In my job, we worked to control robots via P4 capable switches, which was a challenging project due to the limitations of the network devices. The hardware is very expensive and almost all related documentation is highly confidential. It was like a secret society working on the future’s technologies, but I could still be a part of it and could see the process from the inside.
General impression about Sweden
The summer of my internship was the first time I had ever been to Sweden, so almost everything was new for me.
One of the best things I found was that almost everybody spoke excellent English, making everyday life abroad so much easier.
The weather and the views/sights were also really different from what I’m used to. It was a strange feeling when I sometimes had to wear my coat in the midlle of summer. Hungarian summers are, nowadays, so hot that we could open free saunas in our university dorm rooms. Some students even go to university just because of the air conditioning! My collegues said that I was lucky because this past summer was more sunny than average. I guess I really was lucky because I thought the weather was very good on average, and I could often enjoy peaceful walks in the beautiful forests nearby.
The most common opinion in Hungary about Sweden is that the cost of living is extremely high there. If we look at the prices in Hungary versus those in Sweden, it does seem to be true; however, I think the situation is a little bit different. The prices are three to four times higher on average in Stockholm, that’s true, but, relative to my salary, the same lifestyle there required the same amount of working as that needed in Hungary – or even less.
The weekends are only for adventures
My plan during that summer was to discover the most beautiful parts of Stockholm on my weekends. It was hard to choose between the possibilities, but I had colleagues who were happy to give me advice. I typically employed a basic rule: when it was raining, I would go to a museum; when sunny, I would go somewhere outside.
One sunny day, for example, I visited Skansen, Stockholm’s open-air museum and zoo. The program took an entire day, and I got to see old-style Swedish houses as well as local animals.
On one of my rainy days, I visited the Nordic Museum. It was a huge, breathtaking building containing numerous exhibitions related to Swedish history. My favorite exhibit there featured a number of interesting table settings. Upon entering and beginning the tour, I received a free audio guide, which gave me lots of fascinating information about almost everything in the museum.
Moments from Ericsson
After such a wonderful experience, I feel that Ericsson could be my second home. It’s so calm and light in the building, something which reflects the social atmosphere in the company too. I like the open social areas, and I always spent some time there every morning drinking a green tea or hot chocolate. It was always the perfect place to prepare myself for work.
I had lunch with my colleagues daily, and we usually went out for meals, during which we would always have an interesting conversation among the members of our international team.
When I first arrived, I had to find accommodation, since I wasn’t a local student. When I got to the office on the first day, everybody asked me whether I’d had difficulties in finding my accommodation. They were right to ask this question, as it’s notoriously challenging to find a place to bunk longer-term in Stockholm. I would advise anyone planning something similar to start looking for place as soon as possible.
In the end, though, I managed to rent a room in a big house in the city. I had the room to myself, but everything else was shared with the other guests. Actually, my place was in Tullinge, which is a bit far from Kista, but I was lucky to have easy access to the Ericsson office by train. Of course, my commute took more than one hour, but I couldn’t complain. I was excited, eager, and happy to be there.
About the author
My name is Csaba Györgyi. I currently study computer science at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Hungary, and I am a member of the ELTE Bolyai College . I am currently in the second year of my master’s degree studies, and I had the wonderful opportunity to take part in a summer internship at Ericsson AB in Stockholm, Sweden, this year, where I worked in the section of Fronthaul Technologies.