Student life as an international student

Every year, a lot of international students come from all over the world to Jönköping to study at the University. One of them is Alice and she has come all the way from New Zealand. Her and I met up for a coffee one day after school to talk about Sweden, the kick-off and Swedish fika. And of course, I recommended the traditional “semla”.

“It was very filling but also very yummy!”, Alice said when I asked her what she thought about her first Swedish “semla”. We met up on a cold Monday afternoon to talk about her first weeks in Sweden, and I was very keen to hear why she decided to come to Sweden.

– Originally, I had planned to go to England, but after some consideration decided it was a safe option and that I wanted to go somewhere different that would further put me outside my comfort zone!

She also told me that seeing snow was very new and exciting and that there is a lot of places in Sweden that she wants to see before going back home. I therefore asked her if she had a bucket list with things she wanted to do.

– Visiting Lapland is definitely at the top and it would be absolutely amazing to see the Northern Lights! And since everything is so close in Europe it would seem silly not to travel around a bit. Cities like Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Stockholm is high up on my list.

It’s hard for Europeans to imagine what it would be like to live so far away from your neighbour countries. New Zealand is more than four thousand kilometres away from Australia, but it’s still one of the closest countries. But to come to Sweden, Alice had to travel more than seventeen thousand kilometres and also cross many time zones.

– I believe that New Zealand is probably the furthest country away from Sweden, and the first few days were a bit of a struggle. But the kick-off kept me busy and awake which made it easier to adapt.

One of the greatest things about studying at Jönköping University is the kick-off week filled with lots of activities, new friends and a many long days. I asked Alice what her highlights were and what she thought of the whole experience.

– My home University doesn’t have a kick-off week, so to be part of this was such a cool experience! Every day, there was a new activity and I especially enjoyed the bar crawl, prison island and the haunted house. And to be able to finish each night at Aka was great!

Another thing that the new students get to try is the student club Akademien, or Aka as most students call it. Down at Tändsticksområdet, students come together every Wednesday to dance and to have fun. But during the kick-off week, Aka was open every day. And because Alice is new, I had to ask her what she thought about it.

– Aka is great, I absolutely love it! It’s nice to have a place where it’s just students, and the whole layout is great with the different dance floors and the upstairs area where you can chill out for a bit. Wednesdays is a day I now definitely look forward to!


Maja Ottosson


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