Uppsala - A great student city Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., Tufts University) - abroad from 01/15/2012 to 06/30/2012 with

Uppsala University: Uppsala - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Definitely worthwhile. I no longer "bike like an American" which I was told in the beginning. Note: if you go to Uppsala the first thing you should do is buy a bike! I made some good friends, got a lot of insight into Swedish culture and improved my Swedish, and became addicted to coffee after a dark winter and many "fika" breaks.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Was there by direct enrollment.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

If you enroll by direct enrollment, you will have to find your own housing, which can be difficult in Uppsala. It is best to just ask around and talk to as many people as possible and use connections to find a room. All Erasmus and international students on official exchanges are provided housing by the international office,

* Food:

You will likely live in a shared student corridor and cook all of your own food. It is very expensive to eat out, even at the student cafeterias, in Sweden so most people cook their own food and eat leftovers for lunch. People pack their lunch in a tupperware and reheat it in microwaves which there are plenty of at each campus specifically for this purpose. Student nations also serve lunch for about 50 krona where food is cheaper and better than at the few cafeterias, though perhaps less convenient.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Your chances for integration into the excellent student culture at Uppsala are high. There are student run clubs called nations where everyone can get involved. You can work in the bar, the kitchen, cafe, ect. It's a great way to meet other students and make Swedish friends. You also get paid a little too, but it's more a volunteer thing for fun than an actual job. If you come to Sweden with dreams of learning Swedish and getting a big circle of Swedish friends, it could be more difficult than anticipated. Swedes mostly speak perfect English and love to practice it. There are many international students studying at Uppsala, so you will likely have no problems making lots of new international friends. But, if you want Swedish friends, you will have to put forth a lot of effort. Invite someone to have "fika", a very traditional coffee break, with you.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no experiences with health care.

* Safety:

The most dangerous thing in Uppsala could be the potential for a bike accident when biking in the icy winter. Dress warm!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

It all depends how cheaply you are willing to live. You can survive on $30 if you never party, buy anything, and eat lentils for dinner most of the week. If you want to eat out at student nations and buy more exciting groceries, expect to spend $100+ per week.

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? No program expense. Lived very cheaply and spent maybe $50 per week some weeks, or
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No not eat out in Sweden. It's just not worth it. Cook your own food. If you drink socially, plan your alcohol purchases so that you do not spend lots of money on drinks at the bar, where it is much more expensive.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Easy to meet other students
  • Quality of university courses
  • social life in Uppsala
* What could be improved?
  • It is hard to try to study "liberal arts" style in Sweden, where people tend to study one course at a time.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That is would have been better to take one four credit course which is what is commonly done in Uppsala instead of taking four different one credit courses. This lead to a very strange schedule and I made no friends in my classes. Once, I had two exams given at the same time in the same room. Not ideal.