When asked to describe the atmosphere at Stanford, where WASP PhD student Mia spent a semester, she answers “awesome.”
“I don’t know how else to put it,” she laughs.
“It’s like the whole Bay Area is a campus, and everyone is in tech or science. If you come here, you’ll meet a lot of interesting people that you wouldn’t have met in Europe.”
She found the people at Stanford friendly and open to new ideas.
“They weren’t dismissive in any way. You might have expected that since it’s an elite university, but I always felt very comfortable.”
Before you go on a WASP Research Stint, you need to find a “sponsor,” a professor, or head of a research group, at your host university. Mia Kokic came in touch with her sponsor when she went to California on a WASP study trip.
“My sponsor, professor Jeannette Bohg, was a PhD student of my professor at KTH. I knew she was working on things similar to what I do, robotics, grasping, and manipulation.”
Mia Kokic rented a room in Palo Alto. Every day she biked to campus and the lab where she was working.
“I was working on a computer vision project. We wrote an article that was accepted to IEEE-RAS. After I got back to Sweden, the collaboration continued for another six months or so,” she explains.
Mia Kokic highly recommends Stanford to WASP PhD students.
“Yes. And I would urge them not to be afraid. Some students might fear they’re not smart enough for Stanford or that they won’t be able to handle the workload, but that’s not the case. You should go, and don’t be afraid to contact people and share your research.”
Mia Kokic is a PhD Student at KTH, First Batch WASP AS-track. At Stanford from August to December 2018.