A new semester approaches, you already received your acceptance letter and while you are preparing the last (big) details before moving to Uppsala, you might be wondering which Student Nation you should choose and why you should even bother going, why they are so special, so let me share with you some tips and information about them.
Here is hoping Corona (SARS-COV-2) does not ruin anyone’s’ Fall plans though.
Nations are the heart of Student Life in Uppsala, you can do anything there, and I really mean anything. From studying to partying, from sports to eating and much much more!
Now, even though there is no secret formula on how to best choose your Nation, there are some things you can do to figure it out. If you want the fast or a tiny help, you can go to this blog post that has a very nice flow diagram about the Nations.
If you want to know as much of every Nation as possible before choosing, you can start by going to the Welcoming activities that Nations host during the International Welcome Week and go talk to the people organizing, I promise they will be friendly and happy to tell you about their Nation if you ask them. The second thing you can do is talk to the ones that are representing their Nation in the Welcome Fair, there especially they will be “selling” their own and answer every single question you may have. But more than only asking questions, use this time to just talk with them and see how you feel, talking with whom do you feel more comfortable?
Then it also depends on what you are looking for in the Nations, do you want to have more housing options, more available scholarships, party for free a specific day, fika discount, artistic activities, a small and close community? Of course, you can always look for all this their websites, but it is likely to be in Swedish and everything might not be there, so the best way to find out is by talking with the active members. You will find them in their respective Nation and in the Welcome Fair, it will be crowded, but don’t worry about it and talk with everyone for as long as you want.
What can you do in each Nation? That is for you to find out, but all of them have a Pub, with good burgers, beers and more. I have 3 favorite ones, but you should go try them all before picking (#Hint: Some use homemade patties and some don’t). Can you find the one Nation that serves mashed potatoes instead of fries with their burger? Every Nation opens their pub on different days, but you can always find at least one, even Sundays.
If you like partying, you came to the right place, Nations have agreements within them, so the week starts on Tuesday with Snerikes party, on Wednesday it is Norrlands turn, Thursdays it is Stockholms and Fridays are for Värmlands. On Fridays, you can also find Ostgöta or Snerikes sometimes. You can always enter all the parties for free before 9 pm and if you are a member of a specific one, you enter for free to their party all night.
If you are a food lover, apart from the pubs, some Nations have breakfast like Norrlands and Stockholm, or lunch like Stockholm with their salad bar or like Norrlands, Östgöta, and Västgöta. You can find delicious Fika in Kalmar, Göteborgs, Norrlands, and more. On Saturdays, Gästrike-Hälsinge Nation hosts a Pancake bar at brunch time, and on Sundays Snerikes has brunch.
If you like singing Göteborgs has Karaoke Thursday.
If you like sports you will find different sports groups in Gästrike-Hälsinge.
If you want to learn Latin dances, Värmlands has Salsa and Bachata classes on Sundays.
And if you like role-playing games, V-Dala has many D&D campaigns every Sunday; while in Gästrike-Hälsinge you will find Boardgames evenings.
Most Nations also have libraries, choirs, spex (theater groups), special lectures, Gasques, Balls, and most important: Very nice and friendly people.
Now one last tip, once you’ve decided on your Nation, a great way to start meeting the members is going to the Cleaning Day. Yes! I did say cleaning. They happen once a month on every Nation, there, Full-Timers and Half-Timers gather to clean the house along with everyone else willing to help. The day begins with a breakfast, then tasks are distributed, and teams go clean until it is lunchtime, when everyone stops what they are doing and have lunch together and sometimes play games before going back to your duties. When everything is done, it is time for the Sexa! (A nice dinner but not elegant like a Gasque or Ball) You celebrate a successful cleaning day, eat good food, have some drinks, sing many typical Swedish songs and have lots of fun with your new Nation friends 😉
And remember, at the end of the day, it does not matter which Nation you join because joining one gives you access to all of them, Amazing! And worst-case scenario, you can always change it whenever you want, or better: You can join more than one!