Top 10 Things to Do on a Year Abroad in Uppsala

We are so privileged to have students who enjoyed their study abroad so much, that they share it with us! Geneva has given us her top 10 guide to Uppsala Sweden, and it looks so fun!

  1. Join a Student Nation

Joining a student nation is an absolute must! In Uppsala there are 13 student nations which are like mini student unions based in fancy buildings all over the city. Uppsala has a really strong student community, and the nations are at the heart of this, organising a whole host of student activities. During your time in Uppsala, the nation you join is like a family where you’ll meet friends for life doing what you love.

2. Go to a Gasque

A gasque is a formal dinner held at the nation houses. There are lots of gasques throughout the year, with different themes, like 1920’s, Disco, Halloween etc. They involve a fancy meal punctuated with, speeches, Swedish drinking songs (standing on chairs) and themed entertainment, ending with a club night.

3. Visit the Viking Burial Mounds at Gamla Uppsala

Gamla Uppsala translates to ‘Old Uppsala’, and it’s here in the old part of the city that you’ll find the ancient burial mounds housing the remains of Swedish kings who were laid to rest so that they might enter Valhalla. In mythology it’s also meant to be the final resting place of the Norse Gods, Thor, Odin and Freyr.

4. Visit Uppsala Castle (Uppsala Slott)

You can’t miss the iconic pink castle that stands on the main hill overlooking the city. Built in the 16th century, Uppsala castle is rich with gory history of conspiracies, beheadings, and bloodbaths. The castle now houses the Uppsala Art Museum and makes for a fantastic afternoon out.

5. Join in the Flogsta Scream

If  you’re not already living in Uppsala’s largest student accommodation, Flogsta, then you’ll soon meet people who are. As well as having big corridor flats of 12, perfect for the legendary Flogsta flat parties, at 10pm every night, everyone in Flogsta screams out of their windows! Originally started as a way to relieve exam stress, this bizarre tradition is yet another fun quirk of Swedish student life.

6. Dive into the past at the Evolutionsmuseet

If dinosaurs are more your thing then you’ll find the largest collection of dinosaur skeletons in the Nordic countries housed under one roof at the Museum of Evolution. Run by the university, the museum is open to the public, but students taking the ‘Life and Times of the Dinosaurs’ module will have exclusive access to the museum after dark.

7. Explore Scandinavian History and Wildlife at Skansen

Just a train ride away from Uppsala, Skansen is an open-air museum in Stockholm, where you can experience immersive exhibits of rural Swedish farming life throughout history. You can also see a variety of native animals, such as reindeer, moose, wolves, and bears. During the summer months, Skansen hosts a series of live acts from world famous bands in its vast outdoor concert space.

8. Take the Train to Lapland

Your Year Abroad isn’t complete without a trip to the Arctic Circle. From Uppsala you take the overnight train (and possibly a snow mobile or dog sled) to one of the many activity centres in Kiruna. Some of the incredible experiences on offer include cross country skiing, saunas in the snow, jumping into frozen lakes, feeding reindeer, or spending a night in the ice hotel.

9. Wandering the Botanical Gardens

Opposite the castle you’ll see the iconic baroque topiary of the University’s Botanical Gardens. These gardens also include the Linnean Garden, a botanical garden maintained to the specifications laid out in 1745 by Carl Linnaeus, a prominent botanist and physician. Since the gardens are surrounded by university buildings, they make for a lovely walk to class.

10. Island Hopping on the Stockholm Archipelago

The Stockholm archipelago is composed of hundreds of tiny islands. In the summer, Swedes flock to the islands for outdoor activities like sailing, fishing, and swimming, but the islands look just as gorgeous covered in snow.

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