Surya Seetharaman, a third year B.Tech CSE student from the Amritapuri campus, was recently awarded a fully-funded merit scholarship to complete her Master’s degree at KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Currently enrolled in the Integrated 3+2 program, a collaborative initiative between Amrita and KTH, Surya was one among 55 awardees of the competitive scholarship which had an application pool of over 1,600 worldwide. The KTH scholarship will cover Seetharaman’s tuition fees of 145,000 Swedish Kronas per year (approximately 10.5 lakhs) and will offer comprehensive insurance for primary health care, free access to the University’s sports facilities, and an opportunity to study about Swedish culture.
Seetharaman first heard about the program from an e-mail sent by the Amrita Center for International Programs (ACIP). She states it was mainly due to the support and quick response from ACIP that she felt encouraged to apply. “I was interested in the 3+2 program but did not know much about the scholarship opportunities and expenditure. ACIP, however, organized a session for all the 2nd and 3rd year students and clarified all our doubts. There was even a representative from KTH present at the meeting.”
When asked about receiving the scholarship, Seetharaman states she “did not expect it” but was “overwhelmed with joy and extremely happy” to have been chosen. “The first thing I did was call up my parents and sister who is an alumna of Amrita and is currently in Italy doing her Master’s degree via the Erasmus Mundus Program. I was literally jumping up and down and informed my mentor, Mr. Vipin Pavithran, who was in the lab at that time.”
Seetharaman, a nine-pointer, already has a list of accomplishments to her name. In 2014, Seetharaman won a scholarship to attend a summer internship in Cyber Security at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Subsequently, Seetharaman’s article titled "How To Tackle Threats To Cloud Security" got published in the magazine Open Source For You. Seetharaman also qualified for the final round in the 2015 InCTF Hacking Contest, held at Amrita, and secured 3rd place nationally. When she is not busy competing in contests or attending summer programs, Seetharaman enjoys her time as an active member of the FOSS Club which allows her to come out of her comfort zone and increase her knowledge about the “infinite domains of computer science”.
Currently, Surya Seetharaman is working on her final year project along with completing the remaining course requirements for her Bachelor’s degree at Amrita and plans to fully enjoy the last few months with her friends before she leaves for Sweden in July. When asked about her future plans, Seetharaman states she is extremely interested in pursuing her PhD in Computer Science after her Master’s at KTH. “I am sure it is going to be challenging, but I am prepared to give my best and by Amma's grace, I will hopefully be able to do well.”