Meet Our Students

Mariana

Country: Costa Rica

Programme: Sustainable Urban Mobility Transitions

Entry University: KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Exit University: UPC Barcelona Tech.

Background: Civil Engineering

Hobbies: Dancing, singing, yoga & meditation, gardening (even here in the middle of the Swedish winter, I am growing avocado in my room, which makes me very proud)

Why did you choose this master’s programme?

After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to continue my studies with a transport-mobility-related programme that could offer me something new and innovative. After several months of applying to different universities, EIT Urban Mobility (UM) Master School seemed like a unique opportunity that stood out over any other university. For instance, it allows students to study at two well-known universities in Europe and experience two cultures, two languages, and two different teaching methods, something that no other university offers. The opportunity to have a summer school allows students to learn by doing and at the same time traveling through two different European cities. Since EIT UM is an institution that works around urban mobility and the development of more sustainable cities, there are a series of opportunities for students during the year, such as Talks, Conferences, Citython, Bootcamps, etc. These are extremely interesting and, in most cases, free for students! With all these advantages, EIT breaks down traditional education barriers and offers students new ways of learning.

What are the best aspects of your programme?

Without a doubt, one of the best characteristics of this programme is that we are students from all over the world and from very different backgrounds. We are civil engineers, architects, geographers, business graduates, mechanical engineers from every continent. This has allowed me to immerse myself in different realities and learn about other ways of thinking and solving problems. On top of that, something very enriching has been the “Challenge-Driven Project" since it is one of the first training courses I have had in my life to learn how to design in an innovative, productive, and logical way. Finally, something that differentiates EIT students from the rest of similar programmes at the university is the opportunity to constantly update our knowledge in urban mobility with the different conferences and spaces for innovation that EIT Urban Mobility offers online.

Can you share a little bit about your student life?

KTH gave all international students an incredible welcome with many activities on and off-campus. This allowed us to get to know the Swedish culture and our future classmates. At first, we thought that our classes would only be with the EIT UM students, but we were surprised to share the courses with other students from similar KTH programmes in many lectures. Coming from a tropical country, one of the main challenges for me has been the weather in Sweden, which is cold, but the days in winters are short; however, good friendships make everything easier. My classmates and I have become very good friends and a great family. We celebrate all birthdays, Christmas, New Years together with the famous “potlucks", something that an international student should never miss. The exam weeks are difficult but not impossible; we usually meet in a university classroom, and we stay there for hours with coffee and snacks, and if possible, a little music. The courses are inspiring, and we have teachers from different nationalities who graduated from different universities, making the classes very different and enriching learning experience.

What are your plans for the future?

If life and COVID-19 have taught me something, it is not planning too much for the future because everything can change suddenly. However, I would love to work for a few years in Europe to gain experience in the Urban Mobility sectors, especially in the local governments, where I can work closely with the problems of the cities and people, and propose innovative ideas that can allow the equitable development of communities. With the same enthusiasm, I am not opposed to the idea of doing a Ph.D. specialized in transport modelling and transport-oriented development, which are the areas that I like the most in urban mobility. I will wait to see what the future holds for me, but without a doubt, it will always be close to the communities and social problems of urban planning and transportation.

Why should prospective students choose this programme?

Prospective students should choose EIT UM master’s programmes because there is no other master’s programme that offers to study in two different universities, a summer school that is constantly giving talks and conferences for students. It also requires you to do an internship in a European city (which allows you to know the job market) and even better that it gives you two university degrees at the end of your studies. What a catch, don’t you think?

Moreover, this programme will teach you about urban mobility and the basic principles of transportation and think innovatively and creatively. The problems we face today are more complex than ever, and traditional education is not enough anymore. The EIT UM will give you the tools to face mobility problems in a new and different way, and at the same time, you will meet teachers and colleagues from all over the world. You will have the opportunity to learn about their cultures and problems, and this will open your eyes to what is happening in the transport sector in Europe and on every continent in the world.

Any tips, insights?

If you come to Sweden, KTH, bring a sweater!

Get ready for one of the best experiences of your life where you will meet people from all over the world, and you will become immersed in many cultures and languages. This experience will bring you first-hand education from not only the prestigious universities but also a lot of friends, good memories and probably good job offers as well;)

Hao 

Country: China/Spain

Programme: Sustainable Urban Mobility Transitions

Entry University:  UPC Barcelona Tech.

Exit University: KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Background: Civil Engineering and Urban Planning

Hobbies: Football, diving, traveling

Why did you choose this master’s programme?

My first contact with the transportation and urban planning discipline was during my bachelor’s degree and, since then, I have always been enthusiastic about this field. So, last year when I decided to retake my studies after working for some time, I considered several options, but the EIT Urban Mobility master’s programme was the one that convinced me the most. I thought that it was important to choose the right master’s to complement my professional experience, so the main factors that have motivated me to decide on this programme were the leadership and innovation approach as well as the international experience it offered with the participation of renowned partner universities.

What are the best aspects of your programme?

I really like its focus on innovation and entrepreneurship and all the complementary resources that the EIT can offer to the students to foster those capabilities, like specialized training programmes or the summer school that can provide us additional professional skills. Moreover, the interdisciplinary aspect of the programme is very beneficial. At university, you normally study with students that have a similar profile as yours, so many times; it is difficult to include other perspectives when tackling a problem. Working in an interdisciplinary team can help us increase the overall performance when facing hard challenges, like those we will encounter in the real world.

Can you share little bit about your student life?

From an academic perspective, I must confess that the level is demanding, so committing some time to work outside of class is part of our daily student life. But, of course, despite the pandemic, we also really enjoy the social moments, as much as possible. In such an international group, sharing moments together means a lot to all of us. You learn a lot from each other, from different perspectives that will help you look to the world in a new way, and that’s definitely another part of the student experience, which in my opinion is as valuable as the academic one. 

What are your plans for the future?

I do not have a definitive plan right now, but I have many options in mind. The mobility and transport sector are nowadays a sector in a transformation process and it offers a huge innovation potential. I am sure that the way we move now will not be the same in several years ahead and I want to contribute to the green shift. 

Why should prospective students choose this programme?

I think the experience itself is already worth it. Not to mention that you will be able to choose and study in two top technical European universities, during two years and finish with a double diploma. In addition, this means that the academic offer is much wider and students are able to customize their two-year itinerary according to their own expectations. This is something that other programmes cannot offer.

Any tips, insights?

I would say to those new students that: If you really consider enrolling in a master’s in this field, don’t miss this opportunity and get prepared for a two-year life experience.

Golnoosh

Country: Iran

Programme: Sustainable Urban Mobility Transitions

Entry University: Aalto University

Exit University: Eindhoven University of Technology

Background: Urban Planning and Urban Design

Hobbies: Playing piano, movies and books 

Why did you choose this master's programme?

I participated in a workshop about Urban Mobility, held in my home country, Iran. The CEO of MOVE Mobility Company from the Netherlands came to Iran and presented their experiences in urban mobility in the Netherlands and other countries. Upon completing the workshop, I was so inspired and wanted to apply for a master's programme in Urban Mobility. One of the attractive aspects of the EIT Urban Mobility master's programmes is to study in two European Universities. As an international student, it is an exciting opportunity and full of new experiences to live in two countries and study in two universities. Besides, the universities' ranking was another essential factor for me as the universities cooperating for this programme are among the best universities in Europe.

What are the best aspects of your programme?

In addition to obtaining two master's degrees from two European Universities, I can also point out another aspect on how the EIT supports its students. For example, besides our study programme, various events and workshops are held by EIT, and summer school is just one of them and also the Innovation Days were held about two weeks ago. It was an online event, and different companies from various countries introduced themselves and their projects. It was possible to send them a message, share our ideas, resumes, etc. while members of the companies could invite us to meet or cooperate with them. I also participated in another workshop during January, which EIT shared with us. It was about sketch-up tutoring, and it was a perfect course for me. Moreover, we have of course exciting courses in our programme. One of the classes I have enjoyed is related to the Start-Up experience. It is like a real experience; we are modelling our ideas and proposing new solutions for specific problems. We are making plans for all stages and receive support/input from our professors in this course. The second course I enjoyed was related to transport modelling. It was like an actual project from the City of Helsinki. We, as a group, proposed a solution for the traffic congestion in a harbour in Helsinki, and then we remodelled this place. These two courses have been very beneficial for me, as with practice, I learned how to prepare myself for real-life projects at the companies.

Can you share a bit of your student life? 

The nature in Helsinki is fantastic. I live on the Aalto campus, and my room is very close to the lake! There are great walking paths around the campus and my accommodation. I walk around there almost every day after the lectures. Also, together with the other EIT UM students, we have been gathering and exploring Helsinki during the weekends. I have a fantastic experience studying together with the other international students and having them as my neighbours. It is so delightful to share our culture and food in the group. Alternatively, during the weekends, students can also join the built environment guild, and they organize some entertaining programmes around the campus. Helsinki is the city of saunas, of course! You can see them almost everywhere. One of the winter activities here in Finland is to go to the sauna and then jump into the snow while some people go for ice fishing, for which one should make a hole on the frozen lake and try fishing. Finland has a lot to offer; you can also go skiing or rent a cosy cottage by the sea with your friends in nature and try out different activities each season. 

What are your plans for the future?

For the future, I am planning to improve my software knowledge and work with different experts and companies. I am so excited to become an expert in sustainable urban mobility and be part of an innovative team. After graduation, I am considering applying for a position, and I would like to work on cycling in cities.

Why should prospective students choose this programme?

I encourage students to participate in this programme because we have a big supporter, the EIT community. Second, this programme is held in cooperation with the best universities with excellent backgrounds in this field. Third, living and studying in two countries would be interesting and exciting experience for everyone. You can expand your knowledge, and get to know various cultures while being exposed to different ideas!

Jan-Philipp 

Country: Germany

Programme: Sustainable Urban Mobility Transitions

Entry University: Eindhoven University of Technology

Exit University: Aalto University

Background: Geography and Urban Planning 

Hobbies: Reading, cooking, travelling & cycling

Why did you choose this master’s programme?

Having written my bachelor's thesis on mobility trends in Tel Aviv, I was looking for a master's that would offer me in-depth knowledge in urban mobility and practical elements such as internships, project-based learning and an extensive partner’s network. When I came across the EIT UM website, I knew I had found such a programme and certainly needed to apply. From that point on, no other master’s programme was an option for me as EIT UM is unique in terms of combining these elements in an international, diverse and professional setting.

What are the best aspects of your programme?

The best thing is that you will go on an international journey, visit two top universities, and participate in a summer school in two attractive European cities in between. As for my entry university, TU/e, we learn how to tackle mobility challenges in an interdisciplinary environment, and we can explore our entrepreneurial potential in their unique challenge-based learning approach. However, the best thing is the focus on urban mobility solutions as this influences everyone’s day-to-day life.

Can you share a little bit about your student life?

As all of our lives have changed due to COVID-19, I must say that I and probably every other student expected the student life quite differently. However, two things make me have a great time here: Firstly, the university handles the challenging situation superbly and online teaching and student support work excellently. Secondly, the Netherlands is probably a pioneering nation in terms of bicycle infrastructure, which means that every cycling trip to explore the Netherlands feels like a field trip to urban mobility best practices. 

What are your plans for the future?

Inspired by Jan Gehl, I passionately want to make our cities more livable places. One aspect of urban mobility that fascinates me: as soon as people around the world leave their homes, they use some kind of mobility solution. Thus, positive changes have a great impact on all our daily lives. That is why I am keen to work on projects that promote active and green transport that is equally accessible and affordable. Whether I will work on these projects in already existing companies, in a start-up, or as part of a PhD, only time will tell.

Why should prospective students choose this programme?

Suppose you want to be a part of shaping the cities of the future. In that case, you should definitely apply. Skills and knowledge in urban mobility are currently highly desired and offer exciting challenges. You will also have the unique opportunity to obtain a master’s degree from two top universities and meet many interesting people along your way.

Any tips, insights?

As for the TU/e students, get a train card and explore the Netherlands by train. Not only does it save you money, but you can also rent bicycles affordably at the destination stations to explore cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, or also Maastricht. Regarding coursework, I can say that we have many exciting projects. To make the most of this and the given flexibility, it is worth using the first two weeks intensively to work out exciting project ideas that really catch your interest and give you more fun during the semester.

Our student ambassadors from all over the world are happy to help you if you wish to know more about our programmes, student life, and their experiences!

Please send us an email to get connected with them: masterschool@eiturbanmobility.eu