Hej hej to whoever is reading this,
It’s been just over two months since I arrived in Uppsala, after a long 42-hour journey from Sydney to Uppsala. The first craziest moment I had was leaving Sydney on one of the hottest days at 40 degrees Celsius and then arriving at Arlanda Airport, Sweden, at -5 degree Celsius, just a little shock to the system you could say!
Uppsala University is Sweden’s oldest university and is located in the 4th largest city. It’s such a gorgeous city; full of history, and everyone is friendly here. It was a big shift from Sydney to Uppsala, with the biggest shift in climate. SNOW! I saw snow for the first time here, which was one of the most magical moments of my life! It was fun playing spot the Australian, cause every time it snowed just the slightest, all the Aussies would be out taking photos and playing in the snow. If you plan on coming here in the winter, make sure you have good shoes with you, I brought my 6-year-old doc martens (the soles were completely worn) and you could say I slipped a lot on the snow and ice. One of my favourite Swedish traditions that I love is fika, basically taking a break and having coffee and cake with some friends.
Settling into uni life couldn’t have gone any more smoothly. Uppsala Uni has the famous student nations, which are student-run societies that organise all sorts of activities and nights out, and you can become a member of a nation/s to receive benefits. The first nation run event I went to was the walking tour of Uppsala, where I met most of my friends! Definitely a must if you plan on coming here. I ended up joining Stockholm and Södermanlands-Nerikes (Snerikes) nations. I was also able to attend my first Gasque, which is a formal dinner where you sing songs, eat traditional Swedish food, and there are some strict rules you have to follow, such as the certain way you clink your glass.
It’s been an absolute blast these past two months, meeting so many people from all over the globe. I’ve been away to Gdansk – Poland, Swedish Lapland (On my birthday woo), Narvik – Norway, with people I’ve just meet and soon to be going to St Petersburg, Helsinki and Tallinn in a weeks time, something I would never have dreamed of doing! I would highly recommend doing the Lapland trip, it is honestly amazing – dog sledding, snowmobiling, northern lights, arctic swim, feeding reindeers, meeting the sami people, ice hotel, something you can’t experience any where else in the world.
If you are worried about exchange cause you’re shy or nervous, don’t worry, I was in the exact same boat and it couldn’t have gone any better, I made friends very easily and settled in just fine! I was very fortunate to have three other UTS students at Uppsala as well, so we all had each other.
Just do it, you won’t regret exchange, I promise you! If you have any questions, send them to me at: Marnie.R.White@student.uts.edu.au
P.S. Remember to bring Vegemite.
Bachelor of Environmental Biology