Dear visitors,

In my last blog, I discussed what to expect in the second semester of the Applied Ethology and Animal Biology Master Programme. Now I would like to share my experience in the third and fourth semesters of the programme and inform you about mobility opportunities for carrying out your thesis abroad.

As I mentioned in the previous blog, you should investigate the master thesis topics that interest you as soon as possible. You will be given a list of topics in December, but you can always find your own topic and supervisor.

After thorough research and careful consideration, I decided to go to Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest to participate in dog research. But how did I get to that decision? If you are not sure what you want to do or how to begin, start reading papers about animals that interest you. You can contact the authors of the papers and ask them directly for more information about their research and whether you can carry out your thesis with their institution.

View from the 6th floor of the Ethology Department at ELTE.

This is how I ended up at ELTE, working alongside the best dog researchers globally. After I received the “okay” from the ELTE supervisor and my LiU supervisors, I started planning the trip. One huge upside of studying outside of Sweden is that you are eligible for an Erasmus mobility grant. This amount varies depending on which country you will be in, but the grant is enough to cover your rent and more. Now that you have that covered, it’s time for my least favourite part: apartment hunting!

I was lucky enough because Hungary has plenty of accommodation and the living costs are much lower than in Sweden. Facebook groups are the best option to find suitable accommodation in any country. Although I did not like my initial apartment, I easily found another one.


Some beautiful areas in Budapest.

Once I got settled, it was time to organise my thesis. My topic involves dog cognition and more particularly, how dogs generalise the features of a target object. For the first few months, I have been doing the pilot study and creating the objects that the dogs will have to choose from. I have been spending quite a lot of time crafting things and training dogs, but it’s all part of the research. Keep in mind that carrying out your thesis abroad, is a bit of a gamble when it comes to supervision. Even though I don’t have any supervisor present whatsoever, I am lucky enough that my supervisor replies very fast to emails and I can still get work done. But you have to get used to the fact that you might be alone.

Some of my research buddies.

Lab rooms at the Ethology Department at ELTE.

I am halfway through my research and my advice to you is to choose carefully the animal/topic of your thesis, because you will be stuck with it for quite some time, and if you like what you are doing, it will not feel like a hassle.

I hope you have an amazing week!

For now, have a great autumn.

//Una


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