Author: Guestblogger (Page 2 of 14)

Valborg in Uppsala – By: Mansi

After a long,dark winter the people of Uppsala will welcome the much awaited spring on the 30th April by celebrating Valborg. What makes this year’s Valborg stand out is that it is being celebrated after being canceled for the past two years! Which means more enthusiasm from the students to finally be able to experience the spring festival.

If this is your first Valborg in Uppsala, here is a summary of the main events happening in Uppsala during Valborg-

Nations

Credits: uppsalainternationalstudents.se

If you witnessed the extremely long queues near the student nations the past weeks in Uppsala, the students were queuing up for tickets for none other than Valborg! The student nations usually host the majority of events for the festival from champagne breakfasts to pubs in the evening.

But even if you could not get the tickets for the nations, you can still enjoy Valborg! Keep reading to know more…

The Raft Race

What started as a friendly bet in 1975 has now become a tradition in Uppsala to highlight Valborg.On the morning of the 30/4 the much awaited raft race will be hosted by UTN at the Fyris river and you as an onlooker can enjoy it too.

Champagne breakfast and herring lunch

You along with your friends can celebrate Valborg the traditional way by enjoying a nice champagne breakfast and/or a herring lunch outdoors while taking in the warmth of the sun.The crowd usually gathers at Ekonomikum park so be sure to arrive early and reserve a spot. You could also head to the Uppsala Concert House to enjoy a nice herring lunch.

Donning of the caps

Another tradition to welcome spring is when the vice chancellor of Uppsala University waves her hat from the balcony of Carolina Rediviva and the students gathered around wave their student hats back.Sounds like something you would enjoy? Then be there on the 30/4 at the Carolina Hill at 15:00 sharp to celebrate the festival with the enthusiastic crowd!

Spring song

A tradition that dates back to the 19th century is a mesmerizing song performance by the orchestra, Orphei Drängar at the steps of Carolina Rediviva(sometime after the donning of the caps) to welcome the arrival of spring.

Bonfire

Credits: Aline Lessner/imagebank.sweden.se

A large bonfire or majbrasa is lit at the Royal mounds of Gamla Uppsala on the night of Valborg (around 9 pm) as a way to ward off predators threatening pasturing animals and welcoming the arrival of spring by gathering around the fire and singing into the night.

It can be overwhelming to keep track of all the events happening during Valborg, so here is a link that contains most of the information you need on the day of Valborg: https://valborgiuppsala.se/en/

Hope you enjoy celebrating Valborg in Uppsala!

/Mansi

Valborg in Visby – By: Patricia

Something wonderful about the Swedes is that they don’t burn their bridges. Valborg, a tradition historically associated with warding off evil spirits through the act of lighting massive bonfires and singing with intentions to scare off witches, transformed with the times to keep up with the pace of a less religious country that’s now too occupied to make time for witch hunts. I am, of course, just kidding to lighten the mood through my history lesson, Sweden is a very welcoming country even for witches today. A functional adoption of lighting bonfires through the course of our sheep-island, Gotland’s, history became the use of bonfires as means to protect livestock – Valborg traditionally became the day when farm animals were let out of the barns for the first time, and farmers would gather their sheep around the fire to scare away predators, all the while praying for a fruitful harvest season. Nowadays, Valborg is celebrated for yet another reason.

This time last year, I was a burnt-out Zoomling sitting in my Visby apartment with no hope on the horizon to experience a true Valborg gathering which everyone else has fired my imagination with, but now, I am burning with curiosity to see what this tradition is all about. The modernised function of this tradition is to welcome spring, to manifest the change in seasons, which is much needed after the lengthy winter we have been stuck with here on Gotland. If by dancing around bonfires I can let the intrusive April snow clouds know they have outstayed their welcome, buckle up beause I have energy to burn!

Fiery jokes aside, allow me to spark your curiosity about Valborg celebrations on Gotland. Rather than a closed, family celebration, Valborg is a public event, often organised in neighborhoods by the local community, and there are numerous celebration spots to be all fired up and ready to welcome attendees on the evening of April 30th. HelaGotland’s calendar lists several bonfire gatherings to take place across Gotland, where the general celebration events include music, song-singing, spring-welcoming, Swedish fika and hot dogs, choir performances, as well as well-planned times for the lighting of the bonfires. These true-to-tradition celebrations have a cozy atmosphere as the small communities gather and spend time by the fire from dusk till the cold grips of the evening. The afternoon sun is bound to keep everybody warm, but after sunset, gatherers seek warmth around the orange flames of the scorching fire.

If you don’t feel fired up by the idea of spending time outdoors after sunset, here’s a hot tip: our student union Rindi has other events to offer between April 28th to May 1st to cater to your liking. From Hästarnas dal to Strandgärdet and Almedalen, their gatherings take place both during the day and in the late afternoon to evenings, and you can join them for all sorts of games, sports activities ranging from football to baseball, a quiz walk, a big picnic in Almedalen park, as well as an ovve ceremony! This will be a fantastic opportunity to unite as students and spend some quality days together. Don’t forget to wear your ovve!

I hope I managed to spark your interest in spending Valborg on Gotland and get aquainted with this beloved Swedish tradition. Personally, I will spend the rest of my working week burning the midnight oil to wrap everything up and have the free time to enjoy the planned events. Thank you for reading my article that I filled with as many fire-expressions as I could for your enjoyment – Have a safe and pleasant Valborg celebration!

/Patricia

A cup of tea and Inclusion – By: Tanzila Khan

Its 4 am and world outside this window is as white as snow. Pun Intended. I sit down with my tea and with every sip I recall a story that I would like to share with you all.  A couple of years ago I was part of a leadership exchange from Pakistan to USA. I was so excited to learn from it, meet so many young people from around the world and participate in activities. But above all I was excited to use accessible bathrooms, ramps and lifts to my heart´s content. I reached USA and quickly made friends with all the participants. Then one day the organizers arranged a trip to another event and a bus was booked for us. I was super excited to see a bus that had a lift in place and I could easily get in a special designated seat which was at the back of the bus. Once the bus started, everyone was settled and I realised there were a couple of seats between me and the other participants who mostly occupied the front rows. Just in a few moments into the journey, the music started and then there was dance followed by singing. Though I was in the bus and with them but yet not ´with them´. I saw from a distance all the fun and waited for them to move back a little so I can also participate. When that seemed impossible, I could not make my voice reach them and none of them looked back, I sat there just fidgeting with my phone and looking outside the window, a tear escaped my eye.

Once we reached our destination, we got off. Everything was normal. But my mind kept trying to reflect over the situation. I asked for an accessible bus and my wish was granted then why did I feel not included? That’s when I realised the infrastructure did not fail me, the community did.

Fast forward today, I am in Uppsala pursuing a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship aiming to find sustainable solutions for people with disabilities. I am also aiming for a student life experience that I could not have back in Pakistan because the infrastructure did not support it. But I wanted that to change forever. As I enjoy some parts of accessibility, I wrote to all the student Nations to ask about their understanding of accessibility and inclusion. Seven out of thirteen Nations replied me explaining why their buildings are not fully accessible. I wrote back cheerfully proposing a workshop or a meeting under the theme of ´Inclusive Lens´ to build a community that would support people with disabilities regardless of the infrastructure. Sadly none of the curators got back to me after the proposal and now I sit here sipping my Pakistani milk tea wondering how insignificant infrastructure is as compared to the power of people is. If only we as people could build our foundations on empathy through our actions and not let policies, systems and conventions take control.

As my tea reaches the bottom of my mug so does my article with a challenge or a proposal for you all to build an inclusive lens through your leadership and actions and  also call me if you want to have fantastic tea and hear stories of inclusion.

Worried about your initial expenses in Sweden? A few ideas to raise some extra income! – By: Rebeca

It was 2017 when I first set foot on Swedish soil.

I walked through the streets of Malmö with the help of the wind that pushed me. Sitting in a cafe, I watched students riding their bicycles. I thought: “I want to be one of them.” And at that moment, I chose Sweden as the destination for my future studies.

Upon returning to Brazil, I readjusted my plans towards one goal: save every penny to afford part of my studies in Sweden (I am also an EU citizen). I did this for 3 years, and 2020 was dedicated to making the best applications to pass at a Swedish University.

The result?

My acceptance at Uppsala University! S-O H-A-P-P-Y!

In April 2021, I WAS ACCEPTED TO STUDY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MY DREAMS – Uppsala Univesity!

HOWEVER, it’s not all roses… even though I saved money in recent years, I would still need more to go to Sweden. So two alternatives came to my mind:

  • Give up studying in the incredible strawberries land… or
  • Find new ways to raise extra money.

As I tend not to choose the easiest option, I opted for the second alternative (spoiler: it worked!) and found three ways to alleviate my initial expenses!

With these 3 ideas, in addition to my full-time job, I managed to raise more than my goal, so moving to Sweden was smooth, and I could calmly afford the initial costs. When your goal seems far from being achieved, remember how hard you fought for it and how many people are willing to help you.

See you!

/Rebeca

Northern Lights Adventure – By: Aslı

Hi there! If you’re new to Sweden, are considering to study in Sweden or are simply planning an exchange to Sweden, I’m sure that you would like to make the most of your time here. I hope this post will help you with that!

My name is Aslı, I’m 26 years old and I’m currently in my second – and sadly, last – semester as an exchange student here in Uppsala. Obviously, before I came to Sweden, I did a little bit of research on what is a must-do here. Seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) was one of those and it was on top of my bucket list. I found the Facebook group “Uppsala Northern Lights Watch”, in which people communicate when and where to see the Northern Lights here. Some of the most popular spots are up at the Uppsala Castle or at Gamla Uppsala. But really any spot outside of the city, with a little bit higher ground and less light pollution is perfect as well. In November 2021, I saw the Aurora Borealis from the Uppsala Castle and got a first glimpse of the beauty and majesty of nature. However, that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to see more, and I had read a lot about places to see them in northern Scandinavia, but I wanted something different. I’ve been following the Aurora Borealis Observatory on social media for a long time now, and I’ve been fascinated by its location and the experiences previous visitors shared. That’s why this spot on the island of Senja in northern Norway was at the top of my list and I chose that as my next destination. Plus, it was a lifelong dream come true!

I went to Senja in December 2021. If you would also like to go there, this is one possible route to choose from: You go to Arlanda Airport by train and take the plane to Oslo. From Oslo, you take the plane to Bardufoss. I went to the Observatory in Silsand. There will always be a bus waiting for all the passengers at the airport and it will then drive from Bardufoss airport to Finnsnes. The crew will pick you up from Finnsnes and drive you to the Observatory in Silsand. They will also take you back to Finnsnes at the end of your stay. During that time, it was up to -20 degrees, so make sure to wear thermo clothes and bring a thick jacket with you.

One evening, the owner asked to take over the live stream of his daily Aurora sessions. I was unprepared but thrilled to do so. You can also see how beautifully the Aurora changes:

https://fb.watch/b25w-ddjVU/

Seeing the Aurora changing colors and dancing above made me feel like I was in a different universe. It was pure magic, the snow and forest surrounding me and the sounds of the Arctic wind… this is a memory I will never forget. I even thought that I could hear something while I was taking in the magic dance of the Aurora. It was only later that I found out that some people claimed to hear the Aurora and that there is no scientific evidence for it yet. I found a nice book by Pål Brekke called The Story About the Northern Lights which is about the history and different perceptions of the Aurora Borealis. I can warmly recommend it to everyone.

Here is a Reel that I created of our trip. Enjoy the beauty of Norway!

Of course, wanting to explore the Northern Lights doesn’t necessarily mean that you must go to northern Norway. There are nice places in Sweden as well. Kiruna and Abisko, for example, are very popular spots as well!

I hope you enjoyed reading through my recap and feel inspired to go on your own little Northern Lights adventure!

/Aslı

Attention Please! – By: Carlos

University studies may seem like an arduous path. A path of which you cannot foresee every blocked road nor every turn you ought to take. Yet, you must embark on the journey if you want to reach its luminous end. What, then, could help you make the most of the effort and, if we want to be really ambitious, bring you closer to that extremely rare human capability that is differentiating mere knowledge from wisdom? With the word itself, we all might be familiar with. But it is its full significance and relation to your future endeavor what concerns us now. That word is ATTENTION.

The first step in the exploration of its meaning takes us to what you bring to class. Or better still, what you don’t bring. It’s quite clear that everyone’s life comprises a myriad of things: we have our family, friends, desires, pets, fears, work, among many others. But it is a demand of attention to be in the “Here and now”. That is, to momentary let the mind free of its various obligations and let it focus on the issue at hand. To let it be truly present. As philosopher Simone Weil puts it: “…to suspend our thoughts, leave
them detached, empty, and ready…”


It depends on the professor, but so far in Uppsala I have encountered more than one that urge the students not to use computers to take notes, as it has been proven that it not only distracts them, but also distracts students around them that are not using computers. If you insist in using one, at least make the commitment to have preferrednote taking software in full screen mode (e.g. focus mode in word).

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

The second step is more subtle, but not of less importance. It’s a characteristic of human beings to extend their hands into the unknown while standing on experience. And that may not only be natural but needed. The only way of making sense of something new is to see how it changes or fits the known world. A world seen from your own particular perspective. A perspective which in turn is shaped by your experience. But there is a peril to be avoided in all of these: the old might prevent us from seeing the new.

In other words, every time you encounter something new in your studies, you must make an effort to see it for what it is, instead of seeing it as a reflection of your own previous knowledge. With a dismissive attitude (one that constantly repeats “I already know this…” and makes you check your phone) you will close the door to new insights and to the possibility of contributing. And please, try to speak up and contribute! It will not only enrich the whole class but might inspire additional comments from otherstudents that make you see things from a different perspective and grow your own knowledge. Especially considering the international nature of Uppsala classes, where you will find many different backgrounds.

I firmly believe that adding these two requisites of attention to your studies will yield great results, not only in what you learn, but even in yourself, as it might become a life habit. To borrow from Weil one last time: “never, in any case, whatever is a genuine effort of attention wasted”

/Carlos

My LGBTQIA+ Journey – From a Tiny Caribbean Island to the Big City of Uppsala

My LGBTQIA+ journey, from a tiny Caribbean island to the big city of Uppsala
Before talking about the LGBTQIA+ community in Uppsala and my lovely experience here, I will give a bit of background information about myself and my experience in other countries as a queer woman. Sooooo……

Hej Hej, I’m Sam and I’m from a small Caribbean island called Aruba; located just above Venezuela. The island is smaller than Stockholm and holds about 110.000 people. The island is beautiful, warm, with gorgeous beaches and the people on the island are very kind. But even though most Arubans are lovely people, many people are not kind towards locals who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Being a tourist and a part of the LGBTQIA+ community is fine, you´ll be treated like royalty since you´re a source of income. However, being a local and a part of the community is usually very frowned upon. Aruba is a very Christian island and the Christianity on the island does not support the LGBTQ+ community.

I’ve always known i was attracted toboth men and women. I found girls very beautiful and sometimes would feel the urge to pursue them romantically or sexually, but growing up on the island I supressed these emotions and only dated men and only showed interest in men in fear of judgement. I was also told that finding girls pretty is a normal thing and since I´ve only dated men and shown interest in men, I´m heterosexual and can’t be queer. Sadly, for most of my life I believed this and did not realise that I was and am, in fact, bisexual. Thankfully, things on the island are changing for the better and hopefully one day the community will be welcomed completely. However, when I was there it still was not. So, my attraction for girls was supressed until I left the island.

When I was 18, I left Aruba to start my Bachelor studies in the Netherlands. During my time in the Netherlands, I realised that there was a lot more than just homosexuality. I learned about various sexualities and specifically bisexuality which opened up a whole new world for me. A world I was, sadly, too scared to explore right away. I´ve only dated men and for years believed I was heterosexual, so this new information made me question everything. My life, my identity and most importantly my sexuality. Who am I?

Thankfully, with the help of amazing friends, and one truly supportive cousin, I started to explore my sexuality. I dated both women and men, and realised my attraction to both was and is real. I´m not a heterosexual that simply finds girls pretty. No, I´m a bisexual who loves both men and women, would love to pursue both and I´m finally proud of it! After having found my identity and sexuality, I was happy and could finally live my life freely.

After my bachelor studies in the Netherlands, I decided to move to Uppsala for my Masters. I wasn’t sure how the environment would be for us queer folk, but that was soon cleared up. One of the first things I noticed when moving to Uppsala was the vast amount of rainbow flags hanging around the city. I felt welcomed and I felt as if I´ve found my new home. I also noticed how open everyone is, from their clothing styles up to their sexuality. I saw many same-sex couples walking hand-in-hand and nobody, absolutely nobody, looks at them in a judgemental way. My heart still melts every time I see it. Everyone seems to be accepted here.

During the welcome weeks in Uppsala, I also got the time to visit all the nations and I found that one nation had recently had a gay night, and when I visited the nation, the nation was and still is decorated with rainbow flags. It truly warmed my heart when I saw it and it still does. When at the nation, I asked about the gay night and they were all so excited and happy to talk about it, and were so happy to welcome another LGBTQIA+ member to their nation. They explained how everyone could just be themselves with no judgement there and it was so very true. During their activities it´s totally not weird to see people with hair of all colors, or men in make-up, heels, skirts etc. Everyone is accepted and can truly be themselves. I can truly say I´ve found my second home.

Apart from the nations, there is also an LGBTQIA+ group in Uppsala which meets every Thursday (I will post the website below). They give lots of information about the community and also host fun activities. Everyone is welcome, and so kind to each other. It´s truly a safe space to be in and it´s truly fun to be around other members of the community to talk about your experiences, but also just have fun. They also have other specific groups meetups, such as trans groups and a mental health group. You can find all their info on their website! There is also an LGBTQIA+ student association being formed at the moment and hopefully they succeed in starting it, because that would be great! Their Instagram handle is: uppsalahbtqstudenter

All in all, Uppsala is so welcoming and very accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. I can be myself and be completely free here in Uppsala. Everywhere I go there is a rainbow flag to welcome me and show me, I´m home. I hope you can feel the same way as well.

/Samantha Angela

The Quest for Milk! – By: Samantha

After having lived here in Sweden for a few months, grocery shopping is going pretty smooth. But one thing I always have to be very careful with is buying milk! Here in Sweden, they have a variety of milk, which can be great, but can also make it very difficult for internationals like me to know which milk to pick and if you aren’t careful, you might end up with sour milk (filmjölk)!

So, to help you on your quest for milk, here is a short guide of the types of milk in Sweden.

Mjölk: this is the Swedish word for good old regular milk. There are four different kinds of milk:

⦁ Minimjölk: this is milk with the least amount of fat; less than 0,1%
⦁ Lättmjölk: lätt means light and is comparable to skimmed milk with 0,5% fat
⦁ Mellanmjölk: mellan means middle and this milk has 1,5% fat
⦁ Standardmjölk or just Mjölk: this is the fattest option of milk and has 3% fat
Filmjölk, also known as Fil: this is a Swedish fermented milk and is very sour. If you are looking for regular milk, avoid fil at all cost! But if you’re interested in fil, there are different flavors such as raspberry, vanilla, etc. Also, Fil comes in three fat options:

⦁ Lättfil: which is 0,5% fat
⦁ Mellanfil: which is 1,5% fat
⦁ Standardfil or just Filmjölk: which can be between 2,7 to 3% fat

Laktosfri mjölk: Sweden also has a huge variety of lactose-free products, including milk. Usually lactose-free products have their own section, so you don’t have to look for lactose-free milk between regular milk. When looking for lactose-free milk, just look for products which say Laktosfri. Lactose-free milk comes in the same fat options as regular milk. They also have lactose-free fil, but again if you are looking for milk avoid the word fil at all costs! Even if it says filmjölk, do not be fooled, it is still filmjölk!

Still confused? Take the quiz!

Partnership for the goals: Staying afloat from afar – By: Onyinye

This isn’t really about the Sustainable Development Goals!

Like many prospective student who finally gets a chance to be admitted into a reputable institution of learning amidst the competition for the available spaces and uncompromising admission criteria, I was overjoyed by that realization and was looking forward to finally studying in Sweden in the autumn of 2021, precisely at the oldest university in all of Sweden. The Uppsala University asides other interest is known for its rich cultural background, stimulating research environment and participatory student involvement. But sometimes, the route to a desired destination is not always a straight and easy one, and this applied to me in this context.

You might be tempted to ask if I got admitted to study my course of choice, Oh! Yes I did. Did I also travel to Sweden to study? Not yet as I am currently still in my home country Nigeria awaiting a decision from the Migration agency as regards processing of my study permit. I am very hopeful and still keeping my fingers crossed for a positive response. This delay was partly due to the late approval for my proposed study leave at my previous place of employment and challenges with study permit and visa application payment done online. Hence, I was caught in the web of study permit processing time as detailed by the migration office.

I was fortunate to have my first module starting via zoom. This was scheduled for about 2 months beginning in August, so this gave me ample time to familiarize with my course mates. This interaction was not only pertaining to course work but also getting to know most of them on a personal level including their families. As scheduled, physical classes were expected to commence in the last week of October and to my dismay I still wasn’t ready to leave for Sweden. I was torn in between taking a decision to defer the programme or just totally opting out of it completely, but as a fee-paying international student the second option was not an agreeable one. Though not currently out of the woods yet as I write, but I have come to realize that anything is possible if only you put your mind to it.

Before the face to face classes commenced, I had notified every concerned personnel about my predicament and course mates alike, so everyone was in the know to an extent. I wrote personally to all the class teachers for the next module, informing them officially about my absence from the classes with recommendations on possible ways to go about the compulsory lectures, group work, presentations and seminars knowing fully well that attendance and participation was an important part of the grading system at the university. The teachers were very supportive and proffered flexible ways of ensuring that I continued in my studies. This was majorly because it was observed that I was making some efforts too to remain afloat. Hence, lecture slides were uploaded timely on the learning platform so I could access them sometimes before the lecture date, explanations on study materials were summarized by close course mates via remote calls, zoom and other agreeable social media platform. Group members made group meetings very flexible so that I could be a part of it and interestingly, I am ‘zoomed’ into real time class activities and group presentation so that I can also get a ‘feel’ of what transpired during compulsory sessions.

There are really wonderful people in Uppsala University and I am glad to be associated with it. Hopefully, when I am set to travel to Sweden, I shall take my turn in the “taggedforuppsala” intagram takeover for the week and share more experiences. Till then, keep networking!!!

/Onyinye

Moving to Sweden with your Pet – By: Samantha

When I moved to Uppsala, I couldn’t bare the thought of leaving my best feline friend behind. I knew from the moment I applied to Uppsala University that I’d be taking my cat with me. But how does that work? What do I need to do? What does my cat need to do? Is it even possible? Well, yes, it is!

In this blog post I’ll tell you all about the steps I needed to take to bring my cuddly friend with me to Uppsala.

Before my flight to Uppsala, my cat had to fulfill certain requirements. I looked up these requirements online and came across the website of the Swedish Board of Agriculture. On the website I found all the requirements needed. My cat had to be insured and be vaccinated. She especially needed to be vaccinated against rabies at least 3 weeks before traveling. She also needed to be ID-chipped and of course have her own passport. So, I went to my veterinarian and got everything sorted out.

Next thing to do was to book a flight for her and I, and try to get her to fly in the cabin with me. This all depends on the airline you are flying with; mine was KLM. My cat isn’t that big or heavy, so I booked a flight where she could fly with me inside the cabin, yay! However, this really depends on your airline and of course the size of your pet. Many airlines do not allow pets inside their cabin area so check their websites carefully.

Now, of course, I had to prepare my cat and myself for the flight. For the flight I had to buy a bag with the exact measurements offered by the airline. If the bag is smaller than the measurements, there is no issue. But if its too big, the pet won´t be able to fit in-between your legs in the cabin and would have to be put with the luggage instead ☹

I also had to make sure she got used to the bag before the flight, so I bought the bag a few weeks before flying to get her used to being in the bag. Sometimes she even slept in the bag. For the flight itself, I also got her a Beaphar de-stressing collar with valerian and lavender scent. This scent calms cats down so they won´t be too stressed on a flight or whatever else you need your pet to be calm for. It’s also very important to not let your pet eat a few hours before the flight to avoid any “accidents” on the flight. So, I took her food away the night before the flight. Your pet can still drink water until about 4 hours before the flight.

But before flying to Uppsala, I had to complete the hardest step of this entire process; finding an accommodation that would allow pets. Most student housing, if not all, do not allow pets. I was also moving to Sweden with my partner, so finding a student appartement for two and a cat wasn’t really manageable. That means I had to look elsewhere.

I started my search on Google and also asked @taggedforuppsala some tips on finding an accommodation elsewhere. This eventually led me to three places:

  1. Blocket.se
  2. Facebook
  3. Uppsala Bostadsförmedling

To start, blocket.se is a website where you can buy and sell many second-hand things, however it can also be useful for finding an accommodation. When looking for a place to stay on the website, you can filter your location, but you can also add in the filters that you want a place that allows pets. That’s what I did and there were loads of options for me to choose from. But they were sadly either too small for us and a cat, too expensive, or only short-term. So, I continued my search elsewhere, Facebook!

On Facebook, many people offer many accommodations but its very competitive, and usually you have to still apply through another website. Also, there are many scammers on Facebook so I decided this wouldn’t be the best place to find an accommodation for my partner, my cat and I. This eventually led me to Uppsala Bostadsförmedling. This website offers you housing all over Uppsala, but also in counties outside of Uppsala but still nearby. It offers student housing, retirement homes, and, of course, also normal appartements and many of those appartements allow pets. The only issue with this website is that it works with a queue, and it is very competitive. So, you have to sign up fairly early to secure a good spot in a queue. I signed up a bit early, around January, to look for an appartement for July/August. It took many applications, lots and lots of patience, and of course lots of time to find an appartement suitable for all of us. I stood in the queue for about 40-50 accommodations, each time being in the queue line starting from place 50-100 and eventually not getting even close to getting them. But eventually, after months of stalking the website, I finally managed to apply for an appartement and came first in the queue for it! When you´re first in the queue, the people of the accommodation eventually contact you and ask you for some information. If you meet all the requirement, you´re all set!

So, with an accommodation set, my flight set, and my cat completely vaccinated and ready to fly; we flew to Sweden. At the airport from where I was traveling from, I had to show my cat’s passport, and get my cat and her bag searched. Inside the airport my cat could be let out of her bag, but my cat didn’t like how crowded it was, so in the bag she stayed. I also had to check-in my cat at the gate before flying to let the crew know my cat is joining us on this flight. During the flight, my cat wasn’t allowed out of the bag, but she could stay on my lap inside the bag. But during take-off and landing she needed to stay in-between my legs, like a carry-on bag would, for her and my own safety.

When we landed at Arlanda airport, I had to show them her passport again, but my cat didn’t need to be searched and we could easily leave the airport and finally start our journey in Sweden together When leaving the airport, I had to get my cat and I to the appartement. I did not want to take my cat on a train and bus ride home. So, I took an uber instead to have a comfortable ride to our appartement.

It´s important to note, that just like you might need time to adjust to this new foreign country, it might also take some time for your pet to adjust to a new country, home and climate. They will also be very tired from the flight and travelling. So let your pet rest and explore their new surroundings slowly and when they are ready. And most importantly, give them lots of love! My cat took about a week to really adjust to her new home and her new surroundings, but now she loves it here. So, be patient. It will all be fine.

It´s also important to note, that once you get your Swedish personal number, register your pet at the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible. They might have cheaper insurance plans for your pet, but it´s also always great to have your pet registered at a veterinarian if anything goes wrong and to have their yearly check-up. At the veterinarian they can also change the address on your pet´s ID-chip to your Swedish address, but you could also do this yourself online in case your Swedish personal number is taking too long.

So, to summarize everything. The steps needed to take your pet with you are the following:

  1. Check the requirements for your pet on the Swedish Board of Agriculture website
  2. Find accommodation for you and your pet
  3. Book a flight
  4. Check flight requirements
  5. Prepare for the flight
  6. Fly
  7. Register your pet at the nearest veterinarian
  8. Enjoy Sweden with your pet

I hope you enjoyed this post and learned a bit about how to take your furry friend with you on your trip to Sweden 😊 I´m so happy to have her here with me.

/Samantha Angela

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