Looking for an experience of a lifetime?
BEST courses are like a sweet combination between a reception and a study abroad experience, but compressed to 1-2 weeks:
- You go to another city in Europe
- You have lectures, workshops and company visits (during the day)
- You explore the city and the culture of the country you are in (in the afternoon)
- You party (at night)
- You have fun (all the time)
- You meet people from all around Europe (usually from ~15-20 different countries)
Applications to events are done by writing motivation letters. If you are accepted to an event and decide to go, we charge a very small symbolic course fee (maximum 55€) from you, but in return we provide accommodation, food and all of your activities throughout the whole course at no extra cost. The only other thing YOU need to pay is the journey there and back. We think that’s a pretty sweet deal.
So what are YOU waiting for?
BEST provides about 100 courses all over Europe every year, spread out over four seasons (winter, spring, summer and autumn). There are always many topics and disciplines to choose from and you are free to attend any event, even if it’s not within your study program. To apply you simply have to write a motivational letter to convince the organisers of the course (ie students) that they should pick you.
Our courses are open to all Chalmers students, and you don’t have to be or become a member of BEST to go on a course. In fact, being a member of BEST does not influence your chance of getting accepted at all (although you will have a wider array of internal events that you can apply to).
You can see the full list of available courses and read more about how to apply on the international BEST webpage.
What can you expect from a course
When applying to a BEST event it is very important that you read the course description carefully. Courses can vary a lot in different aspects. Below you can read some of the most important things:
The content of the academical part is always taught by professionals in the respective fields, mostly by professors from the host university, or professionals and experts from the industry. Not all of the courses will have the same quality as you are used to from Chalmers, and some courses might exceed your expectations from here. In any case, you will get a unique chance to see how education works in another European country.
Course names in BEST are not the most descriptive ones, so make sure to check out the learning objectives and content of the course in the course description. You should also be able to find a schedule of the event (be aware that smaller changes can happen), where you can see how many hours are scheduled for lectures and other academical activities. Under the course information you can also read the estimated level of the course, which in BEST can be either basic or advanced. Make sure that you select a course that fits your skills and ambitions. No courses that fit your study program? Then pick a course in a different field!
At some courses you will sleep at a hostel, at some in a cabin or a dormitory. Before applying for a course you can read about this under the course information. Normally, accommodation at our events are pretty good, but keep in mind that all work is done on a voluntary basis by students and getting money is not always easy, so keep an open mind in case things are not perfect.
During the course the organisers will provide you with at least three meals a day. You can expect at least one of these meals to be warm. It is important to keep in mind that not all countries have the same food culture as yours or dinner times, so be prepared to learn how people dine in different countries.
The course fee is usually paid in cash upon arrival to the course, but contact the organising BEST group if you are unsure. It is also a good idea to bring some pocket money for the trip. During the event organisers will be paying for your accommodation, food and social activities, but it is usual that you will have to pay for drinks during the parties.
We are students and we like to party. So when you go on a course you can expect a different party for every night of your stay. Of course you still have to go to the lectures and stay awake the next day. This is part of the famous BEST-spirit!
The most iconic party which happens at every course, is the International Evening. On that occasion, you will be able to present your country, which is normally done by bringing/cooking traditional food and drinks from your country. Depending on the diversity of applicants to your course, this usually means that you will be able to try food and drinks from 15-25 different countries. Some typical things one can bring from Sweden is meatballs, salmon, kalles kaviar, knäckebröd, tunnbröd, beska droppar, punsch or cider.
At every course there is a survival guide, which aims to prepare you for the event before you leave. In this guide you will be able to find all the details you need. It will include information about the country you are travelling to, like their currency, weather, language and so on. There will also be more specific information concerning the course itself, like the schedule, how to get to the meeting place and contact information of the organisers.
When you go on a course, you can expect a fully packed schedule consisting of lectures and social & cultural activities throughout the whole day (and night). Your whole stay will be planned into the last detail and you won’t have to worry about a thing. This also means that you won’t have time to study for your exams or projects back home. And even if you would have the time, we can assure you that you would rather spend this time with all the other participants (that are soon going to be your BEST friends).
So what are you waiting for? Don’t be shy, just apply!