Jonathan - Uppsala University

B Science
Semester 1, 2016

Academic Experience

Uppsala University, like almost all Nordic universities, benefits from high levels of government funding and is thus able to provide the nicest facilites I have seen at a university along with an education of a very high standard.

My two courses, Biodiversity and Ecology in Yunnan and Marine Biology, both of which I would highly recommend, had only 13 and 15 students in them respectively. This meant a great level of interaction between the teachers and the students and amongst the students. There were some differences in how the courses were taught but otherwise I had no difficulties studying.

Personal Experience

The small size of the courses along with two field trips meant that all of us became very close friends. During our travels we visited the usual tourist destinations but also spent more time away from the usual routes. Although some of these places weren't the sort that take your breath away there were many hidden jewels and with the right attitude and good friends, any location can become a memorable experience.

Swedes are almost all fluent in English so you can get away with not learning any Swedish, however, I would recommend that you learn at least some as it is not too dissimilar to English and can be a useful and fun skill to have.

Accommodation

I lived in Flogsta, a student accommodation area on the edge of town. My corridor was nice, but the quality of a corridor very much depends on who lives there and can be anything from awful to lovely. Really, Flogsta cannot be described, it can only be experienced.

Professional Development & Employability 

Studying biology subjects that weren't about Australia was a nice change and provided a different perspective on the world. Also, I learnt many new skills and had novel experiences that make me more prepared.

Highlights 

I'll be honest and say that I have been asked this question many times and I dread it because I never have an answer. It seems to me that it would be a senseless act to choose one out of so many great moments and hold it up as 'the highlight'.

Instead I shall resort to the standard response of 'it's impossible to choose just one moment when there were so many'. This is true, there were so many great moments.

Top Tips

My trip was truly fantastic and was all that I hoped for! This being said, that is no indication of how yours will be (makes all this a little redundant, doesn't it?). In reality your experience will be a combination of luck and how you decide to make it, so choose well.