It is that time of the year when the buzz and vibrancy of Uppsala returns with the arrival of new and old students after the long summer break. One place which takes centre stage in any student’s life in Uppsala is a student nation. If Uppsala was Twitter, then the words ‘Student-nation’ would most certainly be one of the top trending words. Apart from being the epicentre of a student’s social and cultural life, student nations also provide employment opportunities. It is probably one of the very few employment opportunities in Uppsala for non-Swedish speaking International students. Though relying just on the income from working in a student nation is not a very wise idea. The nations are organisations run by the students and so quite naturally the pay is not something that can be correlated to a regular job. Working daily is generally not possible as it is bound to affect one’s academic performance. The real USP of a job at the nations is the complete package of some money, food/drinks and a huge opportunity to socialize and make new friends. The salary generally differs from nation to nation. The bigger nations are known to be more generous in their compensation package than the smaller ones. The pay is generally higher for private rentals and during special occasions like Valborg. One can work in a variety of positions during a nation activity. The usual jobs include bartending, helping in the wardrobe, serving, manning the door, washing dishes etc.
My recent experience of working for a student nation
The whole concept of a ‘Student nation’ was so new and fascinating that I decided to experience it in close quarters and the best way to do that is by working in one.
I decided to try out a shift in a nation during my second semester in Uppsala. It was the second week of the new semester and I opted for the supposedly easier wardrobe shift at the Friday Club at Varmlands. The first few weeks of the semester generally has the new students flocking to the clubs in large numbers. The enthusiasm mellows down a bit as the semester progresses. My first shift, being at the start of the new semester was extremely busy with a constant inflow of students wanting to use the wardrobe facility. Luckily I had 4 other fellow workers to help me .This allowed me to take breaks, avail the free drinks (non-alcoholic) allowed for the club workers and mingle with new people. After the end of the club, all the club workers of that day clean the nation together. Though it was a pretty hectic day, I ended up making many new friends. After my first taste of a nation shift, I decided to continue the new trend. I actually became a regular as a wardrobe staff in Varmlands during its Friday clubs. To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and have made many friends and memories throughout the semester. I have also worked in few other nations and at times they have offered a higher per hour pay. But the rapport I had with the club-masters and my fellow staff made sure that I keep coming back to Varmlands. Some of my friends had similar preferences and attachments to other nations. On the downside, there have been instances where the shifts in some of the nations were not enjoyable due to either mismanagement or rudeness of the Nation staff. Thus it is important to choose a nation (for working), which has a balance of good pay and good people (in the management)
– How can I get a job in a nation?
Every nation (club/pub /rentals) has its own facebook group where they advertise the vacant positions. One should join all the groups and respond to the relevant/convenient post
– What is the general pay package?
The pay ranges from 15 kr to 60 kr /hour + tips .Most shifts will have food and drinks included
– Do I need any documents/proof?
The requirements vary from nation to nation. Generally a ‘personnummer’ or the personal identify number provided by the tax office is a must. Some nations may also ask for a copy of the resident permit card and passport. These have to be sent to the Second Curator (2Q) of the particular nation. To get the salary one should also send the following information:
Swedish personal number or coordination number:
Swedish bank and account number:
– Is it necessary to be a member of a particular nation in order to work there?
One can work in any nation without even being a member.
– How and when do I get my salary?
The salary will be directly transferred to your Swedish bank account (if and when provided). Normally the payment is never made in cash. The salary will be sent after a week or next month (for special events) depending on the event.
– Do I have a choice regarding the work I want to undertake in a shift?
Yes there is always a choice. Depending on availability, one can choose between the different vacant positions i.e. wardrobe staff, glass picker, bartender, dishwashing staff etc.
– Is prior experience necessary?
Most of the shifts don’t require prior experience. Specialized tasks like bartending, serving (especially during rentals and gasques) and cooking may require prior work experience.
Most OECD citizens at Uppsala do not work at Nations for the money. Ofcourse I can well understand if most Non-OECD students prefer otherwise.
PS: What would constitute ‘rudeness’ at Nations ? I am yet to come across any.