– The great experience was that I got to meet people from many different countries. There were 45 people in the class from 18 different nations. It has given me so much experience. The most satisfying moment of the programme was when I was stationed at Utah State University, in the U.S. during my thesis. There were just the two that got to go there, says Gustav Eriksson.
Erasmus Mundus masters programmes are prestigious, where students can study at different universities around Europe. Many students apply to the program, but few enter.
– First semester we were in Germany, and our second term in Kiruna. The third term, we can choose between five different universities. It is the international atmosphere that makes the programme extra special. I stayed in Kiruna my third semester. I had no problem to stay up there, despite the cold and the snow. There we had the opportunity to visit Esrange. You also have close contact with the atmospheric research and auroral research conducted at IRF (Dept. of Space Physics). There are opportunities to launch stratospheric balloons. The Marvel project, where students built an unmanned aerial vehicle, is a good example of what can be achieved during the programme. It's like you feel closer to space in Kiruna, says Gustav Eriksson.
At the time of the interview Gustavs thesis is finished but two weeks remain until the official graduation ceremony at the partner university in Helsinki - his employment however, is already fixed.
– I am already employed at OHB Sweden, a German company that bought up parts of the Swedish Space Corporation SSC, they have their headquarters here in Solna. My title is "Propulsion Engineer" and at the moment I'm working with different projects which involve structural design, system design and trade-offs of different products that we can think of to use in the various proposals we develop.
Gustav, however, says that he is looking to find a way back to Kiruna.
– I can imagine moving back. I've already applied for several jobs at Esrange. Had I only read mechanical engineering, I think the competition would be stronger, overall. I compete in a small business and have little work experience. Because I read the masters programme in Kiruna and has the skills I think chances are better to get a job in the aerospace industry.