Singaporian student Benjamin Chung Photo: Karin Persson
Singaporean student Benjamin Chung did some speed friending.

Grace was going to study Early Childhood Education as part of an Erasmus exchange programme. She was one of many newly arrived students who visited the large open fair in the Aula Magna and Allhuset building, where student associations and the university’s service units presented themselves.

Ice-breaking speed friending

The epicentre of the fair was a hugely popular speed friending event organized by the Stockholm University Student Union. With some upbeat music playing in the background international and national newcomers had the chance to mix and play social bingo. Singaporean student Benjamin Chung emerged from the crowded room that was brimming with expectation, nerves and friendliness.
’I have spoken to about five people now. I’m just going to take a little break before I go back in again’, he smiled.

A good place to improve your English

French student Thomas Guichard at Orientation Day. Photo: Karin Persson
French student Thomas Guichard was looking forward to learning about Swedish culture.

Studies in business and economics awaited Benjamin at Stockholm University and he was very much looking forward to settling into his new life in the Swedish capital. Having arrived only three days earlier he had not really had the chance to discover the city yet.
French computer and systems sciences student Thomas Guichard was an equally new guy in town.
’I wanted to study in Sweden as the level of English is so high here. After the UK I think it is the best country in Europe for improving your English’, he said. ’I love the campus and the city and I really want to get to know Swedish culture.’

Practical information and friendly tips

Adriana Jimenez Moreno hosted Orientaiton Day Photo: Karin Persson
Adriana Jimenez Moreno hosted Orientation Day in the Aula Magna auditorium.

Once the open fair came to an end a series of information packed presentations were given in the beautiful Aula Magna auditorium. IT services, Swedish language courses, the university library, student health care and social activities were some of the topics included.
The host of the evening, Adriana Jimenez Moreno, shared her own experience of moving to Sweden from Mexico some years ago and said that a positive turning point for her had been when she made up her mind to really learn Swedish.
’I wanted to understand what the Swedes meant when they answered their mobiles on the tube and went ”Hej! Jaaaaa …. mmm … jasså?”', she said and warmly recommended the Swedish courses offered for free by Stockholm University.

Student union flash mob during Orientaiton Day in Aula Magna Photo: Karin Persson
The student union involved the audience in a much appreciated flash mob.

Expectations of fun and Swedish fika

A digital word cloud on the large screen on stage made it possible for the audience to submit words describing what they expected from their forthcoming Swedish student life. Although someone admitted fearing 'freezing to death', the most popular words were party, fun, friends and fika.
The student union's international coordinators gave the visitors a taste of their sense of party and fun by organizing a much appreciated flash mob in the auditorium. Once the presentations finished many newcomers lingered around to chat to newly found friends, and student union representatives were keen to invite them to further social activities on campus to round off the evening.

Text and photo: Karin Persson