Meet Akhilesh from India
Name: Akhilesh Radhakrishnan
Home Country and City: India, Bangalore
Programme of Study: Master\'s Programme in Molecular Biology
Personal Interests: travelling, reading, playing beach volleyball, basketball and Aurora watching at Nydala.
Favourite thing about Umeå University: the sunny summer and snowy winter (especially since I come from a place where we don\'t have snow!)
Favourite Swedish word or custom: Jaha! This one word is so versatile and can be used almost in any context. It\'s so fun to use it in random conversations and just look for the reaction.
Three words to summarise your time in Umeå: Snow, Aurora, and IKSU.
What is your educational and professional background?
I have completed a bachelor\'s programme in Technology with Biotechnology as the major in India, and worked for an I.T multinational as a systems engineer for about a year before deciding to come back to biology and doing my master\'s in Molecular Biology in Umeå.
Why did you choose to enrol in your degree programme at Umeå University?
Simply because the master\'s programme in Molecular Biology is very good, and I wanted to study at a place which would give me maximum exposure. Also, the Swedish system of education is quite reputed, so it made perfect sense to choose Umeå.
What do you like most about your programme?
I love the study environment and culture of Sweden, with individual courses you take up. It\'s much easier to actually learn it better and use it later in laboratory sessions. In India we are usually studying more than six subjects at a time!
What is the most interesting thing you learned in your programme or courses so far?
All the courses I took up taught me a lot, but if I have to pick something specific, I feel that studying Tumour Biology gave me a new found understanding for cancer and its spread.
What do you do when you are not studying?
I usually spend a lot of time at IKSU, since there are a lot of different activities to do there! I like clubbing on the weekends and some nights I go aurora watching at the lake. Believe me, it\'s an amazing feeling to watch the aurora. I also love hiking in the summers, as it\'s always sunny and clear blue skies!
What is your impression of Umeå and the surrounding areas?
Umeå is a beautiful city bordered with nature, hikers\' and climbers\' paradise. Also I just love IKSU which is the largest sports facility in northern Europe.
What do you find as the biggest cultural difference, both socially and educationally, from your country with Sweden?
Socially, I feel Sweden has a laid back attitude compared to India. Educationally, the one course at a time idea is just fantastic, as back home we usually take up at least six courses together, which makes learning a bit more cumbersome.
What you would say or what advice would you give to another international student thinking of attending Umeå University?
There is snow, northern lights, and fun people. It\'s the place to be!
You would have fun studying, and off course lots of places to go out on the weekend, both near the university and downtown!
What are your career aspirations?
I would like to continue my studies in Molecular Biology or Microbiology and pursue a doctorate. I feel at this point in my life, it would be the right direction to move in.