One week into my exchange in Uppsala and I think it’s safe to say it I’ve completely fallen in love with Sweden. If you’re wanting to study in a vibrant, buzzing student town with plans to travel Europe during the semester I can’t recommend Uppsala enough.
Life in Uppsala is very different to crazy Sydney life. You learn fast the necessity of having a bike as that is how everyone gets around here (even in the rain and apparently snow too)! At Uppsala university you only study one subject at a time and the ‘lectures’ are the same size as tutorial classes making the lessons very personable. The university is extremely supportive and even allows you to retake exams if you fail the first time. The first subject I am undertaking is called ‘Why some Countries are Rich’ and is a really interesting history subject taught through an economic lens. Throughout the semester I am also taking a Swedish Beginners course which is super interactive and a good way to meet more international students. The best thing about doing electives here is that most elective subjects are only a couple of times a week. This means there is lots of free time to travel and explore Europe. Skyscanner is a really good app to get if you want to travel because it shows the cheapest flight prices for all airlines. Last week a group of us from the same class (barely having known each other for a couple of days) booked a trip to Poland together because flights were only $42 return! The uni also organises tours around Sweden for international students on weekends which is a good way to explore the country.
In terms of meeting people, it is hard not to make friends here. Uppsala has such a high intake of international students, all in the same boat wanting to meet people, so it’s not a difficult task – especially if you live in a place like Flogsta where there are corridor parties every week. Uppsala also have 13 social clubs called Nations which organise events throughout the week for students. Last Sunday I went to a free Salsa and Bachata dancing class held by one of the Nations just for fun – would definitely recommend. They also held events just for the international students during orientation week, such as a walking tour, scav hunt, free waffle brunch, a traditional Swedish dancing class… you get the idea. This was a nice way to mingle with other overseas students who had also just arrived to Uppsala. The nations either have their own club, pub or restaurant, (or sometimes all three), so is a huge social hub during the week – especially given food and drinks are discounted.
One of my most favourite things about Sweden is the culture of Fika! Similar to afternoon and morning tea, Fika is an excuse to have a cheeky coffee break with your friends at any point in the day. Sometimes we have three Fikas in one day just as an excuse to catch up and eat cinnamon buns. Tip to save money though, (especially if you’re a regular Fika goer), is to pack your own tea bags and you don’t have to pay for hot water or milk 🙂 or sometimes even the nations provide free Fika! (Yeah you learn to be a little stingy on exchange)
Overall, my experience in Uppsala so far has been really positive – with some of my favourite times just exploring the city by myself or having a picnic by the water with people I only met a couple hours before. If you have any questions at all don’t hesitate to send me a message on Facebook or my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bachelor of Business and Creative, Intelligence and Innovation