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Linnaeus Palme Projects - Linkoppin University, MDH and UTP

01/16/2020 - 08:45 a 02/02/2020 - 08:45

Results 

The relationship between Malardalen University and Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá began in October 2015 throughout a Mission of the Erasmus+ Programme - Nordic Contact- Latin American to connect Latin American universities with Nordic universities, where there were delegates from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

As a result in 2016, UTP collaborated in 3 different projects presented to the Swedish Cooperation Agency for teachers' exchanges aiming working on new project proposals. Two projects fort exploratory missions were approved. These projects allowed the mobility of 4 teachers from UTP to Sweden and 4 Swedish teachers to UTP.

Funding was awarded for mobilies between UTP and Linkoppin University and between UTP and Malardalen University. In October 2016, a professor from Malardalen University visited UTP and in February 2017, two professors from Linkoppin University and one from Malardalen University visited UTP. In the same way two teachers from UTP visited Linkoppin University and two teachers from UTP visited Malardalen University.

The purpose of these mobilities was to work on new proposals for new students and professors exchanges between the universities involved. Two proposals were submitted with these universities. The result was the approval of  a Project with Malardalen University, which managed to finance 6 students exchanges (3 in each direction); and 4 professors (2 in each direction).

Teachers`mobilities

As for teachers, in August 2019 UTP received Prof. Afshin Ameri, who was assigned to the School of Computer Systems Engineering and in September UTP received Professor Alessio Buccaioni, assigned to the Schools of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Both teachers stayed at UTP for three weeks.

Professor Afshin Ameri giving classes to students of Computer Systems Engineering. He was assigned to 4 groups, 10 hours per week in two subjects: Computer Graphics and Software Development.

profesor dando clasesprofesor dando clases

Professor Ameri also had meetings with other professors and masters students to discuss their research lines and find other opportunities for future projects.

reunión de profesoresprofesor reunido con estudiantes

Professor Alessio Bucaioni from Malardalen University, Sweden; teaching in Faculty of Mechanics from September 24th to October 8th.

profesor dando clasespresentación de profesor

Students´ mobilities

In 2018 UTP open a call for academic exchange for students to MDH. Through this opportunity, students Enoc Castillo and Moisés Chin were awarded the scholarship for a mobility in the first semester 2019 and student Javier Mejía in the second semester 2019. Also in the second semester 2019, MDH student Victora Lindgren stayed for a semester exchange at UTP. 

Moisés Chin, a student from UTP who participated in Scholarship for One Semester Mobility at MDH Sweden - Mälardalen University, shared his experiences:

My name is Moisés Federico Chin Chávez, I was one of the students who went to Mälardalens University for a semester in Västerås City, Sweden. Since the first day, when we arrived Västerås City, it was a shock to me because everything was covered by snow and the trees had no leaves.

Academics Semesters in Mälardalens University are divided into two periods, with two subjects per period, it’s a system that at first sight seems easy because there’s just two classes to focus on, but the difficulty of this subjects is something that should not be underestimated. All the classes I attended were exciting, it was probably largely because the classes were taught in English and it felt like something completely new for me.

The teachers gave the classes basically in the same format as my home university (UTP), they presented slides prepared by them; what surprised me the most about the subjects I took was that there were practically no written exams, but rather the evaluations were given through laboratories, assignments, seminars and final projects.

Västeras campus was fuller of foreign students than I expected, big part of the university student body was made up of people who were taking a scholarship to do their master's or undergraduate degree, which gave to the university a welcoming atmosphere for students like me who had not done a student exchange before.

Our time in Mälardalens högskola was great, the people we met were wonderful and the experiences we live are unforgettable, this was a great opportunity to expand our horizons, to see, to learn how immense is this planet and to see the similarities that we all have no matter where we came from. This scholarship was extremely valuable for me as a professional, as a student and as a person and I am extremely grateful with the people who made it possible.

grupo de estudiantes de intercambio

Enoc Castillo, a student from UTP, shared his experiences as a participatn in Scholarship for One Semester Mobility at MDH Sweden - Mälardalen University:

The first days in Sweden was a new experience, since we arrived in the Swedish winter, the streets and sidewalks were covered by snow, it was like living a dream, the first time two Panamanians saw snow, so we made a small war of snowball and we put together a snowman.

On Monday, January 21, 2019, we had a brief presentation about Sweden, the Swedish lifestyle, the university, and the student life in Malardalen University.

In that presentation they explained that the semester is divided into two periods, and that it is recommended to give 2 subjects per period, in other words, take 4 subjects in those 6 months. It was not obligatory for the subjects to attend the theory classes, it was only mandatory to attend the days that there was an evaluation.

All classes were in English, in the classrooms there were students from all parts of Europe, students from Serbia, Albania, Germany, India, and among other countries; there were also professors from Serbia, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Iceland and among other countries. Teachers explained their classes with slides and some examples on the board.

In the field Software Architecture, we carried out a project implementing the SCRUM and XP (extreme programming) framework, in which the classroom was divided into two groups, and each student group had to develop a calculator, with the requirements that the teachers had delivered, in which the teachers created a schedule, and then they specified when the different stages of SCRUM were carried out, at the end of this project both groups presented their final result, and the teachers gave their respective feedback. 

Grades, study material, upload assignments and communication with teachers or other students, everything was done through an application called canvas, this has a web version, such as its app on android and ios.

Malardalen University has 24-hour access, the entire university has a good and stable internet connection, and with printers that we could use, logging in to their university email and sending it to print from there. To access the university and classrooms, the card that the university gave in the first days of class was used, which one could recharge at the student center to be able to print.

Extracurricular activities with the student association, was very active. These had a building, in which there was a restaurant, a bar, and large space for events. In this place many Swedish or foreign students worked. This student association organizes many events, such as trips, skiing, visiting other places in Sweden, hiking through forests and many other activities.

Victoria Lidgren, a student from Mälardalen University who came to Panamá as a participant of this scholarship for one semester at the UTP, shared her experiences:

My experience of Panama City has been great so far. I was received very good by the personnel in International Affairs in the UTP my first day. I have also met 10 students making the same exchange as me from Spain, Portugal and France, we have been visiting different parts of panama together as the Casco Viejo which is the old town of Panama. The building differs a lot from the rest of the city with colorful houses and details in gold and blue.

Also, we visited a big park in the middle of the city which is called “Parque Metropolitano” where I felt the air is more humid than normal. There were different trails to walk and I walked together with the group of students the longest one where we would finish at a lookout with a view of the city skyline. It was a long way to walk so we had prepared some simple dishes typically from our counties and we enjoyed it in the middle of the forest surrounded with monkeys climbing the treetops.

I made shorter trips to see the whales crossing the Pacific. I got to see dolphins and whales taking some fresh air and I got to enjoy seeing wild water animals within 300m. I have also been to some museums that tells the story of how Captain Morgan from England arrived at Panama City and conquered and burned the city to the ground. Panama has still some ruins that was not destroyed which is popular for tourists to see. The other museum I have visited is the Biomuseo that is a natural historic museum. Its intention is to change the way we see, understand and conserve nature and its biodiversity, very different architecture but very impressive.

While in Panama I have been learning to dance Salsa and Bachata in different dancing groups where I’ve got to know so many nice and curious people with the same dance interest as me. The people in Panama are very inviting and have always a positive energy that easily gets to you, which I really appreciate when coming to this unknown country.

I went with the students from Spain to visit the Caribbean Sea to explore a large group of small islands, in total we visited three islands of approximate 350. This island area is called San Blas or Kuna Yala as the indigenous people who live there call them. We did some snorkel, enjoyed the calm atmosphere, made a campfire on the beach and slept in tents. Lovely experience.

And my last trip was organized by the university, we went to a smaller town 3 hour from the capital. The town was called Chitré and all of us (10 exchange students) went there together with our teacher Yanira Osario and her assistant Alexis. They really took great care of us and was always attending to show us everything of the town. The purpose of the trip was to show us students something different from what we had experienced in the capital. We got to see a celebration the whole town was attending, there were parades with music, dancing and theatrics by the villagers and school students. The people were wearing beautiful traditional clothing with accessories in the hair and gold jewelries. It’s an unforgettable experience and I hope to see something similar in the future.

Javier Mejía

I deeply wish that with the following lines you will feel encouraged and motivated to run for this unique experience, because in the end, the only opportunities that really matter are the ones you take. Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to step-up yourself and show what you are made of.

My name is Javier Mejía, I am studying for a degree in Software Engineering at the Technological University of Panama. I had the opportunity to study abroad at Mälardalen University for a semester and, from experience, I can tell you that this is a wonderful and enriching experience.

I arrived in Västerås on August 25, 2019. It was an astonishing experience being on my own, thousands of kilometers away from everything and everyone I know, but it was not long before I felt at home thanks to the friendliness and kindness of the Swedes.

Västerås is a beautiful city, full of walking trails and biking paths and the precious Mälaren lake is the perfect place to watch the sunset. There are a lot of activities and events in the city throughout the year and you can always count on the activities organized by the Student Union. Västerås becomes a magical place once the winter comes and the snow falls, it is something that any Panamanian will remember for the rest of their lives.

Mälardalen University is a marvelous place to study. The Campus in Västerås is visually delightful with interesting designs and decorations all over the place. The Campus is well integrated with technology and self-service; you will have access to any computer through your student credentials and you can print documents at any printer on the Campus with you student card. On top of that, the library on the Campus as well as the public library in the city center are well equipped to supply all your academic needs, moreover, you will have access to a set of high-quality online databases.

The quality of education at Mälardalen University is quite superior and very effective; a common cornerstone is shared among the courses, where critical thinking is prioritized over mechanical learning. Working on the courses is a very comfortable; students can submit their work to Canvas, a learning platform that provides course managers and the students with the tools to interacts with each other, and other helpful features like keeping track of the upcoming assignments, access study material, measure one's performance and many more.

Although my days at Mälardalen University are now over, the memories will remain with me forever and I will always be grateful to have received this opportunity. My final words are to exhort more students to run for opportunities abroad; all begins with your application.

Buzón

La Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá (UTP) en todas sus actividades tiene la calidad como principio esencial, el mismo que se concreta en una atención eficaz y eficiente a las sugerencias y/o quejas que se puedan presentar en el devenir de su actuación. El objetivo de buzón de sugerencias y/o quejas formulado a través de Internet es ofrecer una respuesta ágil a las manifestaciones de insatisfacción o propuestas de mejora relacionadas con las diversas actividades que realiza la Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá(UTP), informando a sus colaboradores y público en general interesado de las actuaciones realizadas y, en su caso, de las medidas adoptadas. Para lograr este objetivo es imprescindible su colaboración, complete el formulario. Más información sobre el Buzón de Sugerencias y Quejas.

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