Research Area: High-temperature Geo-Chemistry
Duration: 2.5 Months
Q: What was your research topic?
A: My research topic was high-temperature Geo-Chemistry and I was working on the volcanic rocks of Gran Canaria.
Q: How did you apply for FT?
A: I applied through personal mailing. I mailed about 110 professors around the globe keeping in mind my research interests. I included my introduction, interest, expectations from the project, my winter field trip. I did not have any prior experience in this field which I clearly mentioned. I also expressed my desire to pursue higher education in this field.
Q: Why do you think FT is important?
A: I had planned to go for FT at the beginning of my second year. The reason is that you get exposure. When you go abroad you experience a different culture, meet different people, get their perspective. The trip changes you as a person and gives you a broader look into your life. You get to make new contacts, good friends and good memories.
Q: How would you describe a typical day in Sweden?
A: The weather was quite extreme there. When I had gone there it was snowing and after about 20 days it was sunny. The working hours were flexible. I went to the university at 10 and came back around 5.
Q: How did you manage your expenses?
A: My FT was partially funded by the professor. Sweden is quite an expensive place. The professor's funds went for rent. I had to pay for my flight tickets and food. I used to cook food for myself. I rented a bicycle which was quite cheap there. The local bus and restaurants there was quite expensive.
Q: Did you participate in any extra-academic activities?
A: As I had already mentioned that Sweden is quite an expensive place, participating in any such activities or joining any clubs would have cost me a lot. But there were student nations where I made a lot of friends and used to hang out a lot.
Q: Did you face any difficulty in the whole process?
A: I started emailing professors in the month of March which I should have begun earlier. I used to spend sleepless nights searching through professors’ profiles and finding projects of my interest. It was only by the end of March that I received an offer. Sweden was a good place. As such, I did not face any difficulty there.
Q: What was the role of CGPA for FT?
A: In my case, CGPA did not play any role. But anyway it solely depends on the professor. Though my CGPA was not high enough my professor did not judge me on its basis. Basically, it didn't matter much. High CGPA comes in use when you apply through any scholarship program for which I did not apply.
Q: How would you describe your overall experience in Sweden?
A: At times my stay seemed challenging, at other times it was fine. But the education system there was flexible. The people there welcome all our suggestions no matter how silly they are. In Sweden, students call professors by their name eliminating the gap between them. You interact with them as a friend. This eliminates the gap between a teacher and a student and maybe that is why they are such good in research. Also, people there care about sustainability. I too attended few cleanliness drives where there were discussions on the environment. People segregate garbage and recycle them all. They have a no-waste policy there and they are really serious about it. Most of the people there are educated and there is negligible poverty which makes implementing such schemes so easily.
Q: What advice would you like to give to our fellow KGPians who aspire for FT?
A: I would suggest that students take a relevant project under a professor and have a clear idea of its fundamentals. While applying for FT keep in mind to start mailing early if you are doing so. December is the best time for it. If you start early you can get a project of your choice. I had actually missed a lot of opportunities just because I had started mailing late.