If there is one bit of advice I can give to any student, it is this: travel! The singular most educational experience in my past four years of studying at university has been to live in another country and learn a new language. Born and raised in the U.S., I’ve now lived in both Sweden and Germany and am radically, radically different than when I set out as an exchange student three years ago, still occasionally confused about the difference between Sweden and Switzerland.
When I made the decision to leave my homeland in the Pacific Northwest and live a year as an exchange student in Uppsala, I assumed that it would be a fun, life-changing, year-long vacation. What I didn’t understand, is that the experience would spark my eventual emigration to Sweden. Now, coming back and settling in as a new resident and new student of Energy Systems, I’m happy to discover that life outside the realm of international studies in Uppsala is completely different—life in Sweden remains a mysterious and exciting adventure.
Looking back on the last couple years, it’s been hectic: I’ve finished a bachelors degree in physics from the U.S., learned my first ever new language (Swedish of course!), and lived in Freiburg, Germany in what can only be described as a hippy commune, while spending my days conducting my own humble research project at Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Systems. Now, once again in Sweden, the days growing steadily shorter and my walk-in closet filling up with trays of drying rosehips and squash seeds, I look forward to embark on my new adventure as a student in engineering, and hope that I can share my experiences with those of you who are curious and looking for a challenge.
To start off my career on Womengineer, I’ll follow this introductory blog entry with a three part series that will touch on the themes that I plan to be cornerstones of my future writings here: 1) DIY projects (also known as my extracurricular interests!), 2) science and 3) women in the sciences. To start off, I’ll introduce my newest project: sourdough, a self-rising bread that combines cuisine and biology into a tasty foundation for messmör and Kalles caviar. I’ll follow up with a little biology lesson on the microbes that make sourdough possible, and finish by introducing the woman (and Noble Prize winner) who helped discover the biological process that makes sourdough possible, Gerty Cori.
So stay tuned—there is more to come!