50 reasons to join IMFSE immediately

This blog post is dedicated to new students that are coming to an upcoming academic year, students who are trying to decide to join the program or not, and applicants who are planning to apply for the next year’s intake.

50 reasons to join IMFSE immediately (from the perspective of first-year students):

  1. Each semester in different universities
  2. Considerate and friendly Management Board
  3. Lies – the sweetest and most helpful administrator
  4. FSE day every autumn where whole IMFSE family gets together ❤  IMG-1518
  5. Exposure to different cultures and soaking up the history of hosting cities
  6. Possibility to learn new languages (If you think English is enough, think again)
  7. Helpful professors and teaching assistants (100% committed and helpful teaching staff)
  8. Supportive second-year students (for some of you, we will be supportive second-year students)
  9. Get familiar with building codes and regulations of different countries
  10. Internship opportunities in summer (start the process early because time passes by very fast)
  11. Guest lecturers from industry representatives
  12. Field trips to fire-related companies
  13. Possibility to improve fire safety in your country (Fire safety is a culture, not just a field of study. You can spread this culture at your home country)
  14. Choosing the thesis topic that you like (but you also need to compromise because there are some rules that come with choosing the topic :/ )
  15. Group exam preparations
  16. Amazing chemistry between students (You will find a long-lasting friendship)                                 WhatsApp Image 2019-04-08 at 14.55.38DSC09890
  17. Endless talks with classmates at night in the computer lab instead of finishing the assignment
  18. Ryanair flight discounts and Flixbus discounts for being Erasmus+ students 😎
  19. Travel while you study (during weekends, of course, do not miss the lectures 😀 )  DSC08709
  20. For students from the south: a chance to experience snow for the first time

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  1. Become a fire fighter for a day during the fire station visit with Fire Fighting class                                 IMG-1519
  2. Small class experiments in Explosions class
  3. “Student kick” welcome week in Ghent
  4. Beautiful views from the dorm – Home Vermeylen (observe beautiful Ghent sunsets or stargaze without getting out of your bed)
  5. Cozy evening gatherings in dorms    IMG-20181002-WA0015
  6. Belgian chocolate and craft beer (Some of us, chocolate lovers, will be going to Ghent for the third semester, we are very excited about this)
  7. Group study at terrace of Home Fabiola
  8. Halloween party in the dorms  IMG-20181031-WA0015
  9. Belgian fries (From Ewana’s words, who traveled to 22 countries in Europe, Belgian fries are the best)

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  1. Group lunch/dinners with Grunde

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  1. Fire-related songs at breaks in Ricky’s class
  2. Welcome Week full of events
  3. 24/7 library on the main campus (there is also hot water available on the first floor, perfect for tea lovers like me)
  4. Excellent gym facilities for an affordable price for students (try it out during Welcome Week for free. It is also free during Health Awareness Week in the middle of the semester)
  5. Themed pubs at Teviot House  DSC06323
  6. Monday Pub Quiz at Pleasance Bar (you do not have to drink to socialize and participate in the quiz for a chance to win a prize)
  7. Scottish Highlands
  8. Extremely cheap and delicious cookies “Bourbon” (£0.22). We always used to have them during group studies    IMG_7989.JPG

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  1. Picturesque spring of Lund (experience long daytime during spring and summer)
  2. Learn not only the technical side but also human behavior in fire and behavioral influence (If you think that fire is unpredictable, try predicting human behavior in fire)
  3. Learn how to use evacuation programs (Simulex, Pathfinder and etc.)
  4. Fire labs to burn stuff (It’s always amazing to see stuff burn in lab experiments)                                                                                        eba2b71b-7513-4785-9304-ad2008d18ad8unnamed
  5. 15-minute per hour class breaks (Don’t expect it anywhere else)
  6. “Sittnings” at Nations in Lund (join the Nations at the university to get involved in the student activities)
  7. Bike trip to Malmo (Continue IMFSE tradition of bike trips to Malmo)  IMG_0148
  8. A football match with local students in Lund
  9. Dancing in the Dark (If you are shy to dance in front of others, try this free event held every week. Nobody will see how you are dancing. This was an entirely new experience for us)
  10. “TDC” parties in Lund accommodations (party and get to know people who live in the same accommodation as you)
  11. Kiruna in January/February to observe Northern Lights (but be ready for -26C 😳 ).

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  1. Become a blogger for IMFSE blog (Why read about people’s adventures when you can live yours and write about them)

 

PS: Tune in next academic year for the expansion of this list from the perceptive of second-year students.

 

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Social Influence

Edinburgh is a city filled with year-round festivals and celebrations that attract many people from all around the UK and the World. The biggest yet is Hogmanay – the Scottish way of celebrating the New Year. It is a three-day celebration that starts on 30th of December with Torchlight Procession and ends on 1st of January with The Loony Dook. Although I had not heard of Hogmanay before coming to Edinburgh, I am very glad that I was part of this Torchlight Procession during my stay in this beautiful city.

When Dan, Joni, and I first got our torches at the entrance, Dan and I immediately started guessing how much Heat Release Rate the torch would have and how fast would it burn. But then, after seeing thousands of people jammed on South Bridge, we started reluctantly thinking about people’s behaviour with a meter long lighted torches. According to BBC news, this year there were 20 000 participants and 20 000 spectators in the procession (1). Luckily, we witnessed no fire-related accidents during the procession.

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This semester in Lund, we are taking Human Behaviour in Fire class, where we learned about different theories related to human behaviour during a fire. One of the theories made me think about this procession. Although there was no emergency during the event, people’s behaviour, I think, is still relatable to the theory of Social Influence. According to the theory suggested by M. Deutsch and H.B. Gerard, normative social behaviour is characterized as people not wanting to stand out and making fool of themselves, hence behaving in accordance with what is expected from them (2). During the procession, torchbearers were walking cautiously and at the same pace. Nobody wanted to walk faster, bypass each other, or cause discomfort to others. Although there were some that stopped during the walk to get that “Picture perfect” photo of themselves walking with a torchlight, by which they caused disturbance to others. I must confess, I also wanted to stop and get a good photo of mine taken during the procession. However, following a classical case of normative social influence, I wanted to avoid glares and judgment of people, so I chose not to do so (although I have some good photos before and after).

Overall, being part of this procession was a memorable experience. Many thanks to Dan and Joni for quality time.

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References

  1. Brown, Angie. Edinburgh torchlight procession creates giant Scotland map. BBC News. [Online] BBC, December 31, 2018. [Cited: February 27, 2019.] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-46721188.
  2. Nilsson, Daniel. Exit choice in fire emergencies – Influencing choice of exit with flashing lights. Lund : Lund University , 2009.

Winter break

After a very short and intense semester, my fellow classmates and I wanted to kick off our official winter break right after our final deadline at 4pm on 21st of December, which we did. We kicked off by throwing a Secret Santa party at Dan’s place. Dan and Joni kindly offered to host this party, Joni made an amazing vegetarian marinara sauce, and Karim and I helped her out by cooking different types of meat to meet everyone’s dietary restrictions.

As you might have noticed, since it was the Secret Santa party, everyone came prepared with their gifts and kept their recipients in secret. Overall it was a great party where we finally got relaxed, talked about something other than classes, and laughed. Since the conditions of the gift exchange were to find a funny gift under 10 GBP, I must say the gifts were funny and imaginative. You can see the photos below:

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Then everyone went separate ways to spend their winter break. I myself stayed in Edinburgh up until New Years. I visited all touristy places, had traditional turkey dinner at Dan and Joni’s place on Christmas, went to Hogmanay Torchlight Procession with them (which I will post later), and spent quality time with friends on New Year’s Eve after which left for Berlin to have a mini European trip.

P.S: sorry for making this post late, I just needed an excuse to share the photos from the event. Photo credit: Dan and Joni.

A Thank You Note

In honour of an upcoming Thanksgiving Day celebrated in the US, I want to write what I am thankful for this year.

I am thankful to the IMFSE program for giving me an amazing opportunity to spend two years in Europe to obtain an advanced degree at excellent universities and work with exceptionally talented people. IMFSE is truly a one-of-a-kind program:

  • Consists of a diverse group of students who share a common mission and interests.
  • Has established in its short existence an excellent reputation within the fire safety engineering community
  • Has a course structure that embodies the current and future needs of fire safety
  • Affords an opportunity of mobility to see and experience the world. 

I am spending my first semester at The University of Edinburgh along with six other IMFSE students.  It seems like we started the courses just yesterday, but already is about to finish. These two months were more than enough to get to know my classmates in this wonderful program – Seven students from seven different countries with seven different backgrounds and seven different personalities who became one diverse family. Although we are different,we complement each other: wisdom, wit, kindness, openness, mischief, sarcasm, fuss. A family that is always open to help you overcome your insecurities. A family that makes sure you are on track in your studies and not lagging. A family that I have come to trust in a short period of time. I am thankful to have this newly-gained diverse family. 

Although busy and feeling the stress of pending exams, the excitement of what comes after overshadows the worry and gives me motivation to go forward. Our next stop, Lund, is where we will get to know our other classmates, who are now in Ghent.  I am sure the next semester will be as memorable as this one.

To all who celebrate Thanksgiving Day: Happy Thanksgiving! 

To all who are getting ready for the final exams: Good luck!