Hi there! My name is Emelie and I am about to complete my 6th week of exchange here in Uppsala, Sweden. Uppsala is mostly a student town with a population of around 140,000. It is located approximately 70km north of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. Despite Uppsala’s small size, the city is full of character, history, culture which is guaranteed to keep you busy! Uppsala university is over 500 years old and is one of the oldest in Scandinavia, where students such Carl von Linne and Anders Celcius have studied and graduated (being a biology student I found this pretty awesome and exciting).
So now that we have the need-to-know details out of the way, I will begin by sharing what my first few days here in Uppsala were like. It all started with the 32-hour flight from Sydney to Stockholm, with 2 layovers and jetlag. On day one, after receiving the keys to my room and awkwardly trying to become friends with people who spoke English, I joined a guided Walking Tour of Uppsala. This tour was organised and lead by fellow exchange students. The tour allowed all of us nervous newbies to become familiar with our new home and to meet our future besties. The experience was one of the best I’ve had so far. It is where I met my group of friends that I spend most my days with.
Lucky for me, I had the first 5 weeks off before I started my university classes (most people started straight away). This gave me the opportunity to travel far and wide. In the time I had off, I travelled all the way up north to the Article Circle, where is was -30˚, then all the way back down to the very south, across the bridge to Copenhagen.
Alongside these adventures I found myself travelling to Lund and then again to Norway. I have also stayed local and explored the beautiful city of Stockholm and Uppsala. It is here I’ve devoted a large fraction of my day to having ‘fika’. Fika is a traditional Swedish, I guess ‘excuse’ to take a minute or five out of one’s day to have a coffee, usually accompanied by a Swedish cake or pastry whilst chit chatting with friends, family or colleagues. There are a number of student-friendly cafes around Uppsala where I often find myself meeting friends for a catch-up or to study. As I have only started classes this week, I don’t have much yet to report. My first impression is that the classes are tiny and the teachers are lovely! The class that I am taking, ‘Culture and Health’ is fascinating and unlike anything I have studied before, and has definitely opened my eyes to the many different cultures that I’m surrounded by. I am so excited for the next four adventurous and educational months to come and cannot wait to experience the rest of this global exchange experience.
Bachelor of Biomedical Science