Tag Archives: Money

Housing queue for new students

12 Jul

Just do as they say, and do it today

Don't camp - apply for housing queues.

Don’t camp – apply for housing queues.

It’s complicated and it’s not: if you are new to Lund and want to have a chance at a cheap student room as offered by the student association housing agency (AFB), apply for the lottery (!) that will give you a better chance at a better room.

This is especially important if you haven’t gotten a room through the International Office. (Even if you have been offered a place through IHO, you can always apply anyway – it’s nice to have options.)

So click here and follow the instructions!

If it doesn’t work out, other housing venues are explained here – and don’t forget the Blocket boards, and be open to finding a place in nearby cities like big sister Malmö and little sister Dalby. Just watch out for scams!

Housing VT 2012

11 Jan

Crisis? What crisis?

This may be a first for Lund – an article saying the housing situation isn’t so bad!! (Google translated from Sydsvenskan).

Here’s to hoping everyone indeed has found a good home for the spring term! 🙂

StudentLund

9 Jan

Info in English getting better all the time…

But it’s still super confusing. This is where you go to join a Nation – let’s just say that to keep it simple to begin… 😉

Good luck figuring it out – it’s worth it!! 😀

 

Banking matters

19 Aug

Laugh all the way to the bank

Or at least avoid crying on your way back from it because they won’t let you open an account! 😀

Sweden is getting closer and closer to a cashless society – don’t be surprised if even your friends ask to pay you back something they owe you by direct deposit to your bank account! You will most likely need to pay your rent by bank wire (PlusGiro or BankGiro), and if only for that it might be worth considering getting a Swedish account.

Easier said than done of course – so Lund University has prepared this document to help you figure it all out. Don’t forget to take a queue number when you walk in! 😉

Buying and selling in Lund

19 Aug

New page – trial run!

You too could be selling your wares! (Oil on canvas by Frederick Millard - 'Selling his Wares')

International students are special – they arrive with just a suitcase or two to try and have a somewhat normal life for a predetermined period of time. This means a lot of things need acquiring that will only be used for a few months or a couple of years, tops…

But then when it comes to finding stuff, Ikea is far, second-hand shops are hit-and-miss, Blocket is all in Swedish… And then comes time for selling, and Blocket costs sellers, papers fall/get ripped off/get covered by other ads when you post them on community boards, like at ICA or the AF building…

So why not set up a simple system for the direct exchange of stuff? The idea is just to have a place where people can let others know they want something or have something! This might make it easier, especially for those students leaving after one term to get in touch with those arriving in January! It doesn’t count a single krona to post or buy – you arrange directly between yourselves. Plus it keeps perfectly usable stuff from ending in the rubbish! That’s why The Dynamo created this Facebook page, and will just try and keep an eye out for spam and porn ads to keep things clean. The rest is up to everyone! 🙂

So start selling, buying, trading or giving away! 😀

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!! 😀

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!

AFB housing lottery for new students

13 Jul

First year students of all programs can apply

The Lund University students’ association, Akademiska Föreningen or AF, now part of Studentlund, offers housing through AF BostĂ€der.  Queues are usually quite long, often over a year, but new students (novischer) are given a small break by having the chance to participate in a lottery for a better queue number.

Details can be found here. Note the application period for these special numbers only runs 14-17 July, so time it right!

Sweden no longer top destination for non-EU students

29 Jun

Tuition fees, visa requirements hurdles for foreigners

If the large tuition fees were not enough of a deterrent, fingerprint requirements and high visa fees are keeping some accepted students out of Sweden…

You can read articles about the situation here and here at The Local . You can also read more about the situation in Lund here Google-translated from Sydsvenskan.

HT 2011 tuition payment deadline

9 Jun

Pay up by June 15!

Lund University is issuing a ‘friendly reminder’ to full-program non-EU/EEA students beginning their courses in the Autumn 2011 semester (the first ever to pay tuition to a Swedish university!) that their first payment is due within 6 days.

Emails should have been sent out yesterday with more details.

Those of us who were lucky to begin before the law changed, salute you.

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