Nathaniel’s Two Months in Sweden

My name is Nathaniel and I’m in my fourth year of a combined Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice/Bachelor of Business (Advanced Leadership, International Business). This semester, I was supposed to be on exchange to Uppsala University in Sweden. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I had to return after 2 months. While it was very disappointing to return so early, I had a great time while I was there.

What Sweden was like

I arrived in Sweden in the middle of winter, when it would get dark by 4pm. It definitely took some getting used to. By the time I left, the days were longer and it wasn’t as cold. Winter this year was actually very mild by Swedish standards, and there were only a few days of snow.

It was the first time living by myself but settling in was quite easy. I lived in Flogsta, which is where the vast majority of international and exchange students were. It was very easy to meet people and socialise since it was always abuzz. Everyone gets allocated to a corridor of 12 people, but no one’s pressed for space.  We had individual bedrooms and bathrooms, and shared the kitchen and living area. I was fortunate to have a great group of people in my corridor, which really helped.

Uppsala is a uni town and the university itself is the oldest in Scandinavia. It started in 1477, which is why there was a very active student life. The majority of student life revolves around the student nations, which are essentially associations that organise activities and events for students. This Nation is actually also run by students. There are dinners, gasques (formal balls), pubs, clubs, interest groups, choirs etc. Nations themselves are quite unique, and only exist in Uppsala and Lund.

My Study experience

In Sweden, you usually study one or two topics per half semester instead of the four topics simultaneously throughout the semester. I studied EU Criminal Law while I was there and am studying Leadership and International Business Law online. Lecture’s weren’t recorded and you had to attend, but there were only about four hours of class a week. You have to prepare and study independently out of class. This meant there was a lot of free time which made it very easy to travel. I was able to see the Northern Lights while on a Lapland tour, and also visited Stockholm, Gothenburg, Lund and Malmo in Sweden, Helsinki in Finland, and Copenhagen in Denmark.

I really enjoyed my time on exchange, and hope I get to return. There are many study abroad opportunities while you are at university. Ranging from from semester exchanges to 2-week study tours. I wholeheartedly recommend it because it’s such a hands-on way to learn, become more independent and make some lifelong friends.

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