Meet Federico Ciccozzi, graduate student

Federico Ciccozzi from L’Aquila, Italy is the first graduate of the Global Software Engineering European Master’s (GSEEM) program at Mälardalen University. About his choice of program, Federico has “No regrets!”

Federico graduated from the University of L’Aquila in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He was thinking of pursing a master’s degree in software engineering when he discovered the new Global Software Engineering European Master’s (GSEEM) program where a year of study at the University of L’Aquila plus a year of study abroad at a participating university would result in two master’s degrees – one degree from each university.

–  I had always heard good things about Sweden, and I was familiar with the country, so I decided to enroll and spend my second year at Mälardalen University, says Federico.

A“well-rounded” approach

When comparing University of L’Aquila and Mälardalen coursework, Federico says courses in Italy are more theoretical while courses in Sweden are more practical:

– Although the subject material in each country is similar, each university takes a different approach, which leads to a well-rounded understanding of the subject. When I chose Mälardalen, I wasn’t aware of its close ties to industry and applied research. So I was a little surprised but really enjoyed this aspect of the program. My master’s thesis focused on the integration of wireless systems in industry and incorporated practical work experience from ABB in Västerås. One of the great things about this program is that professors and advisors treat you like a peer. You’re not just a student!

Federico also enjoyed an opportunity to work in international teams with students from the Univer¬sity of Zagreb in Croatia on special projects for the International Conference on Software Engineering student contest in 2009. Team members communicated using web-based communication systems. All four projects submitted by Mälardalen were among the ten semi-finalists for the competition. Three of these qualified for the finals, and a Mälardalen project took first prize.

–  The biggest challenge was communicating across distance, says Federico.

– We had to be sure we didn’t duplicate each other’s work and we had to coordinate project development. The course was new and interesting and one of the best courses of the year.

Support services

Regarding housing and other practical details of settling into life at a foreign university, Federico found the support services for foreign students at Mälardalen well-organized and efficient. “Just ask for it and you’ll get it. Everything works well, which allows you to focus on your work.”
Mälardalen also offers Swedish language courses for exchange students.

What next?

Although Federico has decided to stay at Mälardalen to pursue a PhD in model-driven software engineering, he believes there are endless work opportunities for software engineers.

– Computers without software are just ‘empty boxes.’ Any industry that uses technology – automotive, aerodynamics, telecom – needs software engineers. It’s a field full of opportunities, even for graduates with bachelor’s degrees.

– But for anyone considering a master’s in software engineering, I definitely recommend this program!

Facts about the Global Software Engineering European Master’s (GSEEM) program

Offers a two-year Master of Science degree in software engineering with concentration in one of three areas:

  • Software architecture
  • Real-time embedded systems
  • Web systems and services

Unique opportunity to earn a master’s degree from two participating universities for the same coursework (“double” master’s). Partner universities: Mälardalen University (Sweden); University of L’Aquila (Italy); VU (Vrije Universiteit) University Amsterdam (Netherlands).

Program emphasis: close cooperation with local industry on applied software projects international experience through collaborative projects with students in other countries. All courses conducted in English. For more information: www.gseem.eu

Why the same degree from two universities?

  • Enhanced employability. Potential employers want team members who are not afraid of challenges. A two-university experience demonstrates initiative and curiosity, qualities that can lead to more interesting work with higher pay.
  • Academic credentials accepted in two countries or more. GSEEM graduates’ academic credentials are automatically accepted in two countries, and perhaps more.
  • Experience living abroad. Participants learn firsthand what it’s like to live and work outside of one’s own culture, a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • It’s fun! The GSEEM program is an opportunity to meet and work with people from around the world and to make new friends for life.