Tag Archives: Travel

Välkomna till VT2012

10 Jan

Here they come!

It’s Arrival Day time again! Welcome to everyone new, welcome back to the others! 

Pssst novisch (yeah new folks that’s you), if you’re stuck in a line-up with some kind of electronic gadget, read this pdf (it’s a year old but the info is still good…) and once you’ve started to get settled, check out the get-to-it list! 😉

And returning students, unless you’re volunteering as a mentor or are just curious to check out the craziness of Arrival Day, you might want to stay away from the AF building. But don’t avoid the newcomers completely – if you see someone looking lost, remember how it felt and kindly point them in the right direction! 😉

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!

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.

Holiday weekend

2 Jun

Have a good one!

This year, the Christian holiday Ascension Day (Kristi himmelsfärds 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 klämdag (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!

Skånetrafiken goes cash free

31 May

No more cash payments on board starting tomorrow

Did drivers of this bus ever imagine a cashless society? Photo: Skellefteå Museum.

Jojo cards always were a good idea, but now they’re almost the only idea! Skånetrafiken buses and trains will no longer accept cash payments for tickets or handle cash to reload Jojo cards as of tomorrow June 1st.

Details can be found here. Note the cell phone ticket options and the possibility of buying Jojo cards in certain stores. Don’t forget to register your Jojo card here (requires some Swedish skills). You can also load it up by internet payment using that portal, but note it can take some time before the payment registers, so not a good last-minute plan!

Shanghai Photo Exhibit

8 May

China’s Metropolis through Russian Eyes

The LU Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies and the Lund Association for Foreign Affairs (UPF) present “Shanghai Trans-Siberia”, an exhibit by two young Russian photographers, Lena Kilina and Katya Knyazeva, which is taking place at Café Ariman tomorrow Monday, May 9, at 7pm.

The official description goes as follows: Continue reading

Valborg 2011 impressions

1 May

Musings on a first Valborg

Arriving at the park. Photo ©The Dynamo.

(Thoughts and impressions of an international student living through his first Sista April)

by Obinna Onuoha

I woke up at 9am and after my prayers, I realized it’s Valborg Day. Yes sir, it’s the day everyone’s been waiting for! The build up to this day has been charged with so much talk and activity, most especially among students in Lund. So I decided my first port of call would be a place that would give me a sneak preview of what to expect today – Facebook. And I must say I was not disappointed. A male friend of mine wrote: ‘Woke up at 8.00 to drink! Hello Valborg.’ The drink: ‘popped a cider.’ Another status from a female friend ran, ‘Morning shot at 8. Don’t be late.’ The excitement was just getting started.

However, there were a lot of mixed feelings about this day, from anticipation to feelings of apathy or being terrified. Laughing out loud, terrified?! Well, there was only one way I would know the general attitude towards Valborg – I had to go there myself. The venue: Stadsparken in Lund. I live in Malmö so I got on the 171 at Södervärn. This was going to be my first experience of the event.

In the bus, I saw Swedes who were chatting away happily with their drinks in bags. I got off at Jupitergatan with a lot of the Swedes, and then I made my move. I asked a guy and girl, names Björn and Miriam respectively (both Swedish), the way to Stadsparken, and they told me they were headed there. Great, my unofficial chaperones! As we walked, we also talked about the event and what I was expected to see. Miriam told me that Valborg was celebrated in all of Sweden but was particularly enjoyed in the cities of Lund and Uppsala since they had the biggest student populations. She attended the event last year for the first time and also said that she had friends from Denmark who were coming in today as well. Björn too mentioned that last year’s event occurred on a rainy day. But from the look of the weather, it was a clear and sunny day; a beautiful day indeed this was shaping up to being.

Continue reading

Ryanair returns to Malmö

3 Apr

Irish low-cost airline back after 4 year absence

In 2007, Ryanair stopped all its routes from Malmö airport, as reported here in Sydsvenskan. This same newspaper is now announcing the return of that same airline here (both articles Google-translated).

Flights to two Spanish cities will begin in June (Alicante) and July (Malaga).

You can check out the companies currently flying from Malmö airport here.

LU update on situation in Japan

16 Mar

Exchanges canceled, researchers brought home

Lund University has released this official press release regarding the situation in Japan.

Meanwhile, some of the students responsible for Monday’s vigil have formed a Facebook group, Act for Japan in Sweden & Denmark, whose purpose is “to list reliable humanitarian organizations through which you can make a donation, send invitations for future activities, and provide practical information we consider it would be worthwhile reading for everybody”.

More news on this subject to come, surely…

Cheaper bus fares

13 Mar

Prices go… down?!

So our Swedish isn’t great, and you can’t trust Google translate, but it seems Skånetrafiken is giving us all a break?!

Figure it out for yourself here at Sydsvenskan!

 

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