Tag Archives: Health

Biking in Lund

18 Aug

Know what you want when you buy, know where to go to fix problems

City bike, grandmother bike, mountain bike? You see everything on the streets of Lund. But what are you going to ride? Some advice: get an ugly old bike that works really well – it will carry you safely but won’t get stolen! 😀

There are different places to get a bike in Lund – there’s loads of bike shops, for one. Most of these also offer repair services and parts. There usually not cheap, but you get some guarantee of quality and after-sales service.

Lundaböcker has good prices, but it’s not a bike shop – it’s mainly a new & used book & copy store, that also sells bikes from past students on consignment at the beginning of the semester (and collects them at the end of the semester). It is not a bike shop, so you get the bike as-is without any guarantees, and the price has been set by the student selling it, not the shop (which makes money by taking a commission on the sale price).

If you want to buy direct from someone, there is always Blocket.se or check out the community boards in supermarkets and around town (AF building, buildings where you have classes, international office, etc.).

Lundaböcker and direct buying from the owner are good ways to get a trusty used bikes for cheaper than most anywhere else, but you do take a chance because you can’t return it (unless you want to resell it). Make sure you are ready to accept this deal before you buy.

If you do by a used bike that needs some care, one very cool place to check out if you are willing to work yourself and learn is Cykelköket in Malmö (Google translated here). It is an all-volunteer initiative in Malmö where you can learn to fix your bike and use the tools, parts and work space – for free! Riding your bike to Malmö is an option if it’s working well enough (check out the Lund bike map – directions to Malmö on the back side) but you can also take your bike on the train – you’ll need to buy a child’s ticket for it.

One more place to check out is Lundahoj (Google translation here), located inside the train station, at the north end. You can get your bike registered in case it’s stolen so it doesn’t get resold in one of the city auctions (!) or you can borrow a few tools or simply refill the air in your tires, all for free. They rent bikes too – by the day, week or even semester! That’s also where you have rails to go up and down to pass through the station (useful for Vildanden residents or to get to Blekingska nation or Nova Lund and the big stores around, for example).

One place to buy cheap bike parts, lights and locks is the Biltema hardware store in Malmö, but it’s a bit hard to get to without a car – not impossible though, but then calculate if it’s worth the transportation cost to go all the way there! They also sell not-too-expensive new bikes, but these are a favourite for thieves so consider registering it and getting a powerful lock.

You might want to consider a helmet – biking in Lund is generally safe, but accidents can always happen! If you have a bigger budget, you could consider getting the Hövding airbag for cyclists… It was created by two ex-LTH students and the company is based in Malmö. See below!! 😀

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Arriving in Lund

17 Aug

The get-to-it list

Finally arrived in town? Don’t just sit there, there’s stuff to be done! Here are a few suggestions and reminders, in no particular order!

Don't miss the General Information Market - on today!

1 – Find a place to live: The first concern is finding a place to stay.  Most international students already made arrangement with International Housing.  If not, there is AFB who owns many buildings in Lund for students – don’t forget to join Studentlund if you live in one of their flats/rooms.  There are always some ads around town or on Blocket for renting a place.  Worse to worse, there is a hostel or you can use CouchSurfing! Or check out the Temporary housing for exchange students group…

2 – Get a bike: Being in Lund without a bike is like being in Texas without a car.  The student shop Lundaböcker sells bikes from past international students at fair prices and the best thing is you can resell it once you leave.  Before buying a bike, check if everything is working, most importantly the brakes!

3 – Meet your neighbours: Knock on a different door every day and offer them food – it never fails!

4 – Participate in the arrival weeks: Some folks are working hard to organize activities to make you feel welcome in Lund so participate!  It is a good way to meet people right upon your arrival. There are city tours and excursions to discover the region.  There is also a fair the day after arrival day (the General Information Market) which is usually a crazy but good way to know possibilities where to get involved.

5 – Learn Swedish: Take advantages of CafĂ© Multilingua or language partner programs (like Tandem).  Folkuniversitet, a sort of university open to everyone, also offers Swedish classes although it costs money.

6 – Participate in a mentor group: As an international student, you will likely be assigned to a mentor group.  Those are small groups of new students mixed with older students who have the task of introducing you to Lund.  If you do not hear anything about a mentor group, you can ask to be in one (check here). Or just join any group: mentor groups are not restricted as for number of members and really, everyone can join their activities.  Some mentor groups are more active than others so don’t hesitate to check all the groups’ activities.

7 – Get around town: Do not only hang out around your residence!  Lund has many natural sites, shopping areas, cafes and bike routes all over town for you to discover.

8 – Enjoy the nice weather while its time: Go out, BBQ with your corridor mates, go to Lomma by bike, Ven by boat and walk in Stenhuvud in the Western part of SkĂ„ne.

9 – Join a nation: Nations are the heartbeat of Lund student’s life.  There are 13 nations, all with a rich history.  When you are a member of one nation, you have access to the other nations’ activities.  Choosing your nation can be fun: visit them all in the first weeks and then decide which one you are the most confortable in. It is often possible to volunteer at nations to help them cook or bartend.  Most nations organize new student activities and will also have their own mentor groups.

10 – Know what’s going on and get involved: Many things are organized for students in Lund: comedy clubs, theatre, special events or special meals at nations…  Keep yourself informed: checking the nations’ websites or StudentLund is a good start. You can also check out this article at Sweden.se for ideas and reminders to help you get settled. And don’t forget to keep reading The Dynamo! 😀

Arrival in Lund

13 Aug

The Don’t Forget list

Sweden is pretty, but often wet - pack accordingly! Photo© Jacob Ehnmark.

Planning your arrival? The Dynamo is starting to think about the upcoming semester as well! This is mostly for the new folks, but even if you’ve been here a year already, there is a chance you’ll leave something out of your bags you’ll regret not having with you. Here are a few suggestions and reminders, in no particular order!

1 – Credit/Debit card with PIN/Cash: As it might take some time to open a Swedish account or you might decide to skip it altogether, make sure there is a PIN and chip on your electronic cards. Like everywhere in Europe, there are ATMs/bank machines everywhere in Sweden, and most shoppers use their card rather than cash. If you can bring different cards with different pins (like have one debit, one credit, etc.) as it is pretty arbitrary what will work in what machine! Don’t give up if one doesn’t work, keep trying. You might want to warn your home bank you will travel so they don’t block your cards… Not a bad idea to get 500 SEK in cash ahead of time from an exchange office if you can. If you’re planning on getting some from Kastrup airport, be careful not to get Danish crowns, they won’t do you much good in Sweden!!

2 – Small tools: A small screwdriver, some bike tire patches, a sewing kit, duct tape, poster gum – prepare for a DIY experience with limited resources. Bike locks are a good idea, you’ll need one and they’re expensive in Sweden.

3 – Camping mat/Sleeping bag/Towel: You might want to travel, or you might just be stuck without a place to live when you first arrive… If you are going to sleep at someone else, it’s a nice gesture to be a bit auto-sufficient. You can at least bring a pillow cover you can stuff with clothes to make a pillow. They will sell bed stuffs at Arrival Day, but it’s cheaper if you bring your own from home if you have room! As for the towel, fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will get this, but even non-sci-fi geeks will want to wash soon after arriving. If you like special shampoos/face soap etc., bring them too. You’ll probably find them here, but they’ll likely be more expensive than back home (you see this expensive pattern forming?). 🙂

4 – Letter of Acceptance (and extra copies): This is for the newcomers. It is ridiculous the number of times and places you will have to show this piece of paper. Carry it with you at all times until you get a student card.

5 – Rain/Wind gear: The end of the summer is particularly wet and cold this year, but then again it is often rainy and windy year-round down here in any case. As the Scandinavian saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! Consider a backpack rain cover and rain boots/Wellingtons too. And if the upcoming winter is to be like the last, consider a waterproof winter jacket if you have room, or at least a fleece to wear under a rain jacket. And gloves because it gets cold when you bike… But then you might need shorts too – crazy Swedish weather!

6 – Copies of your passport/national ID: Can never be too careful. And don’t put them in the same bag as your originals.

7 – Food and kitchen utensils from home: You won’t be able to bring groceries for the whole semester, but there is maybe something small (herbs/spices, maple syrup, dried mushrooms, etc.) that you’re able to squeeze in. More importantly, there is maybe some kitchen tool you use all the time they might not use so much in Sweden (cheese cloths, Swiss Army knife, spork, rice cooker, etc.). Do a quick web research to have an idea if the things you like and need are easy to find in Sweden. Don’t forget Malmö has more international products than Lund.

8 – Plug adapter: Depending where you come from, you might need an adapter to plug your electronics in the wall. Make sure they can work on 230V!

9 – Dress clothes/costumes: You can go out wearing pretty much what you like in Lund, especially at nations, but there are some occasions where Swedes REALLY dress up (like, penguin suits). If you think you’d like to go to a ball or fancy dinner at some point, bring what you’ll need to wear – clothes are (also) expensive in Sweden. Lund students really like themed and costume parties, so if you have some fun accessories that don’t weigh too much, think of bringing them.

10 – Sports gear: Swedes are active people. If you’re into sports, bring your personal equipment (shoes, racquets, etc.).

11 – Poster/decorations from home: It’s really depressing living with all white walls. It’s good to put a personal touch, plus it’s nicer when you invite friends over. Remember, you are coming to a land of style and design.

12 – Alcohol from home: If you drink, try and save some room in your luggage for the stuff you like to drink. Alcohol is expensive (as are most things) in Sweden, especially hard liquor. It probably won’t last long with the start-of-the-semester parties, but it can save a bit of money and maybe you can make new friends by making them taste a specialty from your home country. Don’t forget to check the allowed import limits if you come from outside the E.U.

13 – Games/Movies/Musical instruments: There will be long dark rainy nights when you won’t have the energy to drag yourself out of the corridor. Not a bad idea to bring things to stay entertained.

14 – Mobile phone charger: Obvious, but you’ll be using your phone quite a lot, and it’s the kind of thing you can easily leave plugged in the wall of your room back home when you’re stressed out before you leave! 😛 Check if your phone will work with a Swedish SIM card.

15 – Do some research: It might give you ideas of other things you need to back, or just help you know what to expect and mentally prepare! Reading up what’s up here at The Dynamo will give you ideas, but maybe stuff like this article from The Local can inspire you too! For some one-on-one advice and to make friends already, join some social networks – on Facebook, check out these groups: International Students Lund University, Erasmus Exchange Lund (Sweden) 2011/2012, ESN Lund, etc. Check if your program or faculty has a group or page, too!

Of course, you can buy pretty much anything you’ll need somehow, but it’s best if you can avoid unnecessary expenses! If you do have to buy stuff, you should start with second-hand shops if you’re on a budget – you can find a list here. Welcome (back) to Lund everyone!

Holiday weekend

2 Jun

Have a good one!

This year, the Christian holiday Ascension Day (Kristi himmelsfÀrds dag) falls on June 2 and combines with the National Day of Sweden (Sveriges nationaldag) on June 6 to give a mega-holiday weekend,thanks to the Swedish habit of making any day in between holidays or weekends a klÀmdag (squeeze day) or unofficial holiday!

June 2 and 6 are two official helgdagar (“red days” (röd dagar) or “bank holidays”) , which means banks and many other businesses and services close up shop, including possibly over the squeeze days – double-check if you’re making any plans to go anywhere!

The best plan may just be to enjoy the early summer days and leave shopping to next week. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

New Dynamo issue!

23 Apr

Read it today!

News, sports, theater, recipe, nutrition, comics, and even a sudoku! Read all this and more today in the newest issue of The Dynamo!

Stortorget Vigil for Japan

15 Mar

Prayers and wishes sent eastwards

Monday night there was a gathering at Stortorget, organized by HĂ„llbart Universitet – Lund Students for Sustainability with the purpose of showing solidarity with the Japanese people and raise awareness regarding the nuclear risk they are facing. The Dynamo‘s Mark Wong was there.

“It was touching to see so many people attending the candlelight vigil at Stortorget last night even when it was drizzling. In addition to the many Swedish students there, there were also students from Japan, China, and also Europeans. It was a great show of solidarity by all who were there as we all took the time to talk to and pray together with the Japanese hoping that everything will be alright from now onwards. We pray and hope that the Japanese spirit will continue to live on and that they will have the strength to rebuild the country in the aftermath of the worst ever earthquake and tsunami to hit their country.

The Japanese students are also compiling pictures of students with messages which will be turned into a video. This video will then be sent to Japan to show that we are with them and supporting them. There will be another session at the SOL ( SprĂ„k och litteraturcentrum of Lund University) today at 11:00am – 3:00pm.You can find the Facebook event link here.

There were no details at the moment about how to donate to the Red Cross or directly to Japan. However, any news about this will be appreciated.”

(Good question, Mark! Sweden’s Röda Korset has info here (in Swedish only, un-Google-translateable!), but people can probably find information on their home countries’ aid agencies’ sites too.)

Mark recommends the following link, Japan Quake as seen from twitter, for insight into what people are saying about the catastrophe.

Once again, The Dynamo wishes to express its deepest sympathy and support for those affected by the events in Japan.

All photos ©Mark Wong.

Weather report

7 Jan

Watch your step!

There is a freezing rain warning for the coming days, more specifically Saturday night.

At least that’s what we understand from this article in Sydsvenskan – with its Google-translated ‘disingenuous’ roads…  (We think they mean tricky to navigate if you’re not expecting it!)

November-December 2010 Edition

30 Nov

New Dynamo issue now out!

The hard work of our volunteers pays off once again! Read all about it! News, info, music, travel…

Look for copies around town or download the PDF here!

Language Cafés Plus

13 Sep

Picture by Boldie - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

We gave a bit of information on the language cafĂ©s (and should give you more soon), but there’s now a new twist on the whole concept: the ‘Walk and Talk‘!

It combines the language exchange of the cafés with the wholesome exercise of the outdoor excursion. For language and nature lovers!

You are kindly asked by the organisers to read the above document carefully and e-mail them if you wish to join. First one is this Wednesday!

General Information Market & Welcome Meeting

18 Aug

Information galore!

Kiosks set up waiting for the onslaught of students.

The first 48 hours in Lund can make one dizzy – a combination of long waits and information overload. Hope all those who went through the biggest Arrival Day ever came out on the other side okay! And got to enjoy some of the information market and presentations.

Mark Wong, again taking pictures for The Dynamo, said “The weather in Lund is better today.  It’s perfect for the students visiting the general information market which took place in KĂ„rhuset.  Mostly curious about the student nations and which ones to join.  Some cultural groups and sports teams were there as well as Wisecracker’s and the Rugby team.”

More pictures here! Continue reading

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