The new Semester is coming tomorrow with lot of new exciting courses, events and lot of new people to meet.
But before this new breathtaking semester starts, it is time for the new students to take their plane, train or ferry and drop their suitcases in our beautiful Göteborg.
Yesterday was the official Arrival day organised by the Welcome Service of the University of Göteborg. During this day, Student Buddies from the different students unions IntET (Medecine school), IntU (Business School Handels) and GIC (all remaining faculties) were going to the airport to welcome the students and buses were organised to come pick up everyone all day long.
This semester, 4 buses were running with 5 departure from the airport, 4 from the train stations and 1 from the ferry terminal. But due lot of delay the whole day and more specially one of 25 students in the first flights, some students (the last to arrive in each shift) had to wait to the next bus…
The buses were then bringing all the students to the Welcome Service office in Medecinregatan 20A for some non-funny-but-necessary-to-get a room administrative part. The students were welcomed by Nils and his talent for pronouncing world-wide names.
They could then get their keys for the different students housing : Olofshöjd, Helmutsrogatan, Rosendal, Kviberg, Kastanjebacken, Birger Jarl and Fridhemsgatan.
Unfortunately, as the last semester is officially finishing today, lot of exchange students from last semester did not leave yet on Saturday. Some of them were taking their written exam on Friday and some are still finishing their home exam tonight (All my thoughts are with them !).
Fortunately, (there is a bright sight !) the University organised some temporary accomodations in hostel for all the students in this situation.
After getting their keys, the students could receive a welcome package containing all the useful information they might need about rules in Sweden, recycling, housing, the Welcome Programme Schedule with information’s meeting, how to get a student card or a transport card with also maps, sporks, sim card…
Finally the students could get their first “Fika” or as Wikipedia explains it : “a concept in Swedish (and Finnish) culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee”, often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches” and as you always do with Fika, meet their first friends.
Representatives from the students unions IntU (business school) and Göta International Committee (other faculties) were their to present their Welcome Programmes, help the students with any questions and problems they could face and be sure all students (if they want to) are part of the Buddy Programme.
The Buddy Programme is existing for the 3 students unions (IntU, IntEt and GIC) and consist of making groups of 5 to 20 students (based on interest for GIC) with one or two “Student Buddy”, meaning one or two “local” students here in Sweden since at least one semester to help them to settle down, answers questions and organised events for the group.
After the Fika time, the students could go back to the bus, on a final ride to the students housing and hostel, to “hemma” (“home” in Swedish).
For the students living in Olofshöjd – or Olof -, the biggest student area, people from the Trustees (“Committee” managing Olof) were even there to guide them through this maze.
Thanks once again to the Welcome Service of the University of Göteborg for organising such Arrival Day. I have rarely heard of such program for the upcoming international students and I am so glad I can be part of this one in this country I feel hemma.
Thanks to all the Student Buddies from IntU, IntEt and GIC that were here to help !
Finally, I wanna give a special thanks to Nils the coordinator of all this crazy arrival day =).
Welcome to Sweden to all the new students and see you soon around Göteborg !!!