Coming to a new place where you do not know anybody or anything can be hard. You have to adjust to a new town, you have to organize so many things (Hello campuscard!) and maybe you experience language problems. But these first weeks are so exciting as well, filled with new people and thousands of opportunities!
First of all, a disclaimer: Whatever I write about my first weeks in Uppsala, it will never be the same for anyone else. There are simply too many welcome events to attend everything. But my advice is, do as many things as possible! Dive right into the student life! Maybe the most important thing: participate in as many events organized by your programme as possible, especially if you are a Master or Bachelor student. It’s highly likely that you see the people you meet there on a daily basis in your classes. Imagine how nice it is if you found friends there before university officially started!
Join a nation! Working there is an uncomplicated way to get to know people outside your programme. It’s fun, it helps you to get into life in Uppsala and everything is way easier with friends. Besides, if you are part of a nation, you can go to the recentiorsgasque (a formal dinner for new nation members and the perfect opportunity to dress up) and other events. That has – so far – been one of the best things in my student life here.
Go to the Welcome Reception and the Welcome Fair! It was a nice (and formal) way of being welcomed into Uppsala University. At the welcome fair, a huge number of student organizations present themselves (choir, sports, debate, whatever you want to do). And last but not least, explore Uppsala and its surroundings!
These first weeks can be hectic and exhausting. But it is so worth it! In the beginning, everybody is just as desperate (and excited) as you to get to know new people. It is so easy to meet new friends and have lots of fun. Even if you are a bit more introverted and need time for yourself, don’t worry. Needless to say, you don’t have to attend every single event if you don’t want to. For me personally, it was great to push myself out of my comfort zone and I am happy about how my time at Uppsala University started.
Oh, and by the way, if Swedish people are not talking that much to you, don’t take it personal! They are really friendly (after you get to know them a bit better). 😉