Hi! My name is Yusong, 3rd year Physics student doing exchange in Lund University, Sweden.
Actually before I came here I was thinking that there may not be so much difference except for some letters that don’t exist in English: it’s not very far away from Scotland, how different it can be? While once I get off the train and firstly go into the street of Lund, I realised at once how ignorant I was.
The obviously different view and the sunshine in August are all telling me that I’m in Lund, in Sweden. This is a lovely place. The streets are carpeted with, instead of cement, little square chunk of rocks (which is cute but on the other hand not very friendly to two big suitcases). There is a lovely little fountain and outdoor market in the little square in front of the train station. There are cute, colourful buildings and sunny day. It’s a small city, the cathedral shows the position of the city centre and you can walk or bike basically everywhere.
Also, people are very nice and friendly. While I was hanging around in the open market in the little square, I was admiring the beautiful flowers on sale and the owner insisted on me taking some pear and apples from his bucket. He was so nice and I was happy all day.
There were lots of lovely sunny days in the first few months while in winter there is only (maybe) a bit more sunshine than in Edinburgh. Sweden is said to be quite cold, while Lund is in the south and near the ocean so it’s not particularly cold and I’m pretty sure that the wind here is so much weaker than in Edinburgh when it’s raining, which makes it possible to use an umbrella. The coldest days that I felt are around Christmas. When I came out from the lab 11.00 pm and the temperature was like -10 degrees, I want nothing but bike home quickly and stuff lots of food. Or maybe wear a pair of woollen trousers. I was told that because of the ocean there is not usually so much snow in Lund, while I don’t feel my observation fits their experimental theory. We had quite a few snows in the past winter. And personally, I think snow sooooo lovely!
There are no airports in Lund, actually the most common path is to land on Copenhagen Airport in Denmark, and come to Lund by train. The Copenhagen Airport is the nearest one. There are also airports in Stockholm, Malmö, etc. According to my experience there is no trouble entering Denmark with a Swedish residence permit. In Copenhagen there is a train station just in the Airport so you don’t have to bother with finding it. The train journey takes about 40 minutes and you can buy the ticket by card or cash. The price is between 100 and 150 kroner (I forgot the exact price). Danish krone is not the same as Swedish knona (plural: kronor), I’m not sure what kind of currency they take if you want to pay by cash.
This academic year started in the middle of August. Unlike in Edinburgh, the semester in Lund is divided into two periods, i.e. 4 periods in one academic year. Normal case (at least for physics students) is in each period you get enrolled in 2 courses worth 7.5 credits each (7.5 credits is 15 Edinburgh credits) in one period, and 4 period makes 60 credits, which meet the required amount.
Some people may worry about not being able to understand Swedish. And yes you’ll indeed not able to understand Swedish if you know only English… But my German friend told me that there are lots of words that’s similar in German and she can understand (although not speak) most of them after a few month. And what I found quite interesting is it seems like Danish, Norwegian and Swedish people can all speak their own language in a conversation and understand each other. If you speak good English, I’m sure you’ll be perfectly fine because they speak very good English here. There might be some trouble understanding tags in the supermarket because all of them are in Swedish. But if you want pasta, cola, cheese, meatballs, etc., you’ll be able to find them because they look perfectly normal. 😛 There are Lidl and ICA in Lund, so it’s pretty convenient.
The university kindly offers exchange students very good Swedish courses. Such as the SUSA course most of exchange students take during their first week. And you can also take SVEE courses in addition to the courses of your own major. I took level 1 and 2 in the last semester, they are pretty good and we also learned some Swedish culture.
I live in a corridor room. It’s basically like in a hotel where there is a long corridor full of doors and each people live in one of them. The building has 2 floors and there are about 26 rooms in my floor. We are all international students. There are party every week, but basically after 10pm people will go to one of the “Nations” to continue their party and leave those who want to sleep in peace. We also have regular Sunday Dinners: tick on a list of proposed food to decide what will be the theme for this week (burger’s night, pancake night, curry, etc.), people who want dinner sign up, one or several of us will cook and we share the cost. I like my corridor mates a lot and it’s super nice to live here.
I just briefly mentioned some general thing. There are tons of aspects that can be described in detail, such as food, travel, study, etc.. It would be a pleasure if you like my post :D.