After a few weeks of travel through Sicily and Slovenia with friends, I arrived in the Swedish town of Uppsala. I came a month early to try and learn some Swedish as a part of the intensive language course that the university offers. I would highly recommend doing this course if you want to make the most of your experience in Sweden. Not only has it taught me some basic, conversational Swedish, but has also allowed me to experience some of the Swedish Summer, settle in, and make some new friends before the start of the term. We’ve been frequenting the Student Nations most nights. The Nations are unique to Uppsala Universitet, originally starting as a way for students from other regions of Sweden to meet with those from home (e.g. Stockholm locals would join Stockholm Nation). Each Nation has its own appeal: some are well known for their night clubs/bars, while others do, for example, games and movie nights. Depending on what your scene is, there is generally a nation for you. Our group all joined Södermanlands-Nerikes Nation (aka Snerka-Derka), which has its club nights on Tuesdays. It’s good fun, but you pay the price come Wednesday morning classes.
The accommodation where I am living is called Flogsta, and it is renowned throughout the town. Think brutalist, Soviet era architecture with a uni-party vibe mixed in and you’ve got the picture. Our Flogsta family includes Kain, who is also a UTS student studying here in Uppsala, Annie (posh-Londoner), Celia (half German/half posh-Londoner), Charlie (another Londoner, but he’s cockney and super chavy), Julian (the charming Austrian), Tess, Emma and Evan (the quintessential Americans), Tobias (the Cambridge graduate), Gabriel (Columbian and Swedish spice) and our man Erman (half Turkish, half French and he speaks all the languages).
The most wholesome activity we have done so far was without doubt our hike in the woods. In Sweden, there is a customary law called allemansrätten. This translates in English as “freedom to roam”, which essentially means that the land, lakes and rivers belong to everybody. For this reason, it is common for the locals to forage in the woods for mushrooms and fruit. There are also public cabins scattered across hiking trails where you can rest and stay for the night. It was a special experience, and we are thinking of going again this weekend.
At the start of September the Semester will officially begin and the town will be flooded with other students (around 40,000 in total). We are all very excited for the next six months to come, irrespective of the cold winter we keep hearing so much about!
Bachelor of Communication / Bachelor of Laws
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au