Category: Okategoriserade (Page 1 of 17)

FRITIDSBANKEN (as Swedish as kanelbullar) – By: Artur

Around the end of November, winter weather truly starts to kick in around Uppsala. The nights are long, the days are short, it gets colder, more icy, and more snowy. Sounds like a perfect recipe for the “winter blues” to hit you, right? Not on Sweden’s watch!

As you probably know, the Swedes really enjoy exercising. The gyms are always full, and there are always people running, cycling or Nordic walking, which is something I was introduced to when I moved here. The Swedes are also known for their love of being outdoors: hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, they do it all with a little help from Allemansrätten. But most of these activities require some sort of specific equipment which can be very pricey sometimes. So what do you do if you just moved here, if you didn’t bring your gear or actually never owned it, and if you don’t feel like spending the money to try something out just once? That’s where my favourite Swedish institution so far comes in: Fritidsbanken. Literally “Free Time/Leisure Bank”

Fritidsbanken is a project that started in 2013 in Värmland (the region in Western Sweden, not the Student Nation). Its purpose is to serve as a library for sports and outdoor equipment. You just go there, find whatever gear you are looking for, give them your name and a (Swedish) phone number, and you get to take anything home on a 14-day loan. The best part? It is all completely free! Fritidsbanken is financed and supported by the Swedish Sports Confederation and other Swedish institutions. They also rely on equipment donations, which help them make sure that access to all their goods is free for all.

“like a library but for sports and leisure,
Welcome to Fritidsbanken”

My friends and I went there searching for ice skates, but I was legitimately impressed with the amount of things they had when I walked in there. From skis to hiking backpacks, badminton rackets to footballs, ski boots, helmets, goggles, they have a variety of sizes and styles. I wear size 44 shoes, which I think is the most common shoe size for men here in Sweden, and they still had at least 6 pairs of skates I could choose from.

After trying out the skates and finding a pair that fit me, I just had to check out. But before that, I had an internal debate about whether I should take anything else. Maybe a helmet, since I had only skated 4 times before in my life and never really learned how to. Maybe some Ice Hockey or Bandy equipment in case I felt like trying out some typically Swedish winter sports. I ended up settling on taking only the skates, but all other options were available and I might try them out in the future.

One important thing to be aware of, though, is their opening hours. There are two units of Fritidsbanken in or close to Uppsala. One of them (the one I went to) is the Industristaden unit, located in the industrial zone south of the city centre, and the other one is a bit further away in Gottsunda. Both of them have the same opening hours: from Monday to Thursday between 2 and 7 pm. So if, like me, you plan on grabbing your gear for a little weekend adventure, you better plan ahead!

After you’ve chosen all you want to take, you just have to check out. It’s a very simple procedure: you just go to the “cashier”, show them what you’re taking, they ask for your name and phone number (has to be Swedish), enter it into their system and you get a text with a link to all the information relating to your loan. I even heard from a friend that if you need the skates you’re taking to be sharpened, for example, they can do it for you there for free as well. You get to keep the equipment for up to 14 days and just have to bring everything back in the same conditions you got it.

On Saturday, I met my friends to go put our skates and skills to the test. It was a really cold and windy afternoon, there was some snow laying on the ground and the sun had shined all morning but was starting to hide behind the clouds. It was a perfect early winter day to go enjoy another facility Uppsala has to offer: a free ice skating rink!

At Studenternas, right next to the football stadium, is the ice rink where Bandy matches are held. Next to it, there is a free skating area that is open to whoever wants to use it to play sports, practice their figure skating, or, as was my case, try to learn how not to fall every other minute. It is a very nice environment, full of families, friend groups, couples, and people enjoying their own company. Everybody respects each other’s space to the best of their abilities and it is a really fun activity to get you out of the house and into the cold winter air for a few hours. Don’t forget to dress warm and do a good layering job, though, because staying outdoors for long when it is cold might be dangerous. Wear a good scarf, a beanie, thick socks, and good gloves as well.

As they say: “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothes”

To me, Fritidsbanken is something that sums up a lot of the good things I like in Sweden. It’s a community-based institution whose main goal is to get people to go out, exercise and enjoy themselves and the company of friends. This sense of togetherness and the idea of staying active during the dark and cold winter months are crucial for students that just moved here. Having the chance to do all of this, and especially for free, is another example of why student life in Uppsala is among the best I have ever seen. Not even some snow, ice, and darkness can avoid it. In fact, they only add to the whole experience 😉

Navigating “Free” Time as a Student – Managing Stress, Being Efficient, and Working Smart! – By: Arshia

One of the most important parts of academic culture in Sweden is the amount of trust and responsibility put on the student to study by themselves. On one hand, that comes with a lot of advantages since, as a student, you’re able to figure out a schedule that works for you, and study in the way that best suits your strengths, habits, and patterns. You’re viewed as an independent, responsible individual (something that I think also contributes to the lack of hierarchy in Sweden’s academic institutions). On the other hand, if you come from a vastly different academic culture (like I do!), it can be difficult to hold yourself accountable and do the work that is actually expected of you without the pressure of a professor telling you to do it!

Now that I am in the second year of my Master’s and am faced with a lot of “free” months where I have no classes because I’m entrusted with steadily working on my thesis, I’m in the process of figuring out how to work productively and smartly. Here are some tips from me (and also my thesis supervisor) that worked for me, and may work for you too!

Build a schedule that feels familiar

The most difficult part of navigating free time is not having a schedule to hold yourself to. I’ve had countless conversations with so many friends and corridor mates about how having long free periods makes it tough to keep track of time since nobody expects you to be anywhere or do anything. Combating this means making a fixed schedule for yourself. Draw up a chart and stick it to your wall, schedule study time and put it in your calendar the way you would do for classes. What’s important is that you make it look and feel similar to what your classes for your courses would look like. For instance, if you have three classes a week, schedule three study sessions, and then three additional pre-class prep sessions.

Prep sessions could involve skimming through literature, looking for readings, narrowing down to questions you want your research to acknowledge and answer. The main study sessions on the other hand would involve properly diving into the literature, getting to the meat of how to answer the questions you set aside, actually doing the work you prepared to do.

Set realistic goals

When dealing with mountains of readings and literature review, it’s easy to both feel overwhelmed, and also overestimate how much work you’re actually capable of doing, and doing well. There’s a limit to how much information we can retain and properly make use of, and so it is of the utmost importance to recognise our human-ness and set realistic goals.

I was one of those people who would promise myself to read one or two papers a day, but then when I would actually sit down to do the work, I would realise very soon that I had bitten off more than I could chew. This was not only because the papers were hard to read (because sometimes they would be manageable), but because it is incredibly time-consuming to properly understand, analyse, and take notes from a paper.

My entire studying game changed when I went from setting myself one or two papers a day to half a paper. It takes a lot of stress off your shoulders when you know that you need to only do half a paper. Less stress means that you aren’t rushing yourself, and your brain is less cloudy to actually read the paper. You can certainly do more than half a paper if you get into the flow of it, but even reaching the half-paper mark will make you feel accomplished, and you’ll have the energy to come back and finish it the next day, knowing that there’s not much left!

Writing less, consistently is better than writing more, sporadically

This point is kind of like an extension to the last point, talking about writing instead of reading, but it is important nonetheless.

When I had trouble finding motivation to write and did not know where or how to start, I voiced my concerns to my supervisor who gave me this advice! He said that it is much better to aim to write a hundred imperfect words a day than setting a bigger goal of a thousand perfect words a week. Setting a small daily goal keeps you consistent, and pushes away the possibility of procrastinating until the last couple days of the week. Returning to your work on a daily basis also ensures that you’re actively thinking about it and about ways to improve it, and by the end of the week you can actually end up with a thousand decent words that are ready for editing!

Realise that normal is the norm!

Some more words of wisdom from my supervisor – strive to be normal!

We all tell ourselves that bad days aren’t the norm, but we also need to realise that good days aren’t the norm either. So, just as we wouldn’t get used to the idea of not studying at all, we shouldn’t get used to the idea of studying extremely productively and successfully every day just because we had a couple of good days in a row.

Aim to have a really normal day, and rely more on discipline than on sporadic feelings of motivation. That way, you won’t feel upset when you don’t have the best study session ever, and you will also know that having a bad study session doesn’t mean that you are stuck in that state. You will just bumble along steadily and calmly, and will end up doing much more work consistently.

Separate your spaces

Having separate spaces for different parts of your life is incredibly important to align your mindset with the task you have set yourself to do. If you study in the same space that you also use for relaxation, it can be difficult to shift mindsets and be prepared to focus when it is time to work. Inversely, it can also take much longer to relax even when you put your books and devices away because your mind now associates that space with working and not resting.

Study in cafes, dining rooms, or one of the many wonderful libraries Uppsala University has to offer (I love the library at Engelska Parken, and also Carolina Rediviva).

If you don’t want to go outside because it’s too cold for your liking or you want to save money and time, you can also demarcate spaces within your room! My laptop recently broke which means that I cannot move it from my desk, so I cannot go to the libraries with it anymore. To work around this little setback, I’ve made my desk my designated work/study space, and even when I want to take a short break, I get up and shift to my bed, or the couch, or head to the balcony for some fresh air!

Take breaks!

While this means that you take breaks in between study sessions, this also means longer breaks! If you’ve been given a month without classes, you have to strike a nice balance between working and studying, and actually doing things that bring you joy, help you relax, and recharge you. Take the weekend off and spend time with your friends, grab a bus ticket and visit one of the many small towns and cities around Uppsala, sign up for events at the nations, or you could even work at the nations to meet more people and surround yourself in a different atmosphere! If you can, take a flight or a train to other cities in Sweden, or to the countries around Sweden!

There’s a whole lot of things to do in and around Uppsala, and Sweden as a whole, and since you’re a student here now, you should do as much as you can to make the most of this experience of being in a new city and new country!

I hope these little tips and tricks help you stay on top of your academic work in ways that are more efficient and productive, and leave you with less stress and worry. While stress and anxiety can be common parts of being a student (especially a student in a foreign country), it’s best to do what we can to improve our experience so that we’re left with more space and energy to enjoy the nicer parts of student life!

What are some things you like to do to stay motivated, disciplined, and productive?

The Rindi Rendezvous: Making Friends and Memories in the Student Union Scene – By: Nathaniel

Socializing when you’ve moved to a new country can be really daunting. From my experience, I have found joining the student union, Rindi, to be very helpful for socializing, interacting, and getting to know the great people and students through fun activities here at Campus Gotland. Due to Campus Gotland being a tight-knit community, whether you are studying, participating in guilds, or want to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with friends, it is very easy to find yourself spending a lot of time in the Rindi Castle. The café guild holds pop-up cafes which are popular due to the affordable and delicious goodies that are offered.

I am a member of the Sound Guild in which I have been very active. I had my first DJ set a few weeks ago which went well. So, it has been very interesting learning to mix different genres of music and set up sound systems.

Rindi can help build a sense of community and belonging on campus. You are able to meet so many other students who share similar interests or hobbies and you are able to learn about different cultures and understand others perspectives outside of academia. The guilds or clubs that I’ve mentioned before and below are some of the communities that one can be a part of at Rindi. They also have study sections that are categorized by what you study such as LeGo(Leadership and Engineering), Envis(Environmental and Earth Sciences), and VisEkon(Economics) which provide opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and take on leadership roles. You can gain valuable experience in organizing events, managing budgets, and working with others. Or just by participating in events organized is a way to be active within the community.

So apart from the study sections, Rindi has its own board. As a student union, Rindi appoints board members who often advocate for student rights and express students’ concerns, both on campus and in the wider community.

In summary, joining a student union can provide a range of benefits that can enhance your university experience. From community building to leadership opportunities to advocacy, there are many reasons to consider joining a student union at Uppsala University, Campus Gotland.

Some of the clubs (guilds) that you can take part in at Campus Gotland

Café Guild: Where you can bake and host student cafés. Which are held weekly on Sundays and Wednesdays at Rindi.

Kitchen Guild: Where you can cook alongside others with similar passions with students. They plan on providing lunches quite soon!

The Sound Guild: Is where you have the opportunity to learn how to DJ and set up sound systems.

Rindi CineClub: Provides the opportunity to help organize film screenings for students here at Campus Gotland which as a Rindi member you have access to discounted prices.

Rindi Sports Club: Is a community where you can play tennis, paddleboarding, football, basketball, and badminton on a weekly basis.

Castle Guild: They help with repairs and requests from other sections and clubs. If you need anything made you can ask them and they will do their best to craft it for you.

Bar Guild: They run the student bar every Friday. They have the chance to practice their bartending skills while serving drinks to students.

Fire Guild: Do you like playing with fire? At the Fire Guild, you learn to use Fire poi’s and staff and from to time, you perform what you’ve practiced for students at school events.

Apart from all the different activities that go on, I would recommend going out of your comfort zone to socialize and initiate the conversation because I can assure you that everyone is more or less too shy to start the conversation. 

Getting the most out of the nation life – By: Andis

While living in Uppsala you will obviously encounter nations as a crucial part of your life here. You already know or have heard that each nation has a pub where you can hang out, clubs to celebrate being young for reasonable, student friendly prices and other fun activities. However, a great way to find your home, here so far away from all your friends and family is to get active in a nation. But what does that mean exactly? Let me give you a short introduction in what it means to be active, how to get active and what do you get for doing that!

What can you do?

Sustaining an organization like a student nation is actually much harder than you might expect. There are many parts in the organization that need to work together and collaborate to provide all the wonderful activities that nation does. There are a lot of positions that you can take to be a part of this wonderful mechanism. The most common ones are the ones in clubwork. Clubwork is a part of the nations that works with the pub, clubs, events and gasques. Therefore there is a need for a lot of people in different positions to make this work. Do keep in mind that in different nations you might have different names or amounts of certain positions, I will share the structure of the nation I am active in – Kalmar nation, but it could vary a bit!

The spine of the clubwork is the clubworkers of course! There are usually around 10 positions for clubworkers and they are the ones making sure you can go and hang out in the nation pubs! Clubworkers are in charge of either the bar or kitchen during a pub night and also the staff that works in the pub! It is the most common first position to take in a nation because you can really get into the ground level of the operation and understand exactly how a nation works! You can apply to be a clubworker and take the position for one semester, where you then would be in charge of the pub, usually one night a week! Other positions in the clubwork are clubmasters – the people organizing clubs, fika-masters, who are in charge of fika, headwaiter, kitchen master etc. The latter ones are a usual second step after the semester as a clubworker and it works very well too since you already have experience in how the nation works and can continue working in it!

But that is absolutely not all, the nations have other positions that deal with other parts which are just as important. There are the marketing team that makes sure the nation is presented in the best possible way on the social media and posters, the recceförman and international secretaries, who make sure that new students are welcome, feel at home and get all the information you need. There are marshals and flag bearers who participate in the more traditional activities and are very important in representing a nation and making sure the events run smoothly. Each nation has a newspaper, so you can become an redactor of the newspaper and a librarian who keeps sure that the nations libraries are in check. There are also archivists working with keeping the legacy of the nation safe, song masters, who lead the songs in gasques, different positions for the different activity groups like theatre, choir and other! And of course the qurators who are in charge of part of the nation, 1Q is in charge of the nations administrative side and representation, 2Q in charge of finances and economy and 3Q is in charge of the restaurant business – pub, clubs etc. Some nations also have a 4Q who is in charge of gasques and rent outs. These positions (except the qurators) are a usual second or third step after being in the clubwork and that is when you have been in the nation for a while and are ready to more administrative work in the nation!

As you can see there are so so many things you can do at a student nation and each of them are very important to keep the nation working. Furthermore, it means that everyone can find a place where they belong and do what they do best!

Where to start?

The nation might sound like a complicated organization and quite hard to understand, getting active is so so easy! The only thing you need to do is take a shift at the pub! Just look up the staff facebook group of a nation, if you can`t find it, just go to your nation and ask around! It is very simple to take shift and start working, you can even earn a teeny tiny bit of money for doing so, but the friendships gained this way are precious. You can start working at the pub, clubs, gasques or fika and that is the perfect way to get to know people who are active and put your foot in the door of the nation! Usually people start working in the pub for a semester and then decide to take a position, commonly a clubworker since you are now accustomed with how the pub works. The nations usually have an informational evening to tell more about what it is like to be a clubworker and then you just apply at the qurators office and hopefully get elected and start your journey!

What are the perks?

The thing about taking a position at a nation is that you usually do not get paid for it. It is voluntary since it is just students working to provide fun times for other students. That is actually my favourite part of nations – students working together for students! However, when you are active in a nation you get to spend a lot of time together with other positionholders and you make the most wonderful friendships and memories there! It is a perfect way to find your home away from home just like they intended when they founded the nations in 17th century. When you are a clubworker you also get fun perks like the KK card which lets you in any nations club for free and with the option of skipping the queue, which is obviously wonderful. And you can take another person in with you! You also get to go to KMK dinners, where you get a fancy dinner together with all clubworkers in all the nations and you can celebrate the life of a student in Uppsala. Some nations have other perks, like a discount in their pub, free entrance and skipping the queue in the nations clubs etc (these are the examples of being a position holders in Kalmar nation! But once again – everyone loves being active in the nations because of the friendships and family feel of the organization!

My journey at Kalmar nation (so far)

When I was looking up universities in Sweden, Uppsala caught my eye exactly because of the vibrant student life within the nations. I knew that I will want to be active in a nation straight away so I started literally the first week I was here. When I registered to Kalmar nation I asked – what do I do to become active, and got the tip to take a shift at the pub. Next day I was in Kalmar kitchen flipping burgers, without even knowing that the people I met there that night will become the best of my friends! After a few weeks working the pub, clubs and gasques I got offered to take a clubworker position since not all of them were filled and I accepted straight away! I became a clubworker without really knowing what it means, but I was sure that I was up for the adventure of a lifetime! I started working in the pub every week and making strong bonds with my fellow clubworkers and other people in the nation. Soon enough I was at a point where at any time I could go down to the nation and meet up people and hang out without even making plans, cause the family vibe in the nation is incredible. Once the autumn semester of 2022 was coming to the end I decided to take a position of a clubmaster – therefore taking up the responsibility of organising clubs next semester.

And so I did, it was my favourite position so far and very valuable experience since at times I was in charge of 20-25 people at a single night! It was fun coming up with the themes of clubs, learning how to set up DJ technique, working with our wonderful staff and making friendships that will last a lifetime! I got to experience Valborg with my wonderful friend both partying and organising events. When the spring arrived everyone in the nation was such a nice family, we were hanging out every day, having picnics, beach days and going to trips together. At the end of spring I decided to take up the position of a recceförman therefore being in charge of organizing events for new students and welcoming them into this wonderful Kalmar family! And that is what I have been doing this semester and I have absolutely loved it! Seeing new fun people join the nation and start their journey of being active in Kalmar has been absolutely wonderful!

In the end I just want to say that if you are in Uppsala for 2 years, 1 year or even just a semester, getting active in a nation is a perfect way to find your little family and make friends for life! It is a wonderful concept and really makes a difference in your life here in Uppsala! I would advise everyone to start this journey in a nation they like, cause the perks are just priceless. I am so happy that I made this choice and I really enjoy it every single day!

Tips on Writing Your Statement of Purpose – By: Daisy

About a year ago is when I started seriously writing my statement of purpose for my application. I was extremely stressed about it and didn’t really know where to start, but eventually I calmed myself down and did as much research as I possibly could and managed to write an brillant one (or perhaps just an okay one but hey! I got accepted!)

In this blog post I am going to give you a few tips about writing yours so hopefully your experience goes smoother than mine.

Disclaimer: this is all just from the perspective of a student. I am not on the admissions team and don’t know for absolute certain what they specifically look for. These are just things I found while scouring around the internet and what I thought would be helpful 🙂 

1: Start earlier and don’t rush!

The application opened a few weeks ago and you have until mid January so it feels like there is still loads of time left, but you don’t want to leave it until the last minute. While I am unsure of the inner workings of the admissions team, I’m pretty sure that the exact date you submit your application within the time frame doesn’t really matter, everyone is judged equally. 

My advice would be to start seriously thinking about it now, and when you get the chance, spend a week or two on it. That includes the research, the writing, and the proof reading. Personally I had some people read it for me too, in order to get some more perspectives and also to double check all my spelling!

2: Make sure you know the rubric of your course

Read and reread the course syllabus and expectations of the courses you are applying for. It will definitely make you look like a better candidate if you are referencing things directly from the course description. This will show the admissions teams that you are passionate and confident about your choices

3: Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself!

This is an essay that is all about you. Of course it is relevant to referencing specific things that relate directly to your studies but it also serves as an introduction to you as a person. I referenced certain things about my life that weren’t necessarily about my course but were relevant to me as a person and how I might approach life at Uppsala university and what I can bring to the table.

4: Don’t forget to reference Uppsala/Sweden

As we are all international students, we are all planning to come to Sweden for a reason and don’t be shy to talk about that. Mention precisely what it is that drew you to Uppsala University/Sweden in general. This will include you doing some research about the area and the student life, and then you can talk directly about it. This will show firstly that you are eager, and also that you have a goal in attending here. 

5: Don’t stress too much!

Of course it’s important but it’s there as an introduction to you, and goes hand in hand with all your other documents and as long as you show passion and give the sense you are well prepared i’m sure it will all be perfect!

I look forward to seeing you in Uppsala soon 🙂

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.

Life in Uppsala – Unexpected Experiences and Little Surprises! – By: Arshia

I’ve been in Uppsala for over a year now, and I still cannot believe how fast time has flown! The past year went by in such a blink, and was full to the brim with experiences that I couldn’t have had anywhere but here. Now that I’ve seen Uppsala through all its rolling seasons and colours, I thought I would sit down and take you through some things and experiences that really stood out to me, or were completely unexpected!

  1. Getting used to the growing daylight takes just as much – if not more – adjusting to!

Before coming to Uppsala, I had heard from so many people about how dark and dreary the winters can be. Anecdotes of waking up to darkness, getting out of classes to darkness, forgetting when to eat meals, and being surrounded by a shroud of sleepiness, were all around me from people who had already spent some time here. So, even though I was nervous, I was prepared to expect something difficult to get used to. What I did not expect however, was just how disorienting exiting the winters could be! I would often wake up to the sunlight streaming in through my windows, expecting it to be well after 9:00 AM, only to realise it was just barely 4:00 AM! Remembering the 3-hour-daylight of the winters, I would always assume I had a whole day left just because the sun was still up, and then a quick glance at my watch would let me know it was time to eat dinner and start winding down for the day. It took me quite some time to re-adjust to living in a world filled with sunlight!

Moral of the story – don’t trust the sun to tell you anything!

  • Waiting in line is half (or at least one-third) of the nations’ experience.

One of the main factors contributing to a rich student-life in Uppsala is the nations. From activities, sports, pubs, clubs, gasques and everything else under the sun, nations have a lot to offer, and I highly recommend trying out every single thing that even mildly catches your eye. One of those things is the club-nights. It is super interesting and fun to experience things like club music in a nation library, surrounded by leather-clad books with faded gold lettering, or remixes of ABBA playing throughout the night with everyone singing their hearts out. But before you even get to those parts, you have to do the dreaded waits outside the nations. Walking by the cathedral one Friday evening when I was still new to Uppsala, I was shocked to see the line of students extending across the street and up the little hill of the cathedral. Having been here for a year now, the sight is as plain as anything else. So, if you want to go to the nations, you might as well start liking the idea of waiting for near or upwards of an hour. It’s not so bad in the summertime, but if you want to go to the clubs during peak winter, I’d recommend a thick jacket and warm socks.

  • Don’t expect your classes to get cancelled because of bad weather.

This is perhaps not so much of an Uppsala-specific thing, but an overall Swedish thing, but I thought I’d say it nonetheless because it was pretty unexpected. Growing up, it was fairly common to have classes cancelled because of heavy rain, low temperatures (not low by Swedish standards, of course), or extreme heat, but here, classes just do not get cancelled. Buses could be skidding on ice-covered roads, trees could be angled from a blizzard, or the snow could reach your shins, but you just have to get to class. By now, you must have heard of the Swedish mindset towards bad weather – that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing/preparation, and that is absolutely correct. So, now that the winters are on their way, get the warmest clothes and shoes you can find so that on a day when you wake up and look outside your window to find the world shrouded in white and snow falling horizontally from the wind, you know you can still make your way to class. You’re probably even going to see that one person who refuses to let anything come in the way of their daily jog (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but only by a tiny bit).

  • Learning that Uppsala is one of the largest cities in Sweden

While this is more of a little fact than something you realise through living in Uppsala, I included it on this list because of how often it hits me that Uppsala is considered a big city. Coming from India, one of the most populated countries in the world, with some pretty large cities scattered throughout, Uppsala feels much more like a cosy little student town than a city, let alone the fourth-largest city in the country.

During my bachelor’s in Delhi, I would think nothing of travelling near two hours (one way) just to visit a friend who lived in a different part of the city, but here, commuting for two hours would get me to another one of Sweden’s largest cities – Västerås!

Being used to bustling streets, bright lights, and loads of traffic, Uppsala felt incredibly empty and quiet when I first arrived, despite there being a whole bunch of new students roaming around. But now that I’ve been here for a year and have seen what ‘empty’ and ‘quiet’ truly mean (wait for the summer vacation when every person in the city seems to vanish off the face of the Earth – more on this in my next point), the beginning of the autumn semester felt incredibly crowded!

  • Summer vacations are taken very seriously

This is another thing that is more of a Swedish thing than a specific Uppsala thing, but I love it and it absolutely deserves a place here. Summer vacations mean everything to Swedish people (as they should)! While you’re definitely going to see a lot more people coming out to experience the sunshine when the summer days begin to set in, there’s going to be a good month or so when everyone just disappears. No emails will be responded to, no work will be done, no people will be seen – vacation means vacation, goodbye! 

  • Bonus unexpected experience – the bananas in Sweden are really hard to peel!

What more can I even say about a point like this? It just is the truth! Perhaps it’s because they’re not grown locally, or they’re a different type of banana than what we have back home, but the fact remains! The first time I ate a banana, it was a battle between me and the banana to see who would persevere (it was getting embarrassing), but thankfully, a friend of mine who is more used to Swedish bananas whisked the fruit out of my hand and saved me the trouble. But never you mind, it is a practicable skill and you will be pleased to know that I finally figured out the trick to peel the bananas.

That concludes my list of unexpected experiences as a student who has lived in Uppsala for a year! What are some things that you found surprising once you arrived in Uppsala? What made you wonder, and what left you confused – share your experiences in the comments and let us know!

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