Month: October 2023

101 Guide for Muslim Students in Uppsala – By: Yasmin

Hello everyone! Some of you may already know me from my first introduction on our Instagram @studyatuu (Do follow us~) let me re-introduce myself. I’m Yasmin from Indonesia. As you can see from this blog title itself, if you happen to be a Muslim and a new student in Uppsala like me, then this blog would be very useful for you to know the basics. Even if you are not any of them, some information I share here might be interesting to know as well. It may be very personal but it is important to address.

I have been living most of my life in Indonesia, the biggest Muslim-populated country in the world. That being said, getting access to halal groceries, Mosque, and religious activities is very easy and natural anywhere. This is not the case now that I moved to study abroad in Sweden as a minority. A Muslim student. But worry not, Sweden takes pride in equality and tolerance in all aspects including religion. It provides a lot of freedom for anyone to practice any religion. I also feel fortunate that I have been in touch and guided by fellow Muslim community who have already been in Uppsala months before my arrival. But then I realized that it may not be the case for everyone especially when they just arriving as new students with little information regarding this matter. So here are the basic things for Muslim students in Uppsala that you have to know~!

Halal Food

The first thing you do after settling down your housing would be grocery shopping. I remember the first day I went to Willy’s and ICA (Sweden’s supermarket chain) to do monthly shopping just to realize that there weren’t many certified halal products. Worry not, at least Willys and ICA do have halal frozen chicken and meat (for example ICA Basic chicken and Willy’s Eldorado Chicken). However, you are less likely to see any special halal section in the major groceries. Therefore, you really need to check the packaging to make sure of the ingredients, and Halal logo for meat products. For things other than meat products expect that you would likely find it in the Asian section. But the selection is quite limited. There was a thought of being vegetarian and buying vegetarian products only. This is not bad actually, since Sweden’s supermarket has enormous vegan product options. However, I was not prepared to commit to being a vegetarian myself. But then again, I believe in my belief that as long as the product doesn’t contain any substance I should not consume then It’s fine. In most cases, you can check out the product ingredients in English. In case it’s in Swedish you can always ask the grocery staff, they are friendly and helpful as most Swedish do speak English very well. But in case you don’t want to bother them, I recommend using “Google Lens” on your phone to translate everything faster. Aside from groceries, there are also some halal restaurants (Usually kebab & falafel dishes) even halal Asian buffet restaurant chains in the city such as “Pong”. The campus cafeteria also has lots of options to choose mostly in buffet settings and vegan options. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff anyway.

In addition, here are some Swedish words that you may want to memorize:

  • Fläskfilé: Pork Tenderloin
  • Tjocka revben: Baby Back Rib, Back Ribs, Pork Loin Back Ribs
  • Kotlettrad: Pork Loin
  • Kotlett i bit: Loin Roast
  • Fläskkotlett: Pork Loin Chop
  • Sida: Pork Belly
  • Skinka: Ham
  • Tunna revben: Spare Ribs
  • lard:  ister
  • Vin: Wine
  • Öl: Beer
  • Liquor: Sprit

Halal groceries

If you feel more comfortable buying halal products or specific types of meat, there are two major halal-curated groceries in Uppsala: “MultiMat” and “Uppsala Orienthus”. Multimat is located in the Stenhagen area which is closer to those who live in Flogsta student housing. Meanwhile, Orienthus is closer to the Kantorsgatan student housing area. Both stores have an extensive selection of imported Middle Eastern and Asian halal products. They also have fresh vegetables, fruits, and an in-person butcher at the service. I have explored both groceries and I would say in terms of price it’s pretty similar, but Orienthus has more fresh and frozen product selection. Many Asian stores around the city also have a selection of halal products like ramen, sauce, and instant spices. However, expect everything to be more expensive in general than the other well-known supermarket chains in Sweden.



Prayer time

For most time of my life in Indonesia, the average praying time has never changed drastically since Indonesia is near the Earth’s equator. This is not the case in Sweden being so north on the globe when daylight saving time can change drastically within days resulting in the changing of prayer times. Take note that It could change very quickly within a month. During winter time, prayer times are much tighter from one prayer to another. Make sure to plan ahead in case you have classes and activities in between praying times. Tips from me, make sure to install a prayer time application (Example: MuslimPro), turn on the notification on your phone, and set the timing to “Uppsala Islamiska Förbundet” (meaning: Uppsala Islamic Federation).

Exiting or skipping a class due to religious purposes is also widely accepted as you can always inform your lecturer beforehand for permission. In my personal experience, sometimes I do need to excuse myself to my groupmates for a praying break in between group discussions and anyone would be fine with it.

Prayer place

Uppsala has only 1 major mosque in the city located a bit north around the Kantorsgatan area. Which is quite far from most of Uppsala University buildings. The Friday prayer is often not delivered in English. But generally speaking, there are actually many Muslims around Uppsala other than the International Students that you might encounter around the city.

However, It would be quite inconvenient to go back and forth there every praying time especially when you are in between classes, hanging out, or simply far from your housing. Thankfully, most of the university buildings are open every weekend until 10 PM and some of them are open even on the weekend (Example: Ångström building). Just remember to bring your student card in case you plan to visit at night or on the weekend to gain access. The reason is that you may find some pleasant spot to do your prayer inside the university building. Although there isn’t any specific “Praying Room” for Muslims, most buildings have a common quiet empty room usually hidden in corners in the basement first-floor area that can be used to pray by any religion. Be aware that some might have opening hours. Here are some words you may want to look for in the building map: 

  • Bönerum = Prayer room
  • Andrum = Breathing space
  • Vilrum = Resting room
  • Stilrum = Still room

As for Friday prayer if heading to Uppsala Mosque too far, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Biomedicinska Centrum (BMC), and Akademiska Sjukhuset are some university buildings that host the prayer delivered in English. It is a great way to meet and interact with other fellow Muslim students from various disciplines in this way. Do not hesitate to ask for detailed directions from the student reception or check out the building map.

Muslim Community

There are not many official Muslim communities in Uppsala, but I suggest following some of them on Instagram and facebook group for any events and announcements. (Example: @uppsalamuslimskastudenter). The Uppsala Mosque also has a website that provides public events, charities, and daily community workers who will actively support and guide Muslims to be a natural part of Sweden.

There’s always a chance that you might encounter a Muslim friend in your own class or even in your nation. Sometimes I met new Muslim students from other courses and nationalities coincidently in the “Praying Room”. I always try to keep in touch with them just in case we might need each other through times during my stay here in Uppsala (Especially during Ramadhan month).

All being said, I hope that this could help in some way to give you a glimpse of living as a Muslim to adapt better in Uppsala. Despite being known as everyone respects any religion as we should respect others too.

Vi ses!

Buckle up! Things to do during low season on Gotland – By: Sway

A hidden gem in the Baltic Sea, a charming island full of roses, ruins and rauks (limestone formations) has been my home since 2022. Originally, I was enrolled for a one-year programme, but just after a month studying here I had a change of heart and decided to stay on this beautiful island!

This year I have arrived around the same time as I did last year, which was in mid-August, about a week before the start of the semester. Around that time, it is usually still very lively, warm and sunny here in Visby. All restaurants and bars are open, tourists from all over the world are strolling through the streets, having their meals or fika (Swedish coffee break) outside in the sun and buying typical goods and souvenirs. Sometimes it is even too crowded. This is due to the cruise ships, that bring in large groups of tourists, who often don’t stay longer than a few days except for the festivals or big events like Almedalen- or Medieval Week. Which is a pity considering that Gotland has so much more to offer than just Visby town. Seasonality is a worldwide phenomenon and challenge in the tourism sector, linked to the climate and holidays. The liveliness doesn’t last until low season, which is essentially all three seasons except summer.

Last year I didn’t manage to go to any restaurants and most cafés before low season hit, so most of them were closed by the time I finally had time aka was settled in. Simply, because I didn’t know. I guess one could argue it’s because I’m a city person, thus very used to having everything available almost 24/7.  Well, that is certainly not the case in Visby, so I had to wait an entire year before I could try an ice cream at an ice cream store that offers over 200 flavours of gelato amongst other things. (I was off the island because of my internship, which made me miss the entire spring, different story.) In the end, I was disappointed as my expectations were so high after hanging on to that missed out chance for a year.


And I know for a fact I’m definitely not the only one here who is going through that struggle with seasonality. As a good sustainable tourism student, this of course inspired me to list some nice things that you can do during low-season on Gotland. Looking back, I was pretty lucky last year as I heard about Farö, a small island north of Gotland, in my first week of school. My new friends and I decided to rent a car from the gas station nearby and go on a small road trip adventure. We were lucky to catch one of the last sunny days, so we even went swimming on our way in the Blå Lagunen (Blue Lagoon), an artificial lake and former limestone quarry.

Farö on Gotland.

Later we had some tasty Räksmörgås, a typical Swedish sandwich with shrimps, and went to see the famous rauks that look like faces. Fun fact: The ferry company Destination Gotland even compares these face shaped rauks with the Moai statues, saying that you don’t need to travel that far or outside of Europe to go to the “Eastern Islands”. A little extreme but I like the idea behind it. See for yourself on the photos of the rauks below (photo on the left).

So this would be my top tip, rent a car and do a road trip around the island! I personally always rented from Wisby Biluthyring (car rental in Swedish). A manual car costs 480kr for an entire day with basic insurance (last update late August 2023). You’ll usually get it with and need to return with a full tank. As for destinations, the island Farö is a must-see, it is over 1h by car from Visby. In Farösund, there is a ferry that takes you to Farö in 10 min, it is for free and is going every 30min (from 5:30-21:30). On your way, you can check out the Blue Lagoon in Lärbro and/or the real lake Bästetrask close by.

Fårö and the rauks

On Fårö there is plenty to see. If you are interested in culture and history, the Farö Museum and Bergman Center about the famous film director Ingmar Bergman are worth a visit. And of course the rauks, there are numerous along the west coast.

These are the most famous rauks you can find on Gotland:

  • Jungfrun in Lickershamn (North-west of Gotland)
  • “The Dog” or “Kaffepannan in Gamlal Hamn (Old Harbour) nature reserve (Farö)
  • Face rauks in Langhammar’s nature reserve (Farö)
  • Rauk area in Folhammar (East of Gotland)

I’m very bumped that I still haven’t been to the last one in Folhammar, as I typically went to the northern part of Gotland, every time someone was visiting me or my friends.

There’s also a rauk not far from Visby, if you go north to Snäck. That one looks like a chimpanzee from the side (photo on the right).

Aside from rauks and ruins, you can find stone ship graves for even more viking vibes, and they are all scattered around the island.

A stone ship grave on Gotland.

Around Visby

In or around Visby there is also plenty to see! Walk along the city wall or along the coast, discover the botanical garden and lover’s gate, the Visby domkykra (cathedral) and Almedalen park. There are a lot of cute little shops with homemade crafts, for example on Adelsgatan which is one of the shopping streets within the city walls.

If you’re looking for something with a group of friends or classmates, go for a BBQ outside and enjoy another dreamy sunset. In winter, probably perfect with some Glögg (mulled wine). There are numerous public grill places, for example the one close to Campus Gotland at the ocean or on Galgenberget and Södra Hillarna. The latter is an amazing nature reserve, perfect to explore on a Sunday and also a great spot to show your (future) guests aka family and friends that visit! It’s south of Visby, around 30 min walk by foot to the official entrance. In the park you’ll find several BBQ spots, there’s no reservation schedule, it’s first come first serve. Btw this is how it looked in Södra Hillarna after a blizzard this March:

Finally, the reminder to have a good fika whether as study break or meeting with friends. Before coming here, I had no idea how big the Swedes are on their coffee and sweets. Trust me as a German I know strong coffee culture (especially in offices), but fikas are just next level. Go get yourself a kanelbullar (cinnamon bun) from a local café in town with some tea from Kränku – the Gotlandic tea shop, because you deserve it.

A cappuccino in a cup resting on a table in front of a sunny window.

I hope this helps you all to go through the bit chillier and calmer time on Gotland. Most importantly, stay positive and don’t overwork yourself!

Over and out <3


Is one month too soon to be homesick? – By: Sofía

Deciding to do a master’s degree abroad is an incredible adventure that comes with its fair share of excitement and anxiety. You’re not just pursuing higher education; you’re immersing yourself in a new culture, meeting people from diverse backgrounds, and expanding your horizons in ways you never thought possible.

One day you’ll wake up and you’ll be on the other side of the world, away from your family, your friends, and the routine you grew up in. Suddenly you’ll be starting a new life filled with adventure, and new challenges, and the only way to share that with the most important people in your life will be through a screen. That is one of the hardest things for me. I see their eyes fill with pride when I tell them about my day at school or when I share all my excitement from living in such a beautiful city as Uppsala. But let’s keep it real—being away, especially on those Sunday blues, can hit you hard. Can you tell I’m writing this on a Sunday?

So here are some of my personal tips for dealing with this:

  • Staying busy: Focusing on your studies and occupying yourself with coursework and extracurricular activities can help to distract yourself. And! It not only enhances your learning experience but also allows you to make the most of your time abroad.
  • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance
  • Finding new hobbies: Exploring new interests and hobbies can be a great way to meet people. Whether it’s joining a sports club, art class, or exploring a nation, these activities can provide a sense of belonging.
  • Cultivate a support system in your new environment: Building a network of friends, both international and local, can be immensely comforting. Seek out student organizations, attend social events, and engage with your fellow students. They understand what you’re going through.
  • Treating yourself! Self-care is non-negotiable!! Take time for yourself to recharge and reflect. Explore your new surroundings, try local cuisine, go grab some fika, go for a mental health walk, or maybe take some time off just to catch up on that show you’ve been wanting to watch. Do whatever brings you peace and comfort, you deserve to rest! You’re doing a great job!
  • And most importantly, reminding yourself of your purpose. Every challenge you overcome brings you one step closer to achieving those goals.

Embrace the adventure, keep your loved ones close, and always believe that you’ve got what it takes to conquer the challenges of this incredible journey. You’re on a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and academic badassery, and despite those homesick vibes, you’re stronger than you know.


Living In Flogsta: A Brutally Honest Report By a Newcomer – By: Artur

If you live in Uppsala or plan on moving here, you’ve probably heard about its (in)famous student neighbourhood: FLOGSTA! Home to around 1,000 Uppsala University students, it’s the city’s most popular and traditional student living area. Surrounded by lovely woods and rather interesting traditions, Flogsta is a big part of student life in Uppsala. But sharing a corridor with 11 other people you just met doesn’t come without some challenges. In this text, I want to give you my account of what it’s like – the good and the not-so-good –  to live in a corridor room in Flogsta.

Just like most things in life, living in Flogsta has many aspects for which we can point out the pros and cons. I’ll discuss a few of them in no particular order and based solely on my own experience. I am aware that different people might have very different impressions about the same things and also that not all Flogsta corridors are the same. However, I think that an honest personal account (somewhat of a case study if you will) is a good way to give eventual readers a more detailed insight into what it feels like.


I should start by addressing (no pun intended for a text about accommodation) a crucial point for choosing Flogsta: the price. It’s probably one of the cheapest options available for students who are just moving to Uppsala. Since the housing market in Sweden is anything but simple, being able to get a roof over your head via the university’s housing office is one of the easiest options for international students. I’d say the main reasons why I decided to live in Flogsta: it is cheap, it was easy to organize through the university and I didn’t want to sleep in the streets.

Shared living

The thing I get asked the most is about sharing the corridor with 11 other people. Honestly, that was my main concern when moving in and I think that is true for almost everyone. I won’t say it is the easiest thing in the world and that all is perfect, but it is definitely less of an issue than I had anticipated. The fact that each room has its own WC and shower really helps make things easier. Personally, I think I’d have a hard time if I had to share that with other people. But I know of many people who live in different student housing areas where they do share a shower, for example, and they are fine with it. In the case of Flogsta corridors, the main shared facility is the kitchen. They are rather large with two sinks, two stoves, and plenty of fridge/freezer/storage space. Also, because people have very different schedules, it often happens that you end up having the whole kitchen for yourself. Of course, sometimes you may run into issues such as the kitchen being full just when you are in a hurry to leave. However, that has only happened to me once in the month or so I’ve been there, so I don’t consider it much of an issue.

I’d say that having corridor mates is actually a very positive aspect of living in Flogsta. As I said, I was a little worried about moving into a corridor with 11 strangers and having to live with them. But since my first day here I noticed that it was a great opportunity to make friends from other programs who you might otherwise have never met. Many students living in Flogsta are in Uppsala for only one or two semesters, so most of the people you meet when you first get here are also new to the city. That means that they are usually also looking to go out and make friends. It was definitely the case in my corridor (as evidenced by the fact that we threw our first birthday party just two days after most people got here). Now we often meet in the kitchen and have meals together, we go to the pubs and clubs in the Nations, we watch sports, and sometimes we just sit around the kitchen table to chat in the evening. This, of course, is a different experience for each person but I feel very lucky to have met my corridor mates and to be able to enjoy what Uppsala has to offer along with them. Although I was worried about the number of people in the corridor, I’d say it is more of an asset than an issue.


Something about Flogsta that is an actual issue (and will likely become even more so come wintertime) is the distance to the city centre. Flogsta is located around 3-3.5km to the West of downtown Uppsala, which is actually not a very long distance. You can easily walk it if you have the time to do so and there are also buses going everywhere in the city. But the cheapest and usually fastest way to move to and from Flogsta is by bike. It is not hard to do so, the bike lanes are great and it doesn’t take you more than 10-15min to get to the city centre. However, despite Uppsala being a generally flat and bikeable city, there are basically only two hills that might annoy you when cycling around: one is the one by the castle (Uppsala Slott) and the University Library (Carolina Rediviva), and the other one is in Flogsta. The “bad” news is that you’ll normally have to climb both of them when commuting. It is not really a challenge as they are quite small hills, it is just annoying. To me, it only means that on warmer days I’ll be sweating a bit when I get somewhere. But it’s good to know that you are not alone! Because there are so many students living in Flogsta, you’ll normally have company for the ride.

The Flogsta Scream

Of course, no account of life in Flogsta would be complete without talking about something that makes this area arguably famous worldwide: the Flogsta Scream. Every night at 10 pm students living in Flogsta open their windows and scream as hard as they can into the night. It only lasts for around 1 minute so it doesn’t bother anyone who isn’t joining but it is a great way to let off some steam and help you deal with the pressure of being a student. The tradition is believed to have started in the 1970s or 80s and is still very much alive. Especially around exam weeks, you are sure to hear the scream and you’ll probably end up wanting to join it. This “cry of angst”, as the University’s website puts it, is great for relieving some of the stress that is inherent to student life and is also a fun activity to do along with corridor mates, neighbours and friends. It also works as an informal clock, as sometimes I’m distracted, with no track of time, and upon hearing people screaming, I know it’s 10 pm and it’s probably time to get ready to go to bed.

A place where memories are made

All things considered, I enjoy living in Flogsta very much. I’ve met amazing people, taken part in interesting traditions, and had so many nice moments with fellow international students. Even though I’ve been here for around a month, Flogsta already feels like home. It may be a bit of an odd area, some could even call it outright weird, but to me, this is the kind of place where memories are made. I’m certain that the experiences I’ll have here and the people I’ll share them with will stay with me for a very long time.