Testimonials

Teddy Landron, alumnus (graduated 2018)

What did you like the most about the University of Skövde?

The very first thing that surprised me when I arrived at the campus of the University of Skövde was how close it was to all the conveniences: student housing, shops, the city centre, the train station, and, last but not least, Nature. The campus is surrounded by green areas - or orange/reddish, or white, depending on the season! - and there is even a mountain called Billingen nearby (although do not tell locals it is actually just a hill!). This, on top of being a human-sized university, made studying in Skövde a pleasant experience. Indeed, everyone - teachers, admin staff, and students organisations - is always available and happy to help and guide you, and most of the (infrequent) paperwork that needs to be resolved can be sorted easily, usually online. Also, there is a real international student life which will make you come across (and party with?) people from all over the world. In short, everything at the University of Skövde aims to provide you with an easy-living scholarly life, so that you can focus on your studies; and the entire thing in a cosy environment.

What did you like the most about your study programme?

The programme was very accessible. It was based on a versatile introduction to most aspects of cognitive neurosciences (techniques and methods used in cognitive neurosciences, the question of consciousness, etc.) with enough time to dig into topics of more personal interest. Critical thinking was highly emphasised, especially during class seminars; such a skill is more than necessary as a future researcher. The practical introduction to electroencephalography and MatLab was also highly valuable, and you can moreover extend it in your thesis project (and even get familiar with other state-of-the-art techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, thanks to tight links to the University of Turku in Finland, if you choose to write your thesis there - as I did). The content matters and so do the people: the teachers are truly committed to helping you, often far beyond the scope of the course content (thesis, future projects, PhD...) - I sincerely thank them once again.

What have you been up to since your time in Skövde?

I have come back to France, where I just started (2018) a second one-year master programme in Cognitive Science at the École Normale Supérieure, the Université Paris Descartes and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, in order to apply for PhD positions (as an equivalent to a two-year master programme is needed to apply for a PhD programme in France). After getting my PhD, I will surely go back to medical school to complete my medical training, with the goal being to work as an MD-PhD later on.

 

Angeliki Koukoura, alumnus (graduated 2017)

What did you like the most about the University of Skövde?

Being at a foreign university for the first time can probably cause various problems. I was more than lucky, and thankful, that I did not come across any of them during my stay in Skövde. From the generosity and vibe of the administrative staff, to the help and dedication of my programme tutors, the period that I spent at the University of Skövde is one of my favorite so far. Not to mention the countless times that I spent on the university campus; a place full of greenery and pleasant buildings, which certainly helped me relax and temporarily forget stressful study times. Finally, the University library was not only fully equipped to cover all my needs, but its environment and staff also created a cozy study feeling that made me want to grasp all of the knowledge I possibly could while there.

What did you like the most about your study programme?

The study programme of Cognitive Neuroscience fit perfectly with my requirements, as I had a relatively diverse background, studying especially History and Philosophy of Science in my Bachelor years. I appreciated it not only because of the variety of courses, providing more concrete perspectives of the topic, but also because of the seasoned professionals chosen to teach the courses. However, what I liked in particular had less to do with the course content itself, and more to do with the self-learning I undertook throughout the year. This independent learning, together with the push that I received from my tutors, made me who I am today as a researcher, and taught me how to deal with uncertain and difficult situations. And that is something that goes way beyond strict academic knowledge.

What have you been up to since your time in Skövde?

My interests in Neuroscience and Criminal Psychology led me, after Skövde, to a six-month period at Åbo Akademi University (in Finland), working with a project on Criminal Psychology, from a neuroscientific perspective. Currently, I have been accepted to do my PhD at Turku University in Finland, at the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, combining both of my research interests. None of the above would have been possible if I had not applied to the University of Skövde, and for that I will be always thankful.

 

Katharina Rischer, alumnus (graduated 2016)

What did you like the most about the University of Skövde?

One of the things that I liked most about the University of Skövde is its atmosphere. In contrast to larger universities - which are often anonymous and impersonal - the small size of the university aids in creating a familiar and friendly atmosphere, and even as a new student it is easy to quickly figure out how things work and whom you have to address for which administrative issue. A contributing factor to the atmosphere is surely the architecture of the campus, and the ample opportunities in the buildings to sit down, have lunch together, or study in a light and warm environment. From the perspective of an international student, I felt that my stay was very well organized: The university offers a pick-up service from the train station and organizes a welcome week for international students before the term starts, giving all students the opportunity to get to know each other.

What did you like the most about your study programme?

The study programme encourages students to become independent learners, but also requires students to organize themselves in groups - both being essential skills in academia. During the autumn term, the teaching focused mostly on training students in academic writing and research methodology, whereas the focus turned to the more empirical aspects of research during the spring term. Being given the opportunity to design and carry out my own thesis project made this time particularly memorable. As students, we had free access to the lab and spent entire weeks in there, refining our skills in recording and analyzing data. Looking back on this time, I think that the freedom to devise, implement and carry out my own thesis project was a unique opportunity from which I still benefit today. I am particularly thankful for the trust that was shown to us students and the encouragement that we received throughout the entire year by the tutors of the programme.

What have you been up to since your time in Skövde?

After I left the University of Skövde, I completed a three-month internship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig in Germany. Directly afterwards, I started my PhD at the University of Luxembourg, where I am involved in carrying out a research project on age-related changes in human pain perception and modulation, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG).

 

Boushra Dalile, alumnus (graduated 2016)

What did you like the most about the University of Skövde?

The support I received from the university staff, all the way from the department of cognitive neuroscience and philosophy to the student affair’s office, helped me accomplish my study goals and made my time in Skövde free of bureaucratic hassles – and thus all the more enjoyable. Otherwise, the campus stands out as one of the best features of the university, with its beautiful clock tower, modern spacious buildings, and well-equipped library. The wealth of green spaces serves as a place to unwind and relax, and was, in my opinion, invaluable during busy graduate studies.

What did you like the most about your study programme?

The programme fostered independent learning throughout the academic year, starting with courses that exposed students to the latest research in cognitive neuroscience, introducing and solidifying knowledge of various research methods, and culminating with a thesis project. The department comprised tutors and supervisors who were highly approachable and supportive, which fostered great tutor-student communication and supervision during the thesis period. Students were encouraged to devise their own research questions and design their own experimental paradigms, and they were continuously challenged to fine-tune their reasoning and research approach. I look back on my time in Skövde with great satisfaction, and, as someone who is currently pursuing a career in academia, I believe this programme was unique in fostering independence, responsibility, patience, and perseverance.

What have you been up to since your time in Skövde?

After I completed the programme in Skövde, I was lucky to be offered a six-month internship position at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, where I carried out research on second language acquisition using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Currently, I am doing my PhD at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, where I investigate the role of the microbial metabolites short-chain fatty acids in the gut-brain axis, by looking at their influence on stress and anxiety in humans. I am most grateful to the instrumental support I received during my studies at the University of Skövde, which undoubtedly contributed to the development of my research career.

 

Patrick Falk, alumnus (graduated 2015)

What did you like the most about the University of Skövde?

I believe higher education is defined by the people you come into contact with, and Skövde has a very flexible community that is sensitive to the needs of its students. Less effort goes into overly zealous bureaucracy, and instead focuses on dealing considerately with problems that might get in the way of the students. This also highlights the University's focus on social issues, its desire to develop better connections beyond the academic setting into the public domain. Without such flexibility and understanding, with its goal of preparing students for dealing with subsequent real world problems, I would feel far less satisfied with my graduate education.

What did you like the most about your study programme?

The Department of Cognitive Neuroscience & Philosophy has provided me with a solid and diverse education, and the opportunity to develop as a student. My experience has been distinguished by good tutors who are all very approachable and willing to help. If you make the effort, they will encourage you and serve as personal mentors. I never enjoyed education as just an exercise; I would much rather be solving tangible problems. The departmental support has been invaluable in this regard, since you are often commended for sticking your neck out, despite likely being proven wrong in the end. Together with the fact that the programme has been tailormade to give you the best prospects for a continuing academic career within the field, I think the support provided is what makes you want it even more.

What have you been up to since your time in Skövde?

I am deeply thankful for the time and effort my tutors invested in me, because I believe it was the main influence behind my admission into the MRes in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London (UCL). This, in turn, led to a PhD position at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, where I'm currently working on modelling dyadic social interactions with high-resolution motion capture, and generating virtual representations of the data.

 

Kristoffer Fehér, alumnus (graduated 2013)

What did you like the most about the University of Skövde?

The University of Skövde has a fresh and modern campus, situated in proximity to the city centre and to greenery. Everything is clustered close together, so you’ll reach all your lecture halls, the University Library and student housing within a short walking distance. The University of Skövde is also certainly a good experience in terms of a well-functioning administrative system and easily approachable admin staff. In particular, if you come to study from abroad, you might be positively surprised about the lack of bureaucratic hassle. Considering the size of the city, Skövde also provides you a good nightlife.

What did you like the most about your study programme?

The master’s in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Skövde offers you a broad foundation that bridges neuroscience with psychology and philosophy, providing you an ideal and attractive background for pursuing a research career in cognitive neuroscience. This field of research is an inherently interdisciplinary field, commonly combining people with backgrounds in psychology, medicine, biology, engineering and so on, and your future years as a PhD student in cognitive neuroscience will necessarily involve an intense and exciting process of complementing skills and knowledge across all of these fields. The cognitive neuroscience programme at the University of Skövde provides you a uniquely suitable foundation for this stimulating journey. Finally, I must commend on the engagement and personal dedication of the programme tutors. Their enthusiasm and support certainly motivated and inspired me to go boldly for this career.

What have you been up to since your time in Skövde?

While some of my former classmates have successfully obtained PhD positions at Swedish institutions, such as the Karolinska institute or the University of Uppsala, the interested student should be prepared for an international career as well. After completing my studies at the University of Skövde, I found a PhD position at the University of Bern in Switzerland that perfectly matched my interests. My research has involved working with a combination of non-invasive brain stimulation and electroencephalography (EEG), to study how brain oscillations mediate flexible brain communication that supports, for instance, swift re-allocation of attention, or the filtering of incoming environmental influences. Since August 2018, I work as a postdoc at the University of Bern, among other things working with auditory stimulation to modulate rhythmic activity during sleep.