If you’re not a fan of meeting people from across the world, swimming in wide open lakes, exploring forests, living in a town rich with history- I’d recommend avoiding Uppsala. Otherwise, this is the place for you!
Exactly four weeks ago I ended a massive 30 hour journey across half the globe to arrive in this beautiful student city in Sweden where I’ll be living and studying for six months. The past weeks have been an amazing experience, enjoying the magical Swedish summer, day-trips to nearby Stockholm and nights out at the Student Nations.
I’d definitely recommend enrolling in the Swedish language course offered at Uppsala, whether in August or during the semester. My language classes ran each morning, and gave me the opportunity to meet other exchange students from across the world, as well as basic phrases and vocabulary to assist in everyday life and meeting notoriously shy Swedes. I’ve met a bunch of Swedes now in my corridor, on nights out and around town- all you need to do is smile and initiate the conversation and often they’ll be the loveliest people and want to help you however they possibly can.
The Student Nations, named after 13 regions of Sweden, are where everything happens, whether you want a good night out or to join a sports or interest club. Each nation has it’s own gorgeous building, and a different personality for different interests. One of the highlights of my time so far has been attending a Kräftskiva – a traditional Swedish crayfish party celebrated during August- at my home student nation Södermanlands-Nerikes. The night was a sit-down dinner with crayfish and schnapps, punctuated with frequent Swedish drinking songs, which is a lot of fun and incredibly entertaining!
With the rest of Europe so close, there’s also the chance to make weekend trips to completely different cultures and countries. I’m already planning to visit Latvia and Berlin in September, which I’m so excited for!
My time so far in Sweden has already been so amazing, and I can’t believe I get to be here for the remainder of this year. I also started my first class in Development, Democracy, and Governance just today, which I’m already enjoying. Even as the temperature drops I’m sure I’ll continue to make new friends and experiences in this gorgeous place sure to last a lifetime.
Erica Lim, 11997006, FASS