I still vividly remember the day I arrived at Uppsala Central Station. It was 3am,-25 degrees, everything was closed and the streets were paved in snow. As I looked around, the first thing that came to mind was “what have I gotten myself into?”. It is hard to believe that I now not only call this place home, but it is somewhere that I will forever hold dear in my heart. Writing this piece with 3 weeks remaining on exchange has allowed me to reflect on the wonderful time that I have had while in Uppsala, and appreciate everything this student town has to offer.
The Student Nations are the crux to student life in Uppsala. They not only provide cheap food, but also organise a lot of activities, trips and parties throughout the semester. Like many international students, I chose to join Södermanlands-Nerikes (or Snerikes for short), mainly because of the amazing parties it throws, especially during Valborg (more on that later). I had the opportunity to attend a gasque earlier on in the semester and this is something that I would definitely recommend to anyone who goes to Uppsala on exchange. While it is essentially a ball where you dress up, drink and eat fancy food, it really gives an insight into the traditions that these Nations have, and it gives you the opportunity to sing traditional Swedish songs and celebrate like the Swedes do.
Outside the city centre, Uppsala is surrounded by land that is just asking to be explored. Whether it be forests or amazing lakes, weekends are often spent cycling to unknown destinations and enjoying the green landscape that emerges once the snow has melted. Bikes are key in Uppsala and I wouldn’t know how I would get around town without one!
If there was ever a reason to come to Uppsala, it is Valborg. Held annually at the end of April, this 4 day festival is meant to celebrate the beginning of Spring. Over 100,000 people from around Sweden and the World flock to Uppsala to take part in the frivolities with the celebrations culminating on the Saturday of the festival where everyone takes part in a champagne shower party. The extent of the celebrations has to be seen to be believed!
So far, I have studied “Fighting Crime Together” and “Comparative Legal History and Contemporary Jurisprudence”. Both have provided me with an insight into how different legal systems operate, especially those in the European Union. It has also been enjoyable and interesting going to class and listening to the perspective of those who come from different countries and backgrounds with regards to their stance on certain laws.
Overall, I’ve had an absolute amazing time in Uppsala, and it will be truly sad to leave behind a place that I now call home, and friends that I now see as family.
If there was one thing that I can take away from my exchange, it is that you can never have too much fika (coffee and cake).
Maxeem Mikha 11644729 Law