Erasmus experience in Lund, Sweden
Why did you choose to go to Lund, Sweden?
I chose to study in Sweden, because I was doing a minor in Swedish Language and was really enjoying it. I felt it would be useful to actually use my new knowledge of the language, and decided to apply for an exchange programe to Lund. I initially picked Lund because it was the only university that participated in exchange programes with Humanities students at Utrecht University. I was very happy with this 'choice' later on, however, and would not have changed it for the world.
How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?
I stayed for one semester (Sept 2009-Jan 2010) and got a 1000 euros beforehand (Erasmus grant), and an after payment of 250 euros a year later, because all my documents were okay and well received.
What is the student lifestyle like in Lund?
I honestly did not expect the student environment in Lund to be so vibrant, as it is quite a small city, but it was amazing. There are so many exchange students there every semester, there are so many cool people to meet, and literally thousands of activities and parties to join in on. The atmosphere in student housing was also great, and even though I lived in a building where each of us had our own apartments (one room with a bed, kitchen, some furniture, and our own bathroom), I still met a lot of people on my floor and on other floors that I became great friends with - just a matter of opening your doors and talking to other people.
Would you recommend the city and the University of Lund to other students?
Well, wouldn't know about Gent, but I would definitely recommend Lund to any student. It offers something for everybody, and I have had the time of my life there. The University is great, with great professors and interesting courses to pick, and as I said the atmosphere in general is great. The city itself is very pretty and has lots of amenities, it is compact and nice.
What is the food like?
Food is relatively expensive (compared to prices in my country), but affordable I think. A lot of Swedish food is no different from the food that is consumed elsewhere in Europe, and of course there is a McDonald's in town, too... The traditional Swedish dishes are something to get used to, but the meatballs are a guaranteed plus, of course (unless you're vegetarian, though there is a great falafel stand in Lund called Lundafalafel which I can recommend to anyone! ).
How did you find your accommodation?
My living arrangements were sorted out through the International Housing Office (IHO) of the University itself.
What are the accommodation prices like? What are prices like for other things in general?
There is a lot of difference between living costs, and I unfortunately lived in the most expensive housing. I think I paid near 400 euros per month for my room. I have heard of rooms that were half the price, though, and they weren't bad rooms! In fact, I was quite jealous.
Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available in the University?
Like I said, I had already been learning Swedish for a year when I got to Sweden. I did participate in the two-week programe that is offered and chose level 2 for that course - which was relatively easy. After that, I also took Svenska för utbytesstudenter 3 and 4 (Swedish for exchange students levels 3 and 4). These courses were also organised by the University (7, 5 ECTS each).
What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Lund from your city?
From my city (Utrecht), I think the cheapest way to go to Lund would be either by train (there is a daily night train from Utrecht to Copenhagen, and Lund is only a little ways from Copenhagen) or by plane. I got there by car, however, which is also affordable - if you find someone to drive you, or own a car. Owning a car in Lund is more a hassle than a joy, by the way, as literally every student goes places by bike (a part from those that really can't manage to ride a bike - they walk).
Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Lund?
Definitely the Nations, as they are cheap for students, and don't charge as much for alcoholic drinks. Everybody has to join a nation when they get to Lund, and there are about 15 nations I think, so it's fun to visit all the activities and parties they organised, especially in the first few weeks to decide which nation to join. There are also bars and clubs in town and in the nearby city Malmö, but I wouldn't really advise going there regularly, as it is just too expensive. Most students go to the nations, anyway.
Oh, and house parties are always fun, of course.
And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Lund?
I went for dinner a few times - there is a nice Italian restaurant right by the station, and two Indian places near the station too, all served delicious food. For fast food, I would recommend Lundafalafel, and for cakes and stuff, that place by the cathedral (oh no, I've forgotten the name... ). In fact, there are lots of lovely little places in the center where you can get lunch and stuff, just don't do it too often, as again, food is expensive in Sweden.
What good cultural sites are there to visit?
Obviously visit the cathedral, go look around inside. Kulturen is also fun. There's also lots of cultural activities in Lund, if you pay attention (around Christmas time for instance). To be honest, I've not done a lot of cultural stuff, I was too busy studying or traveling.
Is there any other advice that you could give to future students who are going to Lund?
Travel, travel, travel. So many people want to travel around in Europe, there are always people to go with and people organising trips. There's a lot of destinations in Europe you can get to really cheaply by cheap airlines (Budapest, Krakow, Prague and stuff). I personally haven't been to these places, but I have done a road trip to Norway with 4 friends which was amazing (couch surfed at different people's houses in Norway - HIGHLY recommended! ), traveled to Iceland with some friends (couch surfed there too, and stayed at a really cheap hostel), and went on the ESN trip to Finland and Russia, which was expensive, but worth it, I reckon. Oh, and Copenhagen/Denmark of course, as it is so cheap. I've also gone to Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö on separate occasions, and me and some friends rented a little red Swedish cottage in the countryside to celebrate Christmas. For new years, I also went to a cabin, with about 20 others, and had the best of times :)
So, yeah, basically, Travel, see more of Sweden, don't stay indoors, there is so much to see!
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