Lund: First impressions from an international student

- in In English, Intervju, Novisch

This academic year Lund has taken in over 1 000 new exchange students. Lundagård’s Catherine Ekström met with one of them to get her first impressions of Lund and her accommodation.

Meet Mia Roberts on exchange from York, England, but originally from Surrey, England. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Global Development and will be in Lund for the next year of her life. She chose Lund due to Scandinavia’s status as a forerunner in sustainability and describes seeing the real-world applications as a “match made in heaven” for her degree. 

You’ve been in Lund for a month now, but what was your first impression?

– That it is very cute and accessible. Also, that it is very quiet, I think comparing the number of bikes here to the number of cars in England, you notice that it’s a lot more bikeable and walkable. It’s welcoming; it has a calm and relaxing atmosphere. But with the nations and everything there’s also a lot of fun to be had. It seems there’s always something going on.

Are you liking Lund so far?

– I absolutely love it! It’s so stunning! The actual city is so beautiful; the buildings are gorgeous, and the university as well is just lovely. It’s a nice mix of everybody from everywhere, you read online that it is a melting pot of cultures, and I definitely would agree with that. I’ve met people from all over the place, which is refreshing I would say, especially after covid when everybody was just kind of trapped. So, it’s nice to come together and be able to chat to lots of people from all over the place. 

Mia revealed that since arriving she has joined Sydskånska nation. So far, her favourite part has been the novish nights out as the sittnings are a fun introduction to Swedish culture and visiting the clubs is always a good time. 

Do you have something comparable to the nations in York?

– We do, but not to the same extent. York is one of the three unis in the UK that follows a collegiate system. So, when you go to York you join a college. Your accommodation for the first year is then in halls, these are within the college that you are a member of. But it’s not quite like here, your whole social life is not so based on the college system. You can play a sport through your college and things but it’s not as big and not such an identity as it is here. It’s quite nice to feel like you’re properly part of something with the nations.

Mia got quite lucky with the novisch lottery system and now lives in a dorm in Delphi. Her experience with AF Bostäder has been a positive one; she describes the application process as easy, her dorm was exactly as advertised, and the process of collecting her keys as simple. She praises Delphi’s nice facilities, including her spacious room and scenic view. 

Would you say that the Halls in York are comparable to the Dorms in Lund? 

– Yeah, they’re very similar. You can be living in a flat between 6-12 people and depending on which accommodation you choose they can be catered or self-catered. The dorm that I’m in now is very similar to the one in England. I chose Delphi because it seemed like it would be a good place to live; lots of students around and close to everything.

On the other hand, Swedish academics are less familiar to her as at her home university the school year is split into three semesters instead of two. Furthermore, getting all the classes she wanted wasn’t possible as some of the scheduling interfered with each other. As such, she pronounces herself happy that she is in Lund for a whole year and not just one semester as many other exchange students are.

What is the one thing you really want to do before you go back home?

– I keep on thinking that I need to make a bucket list! I want to travel around Sweden; it’s such a beautiful and varied country and you’re able to go away just for the weekends. Particularly, southern Sweden is so accessible, public transport is much cheaper than at home. I also really really want to see the northern lights! Also, just eat lots of nice Swedish food, lots of fika, I feel like I’m doing quite a good job at that so far!

Finally, she highly recommends other future exchange students to choose Lund:

– I’ve only been here for just over a month but I’m already thinking I never want to leave! Here in Lund, they’ve got such a good framework in place to make you feel included and at home. I feel like anyone would be able to find their niche and their people and have a good time. So, if anyone is doubting it, it sounds so cliché, but just go for it!