Higher tempo in Lund than home in India

– Publicerad den 1 March 2011

When Shilpy Madan from New Delhi arrived in Lund in August, the city felt quite desolate and the locals quite cool. However, as the real temperature fell and Lund was covered with snow, 21-year-old Shilpy Madan settled in. “The cold and the snow were exciting”, says Shilpy, who is here on a two-year Erasmus Mundus scholarship for the Master’s programme in Mathematical Statistics.

Shilpy Madan studies at the University of Delhi, a partner in the Erasmus Mundus consortium for exchange with India, which is coordinated from Lund. Shilpy caught sight of a poster about the scholarships on the noticeboard at university in Delhi.

“I was really interested and applied to Lund, partly because Lund is the coordinator and is ranked highly – I checked that on the Internet – and partly because Lund is known for its excellent maths department.”

She admits that it was a bit difficult to keep up at the start. The tempo is much higher than in India. On the other hand, the teaching is much more applied and less theoretical.

“In Lund we might spend two months on an essay that we would work on for six months at home.”
Shilpy says that the department in Lund is well equipped and the Swedish lecturers are good at explaining and providing examples, which means that the students quickly learn, for example, to run different statistical programs.

“This means that I know exactly what I am expected to be able to do when I graduate in two years’ time and get a job in industry as a mathematical analyst.”

So what is it like to live in Lund, then? Well, somewhat difficult to begin with. The Swedes are not all that talkative, not like the Indians, in Shilpy Madan’s view.

“Every time I tried to start a conversation by asking a question, I was given a precise answer. Then the conversation ended and nothing more was said.”

She is getting on better now. On the programme she mainly socialises with other international students and in her free time with other Indians whom she has met here, but on her corridor at Sparta she has made some Swedish friends.
Shilpy is considering going home over the summer, if she can get a work placement at a company. Otherwise she might travel in Europe. It would be exciting to see other countries.

“It is really good for me being here in Lund. I have developed as a person – I have learnt to look after myself and prepare my own food, for example. At home my parents take care of the food preparation and other chores”, says Shilpy.

Britta Collberg


Fact box:

Lund University coordinates four exchange programmes and is a partner in several more within the EU’s global programme Erasmus Mundus Action 2. In total, around 400 students, lecturers and researchers have been able to go abroad or come to Lund University on an exchange through Erasmus Mundus Action 2 since the programme started.