Cameron - Uppsala University

B Environmental Management
Semester 1, 2015

Academic Experiences

On exchange I completed a course package titled sustainability studies. I took these course in place of 4 electives for my course. The course package included 3 subjects; Climate Change Leadership, Actors and Strategies for Change and Sustainable Design. These course were all taught in English and the class was a mix of Swedish and international students.

The main difference I found in the teaching system was that class sizes were small, and you were given a lot more time to interact and talk to your tutors and lecturers. I loved this system however I would have liked to study some more challenging subjects as the subjects I took were basic content I had already covered. 

Overall the University is a fantastic place, with great teachers, facilities, opportunities to learn from others and new ways of thinking I would recommend studying at Uppsala to anyone.

Personal Experiences

I absolutely loved every aspect of exchange. I made great friends from all over the world (to be used as future free accommodation), got the opportunity to truly immerse myself in a foreign country and culture, had a home base from which I could easily explore all of Europe and learnt a lot about myself in the process. 

I was able to tick seeing the Northern Lights off my bucket list, I swam in near freezing water, I had many intense snowball fights after a night out, I was able to barbecue in the sun until 11pm, I celebrated the arrival of spring in style at Valborg, I studied at a 500 year old university, and this was all in just one of the 10-plus countries I visited.

Accommodation

Living in Flosgta, one of the several accommodation areas offered at the university, was a major reason that my exchange was such a great experience. Flogsta was inhabited by international and Swedish students alike, and was a place where something was happening every night. If you want to be where the parties are, then Flogsta is where it's at. I would recommend all future students to stay at either Flogsta or Rackabergsgatan as in my opinion these are the best two choices and are both full of friendly and fun people.

Budget 

Overall I think the price if living in Uppsala is very similar to Brisbane. If you want to have a good time and don't want to follow a strict budget then I would recommend somewhere in the vicinity of $10,000 for a semester. For a once in a lifetime experience such as this, having the freedom to participate in as many activities, weekend trips and nights out as you want is highly recommended. 

Public transport in Uppsala is expensive and services at night are limited. I’m not just suggesting that you should get a bike, I am telling you that if you are going to live in Uppsala, go and buy a bike straight away. I the winter months you may think that you can get by without a bike, and that the paths are too slippery to ride on anyway. But come summer if you don't have a bike you might find that you're catching the bus or walking by yourself while all your friends are riding off into the sunset.

Academic Development and Employability 

Travelling through Europe by myself as well as my exchange allowed me to develop many skills that I believe make me much more employable, and a more active student. My ability to speak to new people and in front of large groups has improved tenfold as has my confidence in voicing my opinions. 

I studied at one of the oldest and most highly regarded universities in Scandanavia, which was great both for academic development and employability. Overall the whole experience makes you a more memorable job candidate, it will improve your confidence and independence and it leaves you with some great stories to tell!

Highlight 

Seeing the Northern Lights was the highlight of my experience. I also went dog sledding, saw the ice hotel walked over a frozen lake. This whole experience was incredible and it one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Top Tips

100% go on an exchange. I think that any destination would be fantastic and it is just a matter of choosing a host university that has what you want, or is in a country that you want to experience more of.

Again if you are heading to Uppsala for your exchange;

  • Get a bike
  • Join clubs
  • Attend everything and anything 
  • Have Fika at every opportunity
  • Go to gasques (fancy balls)

Do all of these things and you're guaranteed a great time.