Introduction and short history – By Erik Skogh, edited by Rhianna Rees
You’ve arrived in Sweden’s fourth largest City, home to the tallest church building in Scandinavia and thousands of students. There’s a lot for you to get acquainted with, and quickly. You have perhaps signed up for basic Swedish courses – you may discover you don’t really need them if you’re only here for a short time, as almost everyone speaks English fluently. You may have also heard about the nations and seen old large houses around the city…
These houses are historical and cultural landmarks, protected buildings. Flags fly above each of the houses to signify their affiliation to the district they represent. In total there are 13 nations and every nation is famous in its own right, for various different reasons.
You may have heard people tell you to join a nation. Being a part of a nation in Uppsala is like having a home away from home, a place where you can play sports with friends, start bands, sing, study, work, play and have fun. There’s a reason why there are more and more ‘jubilee members’ – those who have been members for 50 years or more.
Choosing your nation – Infographic by one of our bloggers
Some of you might be reading this before you come to study in Uppsala on exchange or for your masters degree and we on the International Committee (the IK) can’t wait to welcome the thousands of international students that will arrive.
The IK is made up from representatives (International Secretaries) from all 13 student nations and we want to help all internationals have an amazing time whilst you’re here whether its for a semester or two years. We can all relate to how it feels studying in a new country in either your 2nd or 3rd language so we’re here in case you have problems with settling in and most importantly to help you make friends
If you’re arriving on the Arrival Days (23rd-25th August) you’ll meet us at Segerstedthuset where you get your keys, SIM card, your internet sorted and get your picture taken for your campus card. We will provide you with information about Orientation Week Activities, organised by us for all of you, at all the different nations. We have some great events with a bit of something for everyone including beer pong, picnics, karaoke, lindyhop dancing and educational seminars. You can also get a sneak peek of Swedish life too by trying Swedish food, playing games and attending a ‘How to Sweden’ crash course ‘ and there’s definitely enough fika to go around! You can also join us for a Walking Tour of Uppsala- the easiest way to learn where the essentials are: nations, the library, Max (better than McDonalds), Systembolaget, your campuses and where the free wifi is. At the end of the week we will travel to Old Uppsala to where the city began in the 3rd Century and you can hangout with your new friends amongst Viking burial mounds or take a swim in the river.
Our job on the Arrival Days is also to provide you with your temporary Student ID, you need one to visit nations in the evenings, whilst you’re deciding which one to join (don’t worry though, being a member of one doesn’t stop you from going to others). Remember to bring an acceptance letter (or email) and some ID! You can also buy tickets for your first traditional Uppsala dinner where we will teach you ‘how to gasque’ before partying the night away, so that’s something extra special to look forward to!
If you’re not arriving on the Arrival Days, you can meet us at the Welcome Fair on the 31st August (look for the ‘IK’ Table) and pick our brains for the best cafes, which nations have the best burger, what bus is it to IKEA and get student ID if you haven’t managed yet. Make sure to join the term-activities too, Pub Crawl and Swedish folk dancing! You can also travel to Lapland to see the Northern Lights, meet some friendly locals (huskies and reindeer) and visit the Ice Hotel.
It’s going to be an awesome term and we can’t wait to meet all of you soon!