Philipp Mack was one of many international students taking part in Orientation Day.
Philipp Mack was one of many international students taking part in Orientation Day.

Philipp Mack from Germany was one of many excited, newly admitted students who visited Stockholm University’s Orientation Day for international students on 25 August. This day rounded off a whole week filled with welcome activities designed to provide practical information and assistance, as well as social activities for newcomers from all over the world.

Many German, French and Chinese students

Philipp Mack belonged to the most frequenty represented nationality and another Material Chemistry student, Clément Pechberty, represented the second country on the list: France. Number three was China.
”I wanted to study in a Scandinavian country as it’s very different from southern Europe,” Clément explained his choice of Stockholm University. ”It’s my first time in Sweden and I’m struck by how clean it is and that there are so many people who travel by bike.”

Myths and truths about Swedes

The host of the evening in the large Aula Magna auditorium, Ronald T. Nordqvist, gave the audience some hints about what to expect from Swedish culture, rejecting myths of violent Vikings, an all-blonde population and dangerous arctic animals roaming the streets.
”The Swedes still like to travel the world but these days they do it in a more peaceful way,” Mr Nordqvist said. ”You may still spot the long beard on some of the males, though, especially if they are hipsters.”
That not all Swedes live up to the reputation of being shy and introverted became obvious as Student Health Services nurse Eliza Cederlund entered the stage dancing to a famous pop tune, making the students stand up and clap and cheer.

The importance of communication

"Phew, I think I need to catch my breath now," she admitted as the music faded, and

Student Health Services nurse Eliza Cederlund challenged the idea of Swedes being shy and introverted.
Student Health Services nurse Eliza Cederlund challenged the idea of Swedes being shy and introverted.

suggested that the students grab the opportunity to introduce themselves to the person sitting next to them.
Eliza Cederlund went on to stress the importance of communication, of staying in touch with friends and family at home as well as making new friends in Stockholm.
In addition to information about the Swedish healthcare system the international students were given talks about IT and library services, insurance, banking, Swedish language courses and many other useful things.

The Vice-Chancellor welcomed the newcomers

Vice-Chancellor Astrid Söderbergh Widding expressed how happy she was that the students had chosen Stockholm University. A choice that would give them access to a significant breadth of subjects, first-class research and unique activities in connection to the Nobel Prize later on this autumn.
"At Stockholm University we create researchers who are keen to change the world," the Vice-Chancellor said and mentioned some of the internationally renowned research areas such as Children's Rights and Conditions.
She hoped the students would enjoy their study time at Stockholm University and assured that they would always be welcome to return should they wish to in the future.

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