My O-Week Experience: Emily

Lund, Sweden – First Impressions
37 hours after leaving my home and family in Wellington, I arrived safely in Copenhagen. It was a shock to the senses stepping outside into a chilly -10°C, but I instantly fell in love with the icy winter landscape. The next step was departing Copenhagen to reach my final destination – Lund, Sweden. Mentors greeted myself and other fellow exchange students at the airport and directed us to the train that would take us on the short 30 minute ride to Lund.

After picking up the keys to my new home for the next 6 months, I arrived at Klostergården Student House, joining the 200 other international students living under the same roof. I opted for a twin room, complete with a kitchen and bathroom. After spending a full day at IKEA I finally felt ready to settle in. The plain white walls are now plastered with a growing collection of polaroid pictures as well as fairy lights and a New Zealand themed alphabet set.

Cobblestone streets and buildings that date back to earlier than the discovery of New Zealand give Lund its historical and charming atmosphere, making it easy to feel at home here. The snow has been an unreal experience for me as I have never seen anything like it back home in NZ. The locals probably think I’m crazy because I can spend hours playing in the snow with friends, happily abandoning the warm university corridors.

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Lund University hosted many events for their numerous exchange students, including a meet and greet night, a formal welcome from the Vice Chancellor, and a crazy welcome party. During the first week came the time to sign up to one of the student nations. Lund University has 12 student nations which host all of the bars and nightclubs, as well as many other fun and cheap events such as burger nights, brunches, and balls. However, once you are part of a student nation you can attend events from any nation. The city is basically designed around the university, where students make up almost half the population. The students really do run the city. It is incredibly easy to meet like-minded people from all across the globe, and I already feel like I have made some life-long friends here.

Lund is a fantastic destination for travelling, as it is so close to Copenhagen airport where you can find direct flights to practically anywhere in Europe. I have already visited Amsterdam and have flights booked to Paris, Zurich, Berlin and more for March. I am also heading to Lapland in February, 300km beyond the arctic circle, to witness the Northern Lights, take part in husky sledding and hanging out with the reindeer. Bring on some epic snowball fights!

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