It’s been quite a journey, but I’ve finally arrived and stayed in Sweden for about 3 weeks! I’m at Uppsala Universitet, Sweden’s oldest university, located in its 4th largest city. One of the best things about exchange so far has been that I’m in the middle of Europe (for the first time), and I arrived here after a month of country hopping (Italy, Austria, and France, in particular).
The transition into Swedish student life has been amazing, and frankly, every bit as idyllic and beautiful as I thought it would be. I say that off the back of two tours of Uppsala run by the university by a wonderfully entertaining guide, one in Northern Upplands, and the other at Gripsholms Castle. In the former, We stopped by some historic mining towns in and around Dannemora, then to the northern coast at Öregrund. Would highly recommend.
As for my (and most of the other students’) housing, Flögsta is where I’m staying; a 10-15 minute bike ride from Uppsala’s centre, and home to the infamous Flögsta scream. You live in a 12-person corridor, with each person having their own room and a shared kitchen at the end of the corridor. Every corridor is different with their own rules but regardless you end up talking to a bunch of interesting people. Uppsala, virtually being a student town, doesn’t really follow the ‘shy, reserved Swede’ stereotype, and everyone’s been super warm and welcoming. Also, everything is close by in Flögsta, the supermarket being a 3 minute walk and IKEA (and by extension, lunch) a 10-15 minute bus ride away.
Once I arrived at Uppsala Universitet and got settled at Flögsta, I needed to choose a student nation. Student nations are basically centuries old student organisations that offer housing, scholarships, club opportunities, and pubs to students — to get into nations and to have student identification you need to pick one out of thirteen. Though a lot of people stress over this choice, it’s not that big of a deal; I just ended up signing up to the one with a nice, cosy pub, and free entry into their club on Fridays (it’s called Värmlands Nation, you’re welcome).
To be perfectly honest, going on exchange and living on your own anywhere will be extremely rewarding (both are firsts for me), but having the opportunity to study at a world-class university, experience a beautiful city and meet people from all over the world that you can share those experiences with already makes Uppsala great choice for me. Now excuse me as this Australian braces himself for a Swedish winter.
Full name: Pranav More
Student ID: 97117509
Degree: Bachelor of Information Technology
Host University: Uppsala Universitet