Sweden

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Sweden is a beautiful country in Northern Europe. You may already be familiar with some of its famous exports (IKEA, ABBA, Volvo, H&M, etc.) but there is so much more to this mysterious place. University of Auckland students can apply to study at one of our four partner universities: Linnaeus University (Education Only), Lund University (U21 including Law), Stockholm University (including Law), Uppsala University (Law only).Each university offers a unique gateway to experience Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.

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Let’s find out more from some of our returned Auckland Abroad students!

On orientation:

“In all seriousness, the orientation day is very helpful, informing you about each campus because there is more than one campus (at Stockholm University), for example I had classes at 3 campuses at once. In reality you will meet some of your 6 month-long friends on the first day.” – Milos Nedeljkov, Stockholm University

“Stockholm University was very welcoming and hosted numerous orientation events that meant I easily got to meet new people. The law faculty specifically ensured that we had Swedish “buddies” that were there to help us with any of our questions and to show us around. I found that the papers were different  as we were in a tutorial setting and I was only taking two papers total in a semester – for me it was an absolute dream.”- Genevieve Young, Stockholm University

“Lund University fulfilled my interest in trying to learn a second language as they put on a Swedish introductory course in the first weeks of university while the International Desk put on a weekly Swedish language café to practice with local Swedes.” –  Joshua Chung, Lund University

“What I loved about Stockholm University was the amount of support that they gave exchange students. International students have the opportunity to be buddied up with two or three other students and a Swedish student, who is there to help you settle into Swedish life. The Stockholm Student Union organises all types of events, including pubcrawls, dinners, local activities, and group trips.” – Abigail Pearce, Stockholm University

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On the lifestyle:

“Living in Lund was completely different to living in Auckland, it has a population of around 82,000 and the city is built around the 350-year-old University. Lund is also considered the best student city in Sweden with its unique traditional student nations and unions which organise events and activities. Lunches at the Nations became a regular occcurence with an almost compulsory Swedish black filter coffee on the side. I was also lucky to become an active member of Östgöta Nation and be there for the annual spring law ball. Overall, I think Lund University is an amazing place to do an exchange if you want a place full of culture, traditions and a strong academic spirit, and I encourage others to apply for their experience of a lifetime. ” –  Joshua Chung, Lund University

“Sweden is quite expensive. Food in supermarkets (the cheap ones at least) is the same and at times cheaper than in New Zealand, however there are other things that are more expensive. Once again just be smart with money. Spend money on something that is worthwhile, for example a trip to northern Sweden for dog sledding and to see the Northern Lights as opposed to buying 6 cocktails in a bar for the same price.” – Milos Nedeljkov, Stockholm University

“Stockholm is a beautiful city, and a great place to live. Because of its size, there is always something to do. The SL metro card gives you unlimited travel throughout Stockholm and is a good way to explore the city.” – Abigail Pearce, Stockholm University

“Lund is made up of 13 student Nations, when you arrive you chose one of the Nations to join but I found out that it doesn’t really matter what one you chose as long as the Nation belongs to Student Lund then you can go to events and work at any of the other Student Lund Nations. Each of these nations include student housing, have weekly pubs and clubs, breakfasts and lunches and they also hold “Sittnings”. “Sittnings” are a unique experience for students in Sweden and Finland, it is a dinner which involves singing and drinking and lots of fun, it can be formal or even a themed dress up. All events are run by students and everyone has the opportunity to work.” – Caitlin McCarthy, Lund University

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“The Swedish climate is interesting and vastly different to what I’d experienced at home. When I arrived in winter, the snow had piled high, it was as cold as -20 degrees, and daylight only lasted for about 5 or 6 hours. This is contrasted by summertime, where the temperature was about 20 degrees, and it felt like the sun never set.” – Aaron Cole, Uppsala University

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My favourite things about Stockholm included the concept of fika, the nightlife, the snow, the outdoor iceskating rinks, the food (swedish chocolate balls, cinnamon rolls, meatballs, chocolate cake), the super efficient transport system, IKEA, the shopping in general, and the architecture, exterior and interior. By far the best thing I did in Sweden though
was travelling to Kiruna and Abisko to see the northern lights, they were indescribable by words, and the fact that we got to ride huskies and climb frozen waterfalls were just bucket list worthy activities. In Stockholm, Summer is a whole other story, the Swedes all come out of hibernation, the sun is up when you leave to go out and rises when you’re going home at 3 in the morning – its a pretty crazy thing to witness.” – Genevieve Young, Stockholm University

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On housing:

“During my exchange, I lived in Kungshamra, a university-owned residence that is one metro stop away from Stockholm University. The buildings are corridor-style, where each student has their own room and bathroom, and shares a kitchen. Living in Kungshamra was a great way to meet people who weren’t studying the same courses as me, and also get to know some of the local Swedish students.” – Abigail Pearce, Stockholm University

“I was placed into student accommodation for international students called Klostergarden. These were studio apartments which I was originally hesitant about but it was in a building with many other international students and it is still very social.” – Caitlyn McCarthy, Lund University

 

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On courses:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the courses at Faculty of Law at Lund University as I got the opportunity to take two courses in EU Law and meet people from different jurisdictions, many of whom will be life long friends. I felt that studying there was more enjoyable as you focused only on one or two courses at a time before moving on to the next.” – Joshua Chung, Lund University

“The education system in Uppsala is different to Auckland, as there is greater pressure on students to direct class discussions. Because of this, contact hours are less as they expect you to be prepared for each class. I was attending about 4 hours of class a week to satisfy a full class schedule. The lecturers were competent and friendly, and we were encouraged to address them by their first names” – Aaron Cole, Uppsala University

“One of the biggest differences between Stockholm University and the University of Auckland is the semester plan. It is common in Sweden for students to take only two papers in a semester, which are worth the equivalent of four papers at the University of Auckland. Students will study one paper at a time, where each course is taught intensively over six weeks. I preferred this way of learning, as I was able to develop an in-depth understanding of the subject at hand. The teaching style is also quite different. Classes are a mixture of lectures and seminars, which means that there is a lot more opportunity to work in a group setting and share ideas with others. One thing I found interesting was the informal relationship between the lecturers and the students – it is considered normal to go out with your lecturer for coffee or lunch!” – Abigail Pearce, Stockholm University

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On travel:

“One of the major highlights of my exchange was the opportunity to explore different parts of Europe during the weekends and holidays. I visited many different countries, but my highlight would have to be my trip to Swedish Lapland where I was able to see the Northern Lights.” – Abigail Pearce, Stockholm University

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“Lund is very close to Denmark and was only a 40 minute train ride to Copenhagen so it was very easy to pop over the border for the day or the night and was also the closest international airport. I was also lucky enough to travel before, during and after my exchange around many countries such as the UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Estonia, Norway and Denmark. One of the highlights of my trips was the chance to go to Swedish Lapland where I went husky sledging and snowmobiling and got to see the Northern Lights as well as seeing a Norwegian fiord.” –  Caitlin McCarthy, Lund University

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Top tips:

  • Participate in Orientation
  • Locate the affordable supermarkets – it will help you to save money for trips
  • Share a ‘Fika’ with friends – cinnamon buns, biscuits, coffee, tea mmmm, cosy!
  • Join a Nation
  • Take part in a Swedish Language Course
  • Try to stick to a budget so that you can participate in once in a lifetime opportunities
  • Prepare for the climate by packing adequate clothing – layering is key as well as wool!
  • Furnish your room to make it ‘mysig’ or cozy to have a place to come back to after a cold day – IKEA is always a great and affordable place to start and you can even buy houseplants there!

 

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