Hello to anyone who reads this,
I am on exchange at Lund University in Sweden. It is described as a compact University town, but as far as I can see it's anything but. These people should come and see Sydney. I fail to see how a compact uni requires the use of a bicycle to get wherever you need to quickly. Every building is surrounded by grass and carparks. It is rare to find two buildings right next to each other.
It was crazy in the first week, finding my new empty room, meeting new people, pretending to learn Svenska (Swedish language), paying rent, buying food, opening bank accounts, buying a pillow and doona (I had to borrow a pillow and blanket for the first few days and then slept on my jacket for a couple more days). Luckily you can pick up free food here and there in the first week and the people in my corridor were happy to give me some food in the first couple of days.
The social scene is pretty good. There are always mentor group activities with other exchange students and local Swedish mentors. Lots of parties to go to and meet new people. There is always something to do even if it is attending lectures and such. Everyone speaks very good English, which makes it difficult to pick up any Swedish, or any other language for that matter.
It's quite a scary experience at first, but once you get organized and settled down it's really quite good. You'll find everyone eats pasta because it's the easiest thing to cook and also the easiest to clean (aside from frozen meals you buy at the supermarket.) The strangest thing I've seen so far is the restaurant in IKEA. You can buy some ridiculously cheap furniture and then sit down with some Swedish meatballs and mash potato.
In terms of the weather I think I've been pretty lucky. Winter at the moment here hasn't been much worse than the middle of July in Sydney. However I've been told it has the potential here in Sweden to take a serious dive on the thermometer.
Until Next Time