I wanted to study Solar Energy as I knew I wanted to get an education that would give me the competitive edge in the burgeoning solar industry and couldn’t find that education opportunity in North America. So I googled available options and found ESES, and schools in Germany and Australia that fit my interests. In the end I selected ESES due to its history, its great website, the responsiveness of the people I contacted there and the curriculum that was clearly communicated on the website.
The programme at Dalarna University provided a great foundation from which multiple career paths could be taken. I found that the course work was very independent: e.g., you could make as much or as little out of the experience as you wished. My professors were the best part of the programme - specifically Tara Kampal’s class on the economics of solar PV and Frank Fiedler’s class on PV system design.
I would recommend this programme to people who are interested in the project implementation side of solar photovoltaics and people who are interested in a broader view of photovoltaics before they decide on a niche for a PhD. I would not be where I am today without the education I received from DU and ESES. I learned skills at DU and ESES that I use on the job every day. From time to time I even reference my old text books that live on my work desk.
The best thing about Sweden was the culture. It is so different from the culture of the United States. My experience of Swedish culture was that being a member of society means something completely different there than it does in the United States. In Sweden people are appreciated equally for the value they contribute to society regardless of their career; whether they are a laborer, a banker or an engineer, everyone is appreciated for their contribution. I found this in the teaching, the testing, the social scene and even the language. The whole experience was refreshing.