When it comes to my experience with finding accommodation here in the beautifully quaint city of Uppsala, I have to say that it was wonderfully simple, if inevitably a little terrifying, as moving to a new country was always going to be.
Choosing my accommodation was done much like it was when I started at Leeds, as I was given a number of options and simply had to select my preference a couple of months before the start of term; basing my decision on location, facilities provided and the price. I am in one of the more expensive accommodations here in Uppsala (Ekebyvagen 13), but it is not much more expensive than my rent was in my first year at Leeds (Sentinel Towers). This gets me an en suite, a walk in wardrobe, a large room and a large communal kitchen/living area. I would say it is worth it for the social aspect alone, as our flat has become somewhat of a hub for our friends from other accommodations to visit.
I arrived in the middle of the day during one of the orientation days so was met at the airport, taken by shuttle to the coordination building and helped through the process of getting my keys, student internet account etc. and on from there to my accommodation where I unpacked and started to meet my new flatmates. It sounds clichéd but keeping your door open and sitting in the kitchen with a cup of tea really helps with bumping into people and breaking the ice. I also had the bonus of travelling with another student from Leeds who is studying on the same course as myself, which made the initial panic much easier as we were able to muddle through together.
- ESTABLISH THE ESSENTIALS:
- FOOD, in particular make sure you have enough for dinner and breakfast.
- CLOTHES, Sweden has very warm summers and bitterly cold winters and you will need to account for both.
- INTERNET, every room has internet access but unless you have a router you’ll be using an Ethernet cable, so buy a cheap one ASAP.
- BUY A BIKE, they halve the time it takes to get everywhere and they are incredibly useful for group excursions as most people have them and those without either have to get the bus or sadly miss out.
- JOIN A NATION, these are kind of like fraternities that represent each of the counties in Sweden, but with more of a sense of community and no hazing. You have to be a member of a nation to get into student events and they make drinking and eating out an option because they are so much cheaper than everywhere else.
- GO FOR FIKA, this is basically just having coffee and cake in the afternoon with your friends and is one of the best things ever.
Written by Ed Davies – University of Uppsala, Sweden