Tag Archives: Volunteers

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! 😉


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!! 😀


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!! 😀

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 Café 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 Skåne.

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! 😀

Degree Exhibition Industrial Design LTH 2011

15 Jun

The style, form and function of tomorrow, today!

If you are curious to see what the design (and designers) of the future look like, take the chance to go to the Exhibition of the Graduates from the Bachelor’s and Master’s Programmes in Industrial Design.

Degree projects will be exhibited from June 16 to June 23 at Stora Södergatan 6 (the old Hemköp, near Stortorget). The vernissage will take place  at 5 pm on June 16. For more details, check the School of Industrial Design’s official website – you can even print yourself an official invitation.

Opening hours will vary as follows: June 17, 12:00 – 19:00; June 18, 10:00 – 16:00; June 19, 12:00 – 18:00; June 20-22, 12:00 – 19:00; June 23, 10:00 – 13:00.

Small charity market for Japan

20 May

Shop and help!

Lund’s Japanese exchange students are continuing their efforts to raise money and awareness for the tragic events which occured in Japan this spring. This Saturday, they will be present at the Södra Esplanaden flea market (near Parentesen) to sell unique sweets and goods.

Photo: Natto Kun

The students will be selling hoso-maki, a sort of Japanese Sushi, some Japanese/Swedish sweets and second-hand items as well. You can also find A4 size (or bigger) pieces of beautiful Kimono textures, lovely Japanese cultural goods. Directly and authentically from Japan!
All the money from the charity market will go to the Japanese Red Cross to help victims of the earthquake and tunami.

You can find more information on Facebook here.

(Thanks to Mark Wong for sharing the info!)

Views on the Middle East – 3

17 May

Avoiding further clashes of civilizations: a pre-requisite for combating radicalism

Here is the third in a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!

by Mohamad Zakaria

No matter what the real story about the fate of Osama Bin Laden, there is one reality that is already clear by now, which is that he is not anymore a living leader of Al Qaida and its network. His role as a spiritual and military leader that is followed and hunted is over since the Al Qaida leadership has announced he has been killed. However, an organization like Al Qaida that is mature, has strong culture, and has branches in many countries around the world cannot be dismantled by only the death of its founder. Therefore Al Qaida is not destroyed by the death Bin Laden, but obviously it has been badly shaken. The one(s) who will lead the organization may be more radical and less rational than Osama. If any country wants to deal with the Al Qaida ideology, they need to understand the real causes that have led to the very existence of the radical ideology of Al Qaida.  

It is known that many of the first generations of Al Qaida leaders and also many of their followers were initially members of moderate (or some may like to say “less radical”) Islamist movements in the Muslim world. One of the main organizations that the Al Qaida founders were member of is the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. The governing regimes (i.e. dictatorships) in the Muslim world have cracked down on the movements’ members because of the fear that such movements may succeed in gaining significant political power if they are allowed and formally recognised as national political parties and thus gain legal permission to freely be politically active within the boundary of national laws. Thousands of Islamic movements’ followers were put in jails, tortured to death; most of them did not have fair trial, and were sentenced with extremely long time of imprisonment for suspicion of memberships of Islamist organizations. Continue reading

Views on the Middle East – 2

16 May

The Libyan uprising and the International Community

Here is the second in a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!

by Mohamad Zakaria

Recently, the Security Council (SC) has decided to escalate its efforts and has imposed a “no-fly zone” over Libya ordering the Ghathafi regime to announce and comply with an immediate cease fire. Moreover, SC has warned Ghathfi forces not to re-enter the Libyan city of Benghazi. The reason is there have been strong reasons to believe that Gathafi forces were to commit atrocities in this city had they managed to get back the control of. On 19 March 2011, French, UK, and USA launched a military operation using air force and sea warship missiles to bomb Ghathafi military targets.

The Rwanda genocide experience has taught the humanity not to allow and accept another Rwanda to be committed again and make all efforts available to prevent such atrocities from happening. The grave mistake that happened in Rwanda by not protecting the civilians there from the atrocities that happened to them then must not be an excuse to let a Rwandan-like genocide happen again in other parts of the world, including in Libya and Yemen. Let’s agree that all human lives are precious, equally valuable, and that it is our human responsibility to protect human lives when we can. Continue reading

Views on the Middle East – 1

15 May

The Arab world and the necessity for positive change

In the coming days, The Dynamo will share with you a series of reflections by Mohamad Zakaria, a student of Palestinian origin who was born and raised in Lebanon. Mohamad has a background in environmental science, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and is currently a Master student in the Lund University Master Program in Public Health. He has also previously worked at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. In these articles, he offers his views on current events in the Middle East. Read on!

by Mohamad Zakaria

A policewoman confiscated the unlicensed vegetable cart of 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi, a university graduate who was the breadwinner for his family and the only financial supporter of his sister’s university education. He begged the officer to return the cart with its $200 of goods to him but he failed to convince her in doing so. The policewoman slapped him, spat in his face, insulted his dead father, and confiscated the goods. The man stood in front of a Tunisian municipality building, doused himself in fuel, and lit the match on 17 December 2010. That fire has ignited a revolution in Tunisia and spread the fire across the Arab region.

That sad story was just the direct reason. There are, however, many indirect reasons that are the real causes behind these revolts. I am just mentioning a few of them in this essay. Most countries in this region have been ruled by autocrats since their independence. Basic democratic and transparent political practices have not been allowed freely by any Arab state (Lebanon is an exception). Most of the Arab autocrats (call them Sheikhs, kings, Princes, etc…) have not given the well-deserved value for the lives and dignities of their citizens. They have created cultures of corruption and bad management.  In most countries across the region (with some exclusion of the oil-rich Gulf states), a skilful graduate usually faces difficulties in getting a well-deserved job if he/she does not have the “proper contacts” with people from within the governments and also without being a member in the governing political parties. Moreover, freedom of expression and the right of free, transparent election are among the basic human rights that most Arab countries do not guarantee to their citizens at all. Continue reading

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