Semester in Lund

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-26 at 09.54.44Semester in Lund was very special in every meaning of the word and took place in our hearts. The semester when students have an opportunity to spend the semester together, live together, eat together, study together, and travel together. It was wonderful to share happy and stressful moments together. It made us bond, the bond that will hopefully last for a lifetime.

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During the semester we had four classes, four field trips, and three IMFSE student-led workshops. It was a very fulfilling and productive semester. We learned about human behavior in fire, assessed risk of fires in a theatre, and did Steckler room simulations with FDS. We tried out Cobra cutting extinguisher (originated in Sweden), slid down a fire pole, and sat inside the fire truck.

The semester in Lund was amazing and I am sure following semesters will be even more so.

My greatest appreciation to Lund University and IMFSE ‘18-20 for an unforgettable semester ❤ !!!

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Potluck and Games

Few days after finishing our last exam in Lund, we started getting ready to pack our stuff and get ready for summer break. Naturally, having many leftover products and food, some of us decided to get rid of them without wasting. This was a great reason for us to gather for a potluck dinner. Being part of IMFSE family means being in a very diverse environment. Dinner was great. It consisted of Indian, Sri-Lankan, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Egyptian, Iranian, Kazakh and other national food, such as dolma, potato curry, pulao, fried beef, chicken qorma, watermelon jelly with apples, and chocolate pudding.

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Then a spontaneous potluck dinner dissolved into the game night and early morning at the playground 😀 😛 .  When you have an awesome night with awesome people, you obviously would not want to stop. As a result, to continue the fun, we ended up going to Copenhagen to visit the famous Tivoli Park and the city.

The last activity in Lund before everyone went their separate ways, we decided to have an early dinner at an all-you-can-eat sushi place. As usual, quality time with friends was great and sushi was spot on. If you ever end up in Lund, definitely try Aiko Sushi, the best place to enjoy sushi in town.

Now, it is time to start the summer break after an enjoyable and productive semester in Lund ❤

Feeling at Home

And just like that our semester of studies in Lund has finished and we’ve reached the halfway point in the program.

It’s quite a strange feeling that we’ve been experiencing over the past week or so (outside of the times in which we’ve been totally absorbed with last-minute study). We’ve all gradually realised that, depending on each other’s mobility selections, there is almost half of our cohort which won’t physically be in the same location as each other until we arrive at our graduation in over a year’s time.

To celebrate the end of semester and farewell each other for the summer (or longer) we held a small, tightly packed party in our apartment. It was here that we discovered that each of had seen and experienced different aspects of Lund over the past six months. Despite this second semester being affectionally referred to as the semester of travelling, many of us had not done much travelling around the town in which we were residing. There are many great spots that each other had never come across simply because they were outside of the main routes between the university, town centre, and home.

I’ve come to realise I’m very lucky in this regard. I love riding bikes, so much so that I brought my racing bike with me from Australia. The extent of places that you’re able to see on a bike and the connectedness to your surroundings is unparalleled.

I have gotten lost, crashed, had mechanical issues and been utterly depleted, but have returned so much better for it.

DCIM103GOPRO

As I’ve touched on before, one of the challenging aspects of this program is never feeling quite at home before moving onto the next location. Whilst others have finished with their time in Lund and are running to the airport, I still feel slightly attached to this place and luckily don’t have to leave until the end of the summer.

I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to make the effort to explore, discover what is often hidden right under your nose and to connect to each of these places in which we reside. You don’t need to do 100 km long training rides like me to get a different perspective on these places; perhaps it is enough to ride to the next town, to the coast or even just to the local park.

It may make it harder to pack up and leave, but what you get in return is immeasurable.

Lund Football Tournament

Every year, Fire Safety Engineering Student Organization, or in Swedish, Brandingenjörsstuderandes intresseförening (BIIF), organizes a free football tournament for all the students within fire safety engineering, risk management or disaster management area. For us, it was at the weekend before the 2nd term started. We were told by one of our seniors, just call her Farah, that IMFSE had never reached 1st 2nd and 3rd place in this tournament, or in other words, we always finish last. Sad truth but that made us determined to break the record by at least finishing 2nd to last.

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IMFSE Team and Supporters

At the first and second match, we did well to secure 2 draws – the first one should be a win though but the referee didn’t see the ball going into the goal. But after those 2 matches, we suffered 2 successive defeats that resulted in us finishing 5th out of 5 teams.

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Leo feeling comfortable under the bar

However, during the break time Danny was recruited by the other team as a goalkeeper to play in the final and managed to win it to make us proud with his IMFSE shirt. It was a very good event and many thanks to BIIF for having us in this event. For the next IMFSE cohort, please win the tournament!! Semangat!

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The Winner of the Tournament

G’day Mate!!

In this special edition post, we shall have a blog take-over from one of my best friends in the IMFSE programme, Andrei Lazouski. For our thesis semester, Andrei has ventured down under to one of IMFSE’s associate partner universities, the University of Queensland (UQ). Eager to share his experience, I would like to proudly present, Andrei’s Adventures in Australia!!!

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Introducing to you, the kangaroo to my koala, Andrei!!!

Hi everyone! As the 4th semester of the IMFSE Programme can be spent in one of the associate partner universities apart from programme host universities, I had the wonderful opportunity to complete my master thesis at the University of Queensland (UQ) with Dr Cristian Maluk as my supervisor. If any reader will have such an opportunity to do the same, he or she should definitely go for it 😊!!!

My long long trip started from Moscow Domodedovo airport with a 1-day transit in Singapore. Before my 1-day adventure in Singapore, I was fully informed about best attractions, places of interest, food courts etc. (hmm.. I wonder thanks to whom…). I was impressed by such a modern city with the beautiful Gardens By The Bay, the iconic Marina Bay Sands and the buzzing Central Business District. One day was definitely not enough to see all of the possible landmarks and attractions, so I hope to return there someday!

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Andrei with the legendary merlion. Ever wondered why Singapore was named Singapore?

When I finally arrived at UQ, I was very warmly welcomed by a big team of fire-related professionals which included academics, PhD students, master students and researchers.  It was also great to be reunited with some of them whom I’ve already known from their guest presentations at the University of Edinburgh. The IMFSE (and the global fire safety family) is truly a connected and close knitted one. 

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Showing of the Australian weather to us stuck in Europe.

In UQ, I was truly fascinated by the variety of fire-related apparatuses in the lab, which included 2(!) H-TRIS (Heat-Transfer Rate Inducing System) apparatuses which was of particular interest to my master thesis. Also, it has the largest Structures Lab I’ve ever seen in all the universities I’ve been to. I was amazed by it’s true “Australian” scale! Apart from facilities, there are also highly qualified professionals, who operate the lab on a daily basis and helped me in operating the different equipment for my thesis experiments.

I was thankful to be able to join the weekly meetings with the fire team in UQ. The research- and industry-related discussions during the meetings exposed me to new challenges which exist for modern fire safety engineers and researchers. Also, I had a great opportunity to present my master thesis to the team who gave me detailed feedback and had in-depth discussion of the problem. There were also numerous talks by fire safety engineering companies who shared their experience in performance-based design and its features in the Australian market. Some of the key highlights include attending the lecture by Dr Marianne Foley (ARUP) and a presentation by RED Fire Engineers. The fire team in UQ is truly remarkable. Fun fact: Although there are not many pine trees around Brisbane, the fire team made the best prediction for the recent NIST Christmas Tree Fire Heat Release Rate Prediction Competition and received the Gold Pine prize. GO UQ!

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Can IMFSE get the golden pine next year?

Other than the awesome fire team and lab, the St. Lucia campus is also one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. It’s hard to differentiate whether you are in a zoo, in an ancient city or a university. I’ve never been a fan of birds, but once I got to Australia, I started to notice a new species  every time I pass by the UQ lakes! And I decided to take pictures of them.

Spending my 4th semester in Australia was a truly amazing experience.  Going to the University of Queensland to perform the IMFSE master thesis is definitely a great opportunity and an awesome adventure which gave me new insights into the profession from an Australian point of view, which I highly appreciate.

– Andrei Lazouski, IMFSE 2017-2019

Wow!!! Now even I want to go and visit University of Queensland (neh.. I am team Edinburgh!!). It is really wonderful to see how even though all of us are from the same cohort of IMFSE students, we all have varied and diverse experiences which is a great hallmark of an IMFSE education. Hope you enjoyed this blog take-over from my Belarusian friend and hope this inspires readers to consider going to UQ for your thesis semester. Thank you for sharing, Andrei!

IMFSE & ERASMUS+: Changing Lives. Opening Minds.

As the European Union (EU) gears itself this month for the European Parliamentary elections (and that’s as political as this post will get), it is timely that we remind ourselves that IMFSE is essentially set up in the Erasmus+ framework of the EU.  IMFSE have excelled throughout the years receiving the Erasmus+ label of success story and good practice example. This is in recognition of how IMFSE is well-managed and distinguished itself as a role model for other ERASMUS programmes.

In order to be more involved in ERASMUS activities, IMFSE sent Balsa and I to the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA) 12th General Assembly (GA) in Vienna together with fellow IMFSE alumni, Simon and Beshir, as well as Lies, our ever-reliant IMFSE administrator. It was the first time IMFSE have attended the EMA GA and it was a great opportunity for IMFSE to get in touch with the wider ERASMUS community. EMA is an association for students and alumni of ERASMUS programmes and form an official channel of communication for students, alumni and universities with the European Commission.

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The IMFSE contingent in EMA GA 2019

The assembly kicked off with inspirational speeches by human rights activists sharing their views on the global youth agenda as well as personal accounts of their stories on hope and resilience. These sessions made us wondered how our role as future young fire engineers could impact the society at large and how we are essentially part of a wider global community with a multitude of challenges.

On an official note, an informative session with the European Commission introduced the latest EU policies with discussion on defining the ERASMUS brand and the sustainability of the programmes. As the vision of the European Commission for ERASMUS programmes was laid out, there is no question that IMFSE would be here to stay and prosper in the future. Tackling the skills gap with the on-going global concern on the competency of fire safety professionals, IMFSE have been continually fulfilling the vision set out by the ERASMUS+ programme. With an active management board and an ever growing IMFSE sponsorship consortium, IMFSE is well-funded (though more support is always welcomed) and managed effectively. With students from all over the world and involving 6 universities spanning 3 continents, there is no doubt that IMFSE is an inclusive programme that supports internationalisation and transnational training. Its accolades which includes SFPE 2018 ‘David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge Award’ also solidifies it position in providing quality training and fostering innovation. Dare I say, IMFSE definitely represents the ideals of the ERASMUS+ programme.

During the general assembly, the IMFSE contingent also actively participated in the workshops which seek to align the UN Sustainable Development Goals with ERASMUS+ programmes. It was an eye-opening experience to see how IMFSE could fit in the wider scheme of global development that seeks to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all especially in terms of quality education as well as development in industry, innovation and infrastructure. As the workshops were conducted in group sharing sessions with representatives from other ERASMUS+ programmes, we were also exposed to the agendas of other programmes and how we could collectively achieve these goals. It seems like IMFSE could play a bigger role in global development than expected.

The EMA GA was also a great exposure for the IMFSE contingent to learn about the role that EMA could play for current and future IMFSE students. Learning about EMA country and regional representatives was particularly enlightening. They not only provide an avenue to promote IMFSE but also serve as a local support system for students and alumni though activities such as pre-departure briefings for new ERASMUS students in their home countries. So to all incoming IMFSE students, feel free to reach out to your EMA country representatives should you need help or support in preparation for your exciting ERASMUS experience!!

Overall, EMA GA was a refreshing experience to detach ourselves from the little world of fire we live in but instead, see how fire safety and IMFSE relates to the global issues at hand. It was also encouraging to see how IMFSE stays true and continues to thrive within the ERASMUS+ ideals.  With the continuous support of the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union, may IMFSE continue to do good in the world.

Cottage in the Nature

Spring is coming! After cold, windy, and gloomy days in Winter, my corridor contact in Margaretavägen student housing organized a 3-day trip to a cottage to enjoy the nature and, most importantly, enjoy life! The cottage is located close to the municipality of Sösdala around 60km away from Lund. Some of us biked there (yes, they are crazy), some took the train and biked from Sösdala station, and the rest travelled by car. It turns out that the cottage belongs to Lund University and they rent it out to students for lower price which is awesome!

cottage

First day

On the first day, since the sun shone very brightly on us, we chilled a bit on a park to enjoy it before finally getting ready for dinner. The whole group around 20ish people were divided into 3 teams and each team was responsible for a dinner for 1 night, i.e. team 1 for the first night, and so on. While team 1 was preparing the dinner, I decided to help cutting firewood for bonfire tonight. Woohoo FIREE!

Second day

The next day, it’s time for outdoor sports! Have you ever heard a beach sport named spikeball? It was a great fun! I don’t why it’s not that popular in Indonesia as we have so many beaches. After the sports, we went for a sauna and a swim in the lake just right beside the sauna house. That’s cool right? But it was more of a cold for me than cool lol. Finally, we closed the day by having a party in the cottage.

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Third day

Third day is b(h)iking day! We were planning to go up north by bike around 10km from the cottage and relax by the side of a huge lake. However, as some of us didn’t bring our bikes, we decided to just walk our way there. It appeared the plan didn’t go so well and we got lost! It started when we took the wrong way and chose to take the shortcut through the forest. But, somehow, we couldn’t just walk through the forest and a small detour turned into a big detour. It was thrilling though! We eventually couldn’t join the others at the lake and after we managed to step out of the forest, we went straight home to prepare the dinner for everyone.

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The last day, we cleaned the entire cottage up and we parted ways. Special thanks to my corridor contact for organizing this trip and also to everyone for making this trip happen. Looking forward to other cottage trips! See you!

dinner - echo

NB. Not all the photos are mine. Thanks Mathilde and Echo for the great photos!