Friday, May 05, 2006

My experiences in Sweden - Preamble

Time is surely riding a roller coaster. Almost two years ago, at this time of year, I was subjected to a great deal of confusion and uncertainty. Should I continue doing job? Should I accept PhD offer from LUMS? Should I go to Sweden for masters? Should I or Shouldn't I. These were the questions I was asking myself. All the options, I had, were quite good from their own standpoints:

The job was getting along nice and well; LUMS was offering me fully funded PhD position with 23K monthly stipend and Sweden offered me a degree which I always wanted to pursue i.e. a MS in AI. I ended up opting the last option. Sweden, it was. The factors that influenced the decision are as follows:

- Although LUMS was/is a very reputable institute. The monetary incentive was good but spending the next five years of my life in a university which was in its embryonic phases of developing a research culture was not a plausible idea.

- Job, well, after doing a full bachelors degree in computer science with a distinction, I didn't find it worth fixing HTML, ASP tags and writing select queries in database. I wanted to write compilers, AI engines etc.

- MS degree from abroad was a lucrative offer. At the least, it promised international exposure and perhaps new avenues of opportunities. At the same time, it threatened me of all the hardships that a "pampered" child like me had to undergo. Considering 1.5 years was not a substantial period - although later it turned out, it was - I took the plunge.

These long introductory paragraphs bring me to the main topic, I wanted to write about. This and the following series of posts are dedicated to share my experience of studying and living in Sweden. The above plot was necessary to enable the reader understand the surroundings in which I took the decision. In the later weeks, I'll be writing in bits and pieces about the visa process, accommodation issues, my adventures with cooking etc.

Stay beautiful.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Back to Neverland

First of all excuse me for not updating this blog for so long now. There are whole host of reasons for not doing so; laziness and business may be the prominent ones. Anyways, better late than never.

I’d use this post to summarize what I have been really upto for the last couple of months. I mentioned in my last post that I was nearing graduation and would soon be getting back home. By the grace of Almighty I am done with my studies and now back in Pakistan.

The later half of my stay in Sweden was really eventful and memorable: serendipitous, I would say. I got an odd job in November meaning that I no longer had to worry about bucks and award of RISH scholarship in December was really the icing on the cake. In January, a week long tour to UK and then to USA gave me an opportunity to travel a bit before I came back to Pakistan.

A lucrative offer from a company in United Kingdom followed me. I had to turn the offer down mainly due to my parents. They were in no mood of letting me go abroad once again. Meanwhile, I accepted a job offer from my previous employer for a senior level software development position. This is my second month on the job and I am quite pleased the way things have shaped so far. So far, so good.

As far as Pakistan and Lahore is concerned, situation has not changed much in these 1.5 years: poor is getting poorer and rich is getting richer. Cars are breaking out like a virus, thanks to the banks and leasing companies. There are lots of other things as well which I shall point out in my future posts, Insh'Allah.

I hope I’d be able to keep this blog updated from now on. Posts regarding my experience of studying abroad are still to come. Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Yet another blogger

A good old ”hello” to all of the readers. For the details about me, please take a peek at my profile.

Owing to the ubiquitous spread of blogging, I thought that it was a nice idea to start my own blog where I could write about myself and my experiences, could share some tech knowledge and the most important of all, could get some feedback from you, the readers.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing my experience of living and studying in Sweden. I am on the verge of graduation and would soon be getting back to Pakistan. I am sure that this information, even in retrospect, would be helpful to all the readers who are aspirants of foreign education especially in Sweden.

P.S. I do intend to improve the look and feel of this blog but for the moment you'll have to live with it.