strangers) about what you don’t understand by asking questions. In the beginning your questions will probably be a little rusty, but if you keep at it, you’ll soon learn how to communicate your thoughts in the most consise and accurate way.
Siqi Chang: From my own experience, stating your background as clearly as possible and submitting all the required documents on time can be enough. But make sure that you have ambition in the field of nutrition science.
Makis: If you have never tried going abroad, I would advise you to dare it. If you have the motivation to work hard and meet new people, see different cultures, and evolve as a person in every aspect then KI is the right place for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we are all here to help each other. Good luck!
I hope this review gave you some insight into our first semester! If you have been inspired to apply for the MSc in Nutrition Science check out the official website for more details! Follow this blog to find out what people will say after 1 year! If you have any questions or feedback feel free to comment down below or contact me through my profile!
I am Tade. I am Nigerian/German and the blogger for the Master’s Programme in Nutrition Science. Before KI, I was studying in the Netherlands. My whole life I was interested in food and sports, and that is why I decided to study nutrition. When I learned about KIs group-focused teaching and the international environment I knew where I wanted to go. When I am not exploring or trying different foods I am playing basketball in Solna. If you are ever up for the challenge, you know where to find me!