1 Report 1 exchange application process PREPARATION The application process went quite smooth. From the beginning I knew that I wanted to go to Sweden, so it was either Lund or Uppsala for me, as my faculty is a partner with both of these universities. Knowing where you want to go makes the following process easy, it is just filling out the required forms and hoping to get nominated by the international office. The phase after being nominated was similar, although collecting all the required signatures can take up some time. counselling & support at Utrecht University The international office of Utrecht University was really helpful when I had questions about the forms or process. Moreover, they kept me informed about certain deadlines, so that I did not miss one. I did not prepare myself in a specific academic way before going to Uppsala, however, I had already finished three years of studying law in Utrecht when I went to Uppsala. This was definitely sufficient for me. Before I went to Uppsala I took the 'Legal English for Academic Purposes' course to improve some of my legal English. Being able to speak english is the most important when you go to Sweden, since the vast majority of Swedes speak really good english. Knowing your swedish is good, but definitely not necessary. Sweden is not a cheap country, at least not compared to the Netherlands. Before I went to Sweden I saved some money which was good choice, because I probably would not have managed my stay with just the student grant and erasmus grant. study programme (content and organisational issues) STUDY ABROAD PERIOD In Uppsala I took one law course, EU Commercial law and litigation, and a language course, basic swedish 1. academic quality of education activities The academic quality of the law course I took was really high. We had well qualified teachers on the content and a good programme, with different elements. I learned a lot in this course about EU law, but also on writing a pleading and to orally present it. The basic swedish course was a nice course to have next to my law course, however, it lacked challenges from time to time. counselling & support at receiving university abroad During my time in Uppsala I did not require much counselling or support, though, the few times I had contact with them they were very helpful and quick in responding. transfer of credits My course credits have been acknowledged by the bachelor- exam committee. However, at the time of writing my credits have not officially been transferred. welcome & orientation programme STUDENT LIFE
2 One week before my courses started an orientation week was organised. The orientation week is a great opportunity to get to know the city, the nations and other students. A lot of activities are organised, I recommend to participate in these to get a great start of your stay abroad. accommodation As a erasmus exchange student you are practically guaranteed to get housing from the university. During my stay I lived in one of the high buildings in Flogsta. Flogsta is really nice, corridors are often mixed with internationals and swedes which is a nice combination. I had a big room, with my own shower and toilet. The kitchen was shared with eleven other students from my corridor; the cleanliness could have been better, but this always depends on the people you live with in a corridor. The location of Flogsta was good too, it is about 20 minutes cycling to the city centre. leisure & culture The nations in Uppsala organise a lot of events, like parties and diners. In these nations you can also become active in a cultural or sport group. Various sports can be played in these groups, like football, floorball or basketball. Occasionally, bigger events are organised in the city of Uppsala, like a light festival or a short film festival. Moreover, Stockholm is close by Uppsala, where also a lot of leisure and cultural activities can be done. suggestions/tips Become a member of a nation, it will only benefit you. Also make sure to travel inside Sweden, Uppsala and Stockholm are really nice, but the rest of Sweden also has a lot to offer. CONCLUSIONS would you recommend this university/destination abroad to others? please explain Uppsala is a really nice student city that gives you the opportunity to have the best time of your life. A lot of social and leisure activities are waiting for you to partake. The Swedes are a bit shy at first, but when you are past that, you really meet nice and friendly people. What is more, the education given at the university of Uppsala is of an excellent quality and exchanging thoughts with students from different countries gives you really nice insights. do you have any additional advice or comments? Report 2 exchange application process PREPARATION You have to make sure that you submit everything on time, I had to adopt my files one time. counselling & support at Utrecht University I've received adequate help of Utrecht University, although I m of the opinion that they could communicate better who has to sign what document. My learning agreement for example was signed initially by the wrong person, and had to be co signed by another person. Bachelor of law. Swedish people speak English very well. You don t need to speak Swedish.
3 I received the Erasmus grant in addition to the ''studiefinanciering''. study programme (content and organisational issues) STUDY ABROAD PERIOD Uppsala University, two courses namely, European Labour law and Comparative legal history and contemporary jurisprudence. Furthermore I did a course basic Swedish. academic quality of education activities The academic quality of the education was very high. Also they speak English very well. Although it would be better if the teacher elaborats more on the right answers during seminars. counselling & support at receiving university abroad The counselling and support that I got was quite good. They respond very quickly to s. transfer of credits I transferred my credits as extra courses. welcome & orientation programme STUDENT LIFE The day that I first arrived, everything was orginised very well. I only had to stop by one building in order to receive all relevant material such as internet, simcard, keys etc. This was very convenient. accommodation I lived in Flogsta. This was a very nice accomodation. A quarter bike ride to the city, and most of my friends also lived at Flogstaso that was very convenient. leisure & culture Swedish people are very polite and kind. suggestions/tips Make sure that you either have your accomdation at Flogsta or at Rackarbergstein. Those are very popular and from my experience the places where the most students want to live. CONCLUSIONS would you recommend this university/destination abroad to others? please explain I would recommend Uppsala University to others. It's a very good university, there is a very nice student life with several nations that you can join. Uppsala is a nice and cute city. do you have any additional advice or comments? - Report 3 exchange application process PREPARATION
4 The exchange application was a huge process to go trough. First of all, you need to make a choice of destination which is quite hard, and afterwards you need to complete lots of documents, for which you need couple of signatures from both the sending as the receiving institution. So it takes some time. counselling & support at Utrecht University Utrecht University gave us lots of information about the destinations and possibilities. Sometimes it's still a bit vague though. You have to go to the student coordinator to double check everything and in my Erasmus application form, there was a fault which I discovered myself two days before the deadline. So extra checks trough Utrecht University is recommended. The is splendid. The academic standard in Utrecht is quite high compare to the standard in Uppsala, in my opinion. I had several courses in English at Utrecht University before I went on exchange, but that's of course totally different from the use of English all the time, even in social talk with your international classmates. I've learned a lot in that aspect. Sweden is slightly more expensive than the Netherlands, which I knew on beforehand. But the 270 EUR Erasmus grant and the financial support of my parents made it doable for me. study programme (content and organisational issues) STUDY ABROAD PERIOD I have done two courses in Uppsala, first a general course in jurisprudence and law history, which was quite easy with a low workload. My second course, International Commercial Arbitration, was pretty intensive and interesting. I gained for sure some knowledge that could be helpful for my future career. academic quality of education activities As mentioned above, the first course was quite easy: very low workload and no impressive seminars or lectures. The second one on the other hand was quite hard and intensive but above all inspiring. counselling & support at receiving university abroad The counselling and support at Uppsala University was very good, there was always a contact person for all our questions and the teachers created the perfect atmosphere to get used to the new system. transfer of credits Actually, I don't really know how the transfer of credits works because that part is a bit vague and I don't need the credits anymore for my bachelors degree. welcome & orientation programme STUDENT LIFE Unfortunately, I missed the welcome and orientation week in Uppsala. But I've heard good stories about it. accommodation The accomodation was quite expensive, but I had lots of space and my own bathroom. Besides that, all my friends lived around the corner. So I was pretty satisfied. leisure & culture I've done many little trips to other parts of Scandinavia and the Baltic. I loved it, an absolute advantage of being on exchange.
5 suggestions/tips Maybe give the incoming students a little bit more information at the application form for their housing. I was lucky because I knew some people who had been in Uppsala before me, but otherwise it's gambling on an important matter. CONCLUSIONS would you recommend this university/destination abroad to others? please explain Absolutely! I had one of the best times of my life studying abroad in Uppsala. Besides the fact that an Erasmus exchange is an unique and special experience anyway which I would recommend to everyone, Uppsala offers you a unique student life abroad. Everything is there for students and you live together with all your friends, go out to the nations where you can do lots of activities to meet everyone. Moreover, there is a lot of possibilities to do some travels around Scandinavia, the Baltic, Russia or the rest of Europe. I've made friends from all over the world and made memories that will last for a lifetime. It was definitely one of the best decisions of my life to go on exchange to Sweden. do you have any additional advice or comments? Go to Uppsala! Report 4 exchange application process PREPARATION For the application proces I had to send a motivation letter, my Curriculum Vitae and a transcript of records. I also send a letter of recommendation along to increase the chance of being accepted. (Furthermore, I had to fill in several documents in order to receive the Erasmus grant.) counselling & support at Utrecht University Utrecht University has several presentations for people who want to go abroad. They also provide a very clear website. Furthermore, the staff is willing to help you with any questions you might still have. Therefore the counselling & support at Utrecht University is really great! I didn't do any specific acadamic preparation for my studies abroad. I was in the third year of my bachelor when I went abroad. I took the course Legal English for Acadamic Purposes at Utrecht University. I can really recommend this course to anyone who studies law and wants to go abroad. The course helped me to improve not only my general english skills, but specificlly my legal english skills. I think there is a big difference between normal english and legal english. Legal english is more complicated, since this is not a part of the english language you come across a lot. Therefore you have to develop legal english skills trough education. The LEAP course gives you a great oppurtinity to do this! To finance my studies in Uppsala I used the money I got from renting my apartment in Utrecht, my study grant, the public transportation grant and the Erasmus scholarship. To cover the additional costs, I got a loan from the government. PREPARATION
6 exchange application process For the application proces I had to send a motivation letter, my Curriculum Vitae and a transcript of records. I also send a letter of recommendation along to increase the chance of being accepted. (Furthermore, I had to fill in several documents in order to receive the Erasmus grant.) counselling & support at Utrecht University Utrecht University has several presentations for people who want to go abroad. They also provide a very clear website. Furthermore, the staff is willing to help you with any questions you might still have. Therefore the counselling & support at Utrecht University is really great! I didn't do any specific acadamic preparation for my studies abroad. I was in the third year of my bachelor when I went abroad. I took the course Legal English for Acadamic Purposes at Utrecht University. I can really recommend this course to anyone who studies law and wants to go abroad. The course helped me to improve not only my general english skills, but specificlly my legal english skills. I think there is a big difference between normal english and legal english. Legal english is more complicated, since this is not a part of the english language you come across a lot. Therefore you have to develop legal english skills trough education. The LEAP course gives you a great oppurtinity to do this! To finance my studies in Uppsala I used the money I got from renting my apartment in Utrecht, my study grant, the public transportation grant and the Erasmus scholarship. To cover the additional costs, I got a loan from the government. welcome & orientation programme STUDENT LIFE Uppsala University hosts an entire welcome week. This is great, because in this week you get to know not only the student life of Uppsala, but also many new people. Most of my friends and acquaitances from Sweden are people I met during the orientation week. I had so much fun during this week. Uppsala has many (13) student nations and during the orientation week you have the opportunity to get to know something about every nation. This is useful because after the orientation week, you have to choose a nation to join. Even though you are still able to go visit all the nations after you made a choice, it's still useful to choose a nation that fits you best. This because it can really save you some money. There are some really good advantages for members, e.g. discount on lunch/brunch, clubs or even free entrance at clubs! accommodation It was really easy to get housing! THis is provided trough the university. You just have to apply in time and follow the instructions. I stayed at Rackarbergsgatan and I can really recommend this accomodation. It was great, because it was really close to the city center! You could even walk if you wanted to. I shared the kitchen, toilet and bathroom with 4 other people. leisure & culture I traveled to several places in Sweden with my friends. This is a really cool thing to do and I would recommend this to everyone. This is a great possibility to get to know Sweden and to make memories you will treasure. About the Swedish culture, to me, the following was really remarkable: The people are very calm and have a lot of faith in the government. Sweden has a very peaceful history and you can notice this in both the Swedish culture, people and Swedish law. Also the Swedish people really love to have ''fika''. Fika means; to have a cup
7 of coffee or tea with a treat. You should really do this when you are in Sweden! Also, Sweden is really, really cold and dark in the winter. Even the Swedish people are obsessed with this. Many hate this. Because the weather is so remarkable in Sweden the Swedish people like to talk about the weather a lot. Apart from this, I can say that the Swedish culture is not that different from the Dutch culture. In Uppsala for example they also ride bicycles. There are not that many big differences. suggestions/tips I have four tips. My first tip is that you really should consider the weather before you choose to go to Sweden. Not only is Sweden very cold but also very dark. In November it is dark at half past 3 in the afternoon. This is crazy and can be really shocking and depressing. However, for me it was not that big of a problem. Of course the cold and especially the darkness was very impleasent, but it didn't change my mind about Sweden. When the weather is terrible in Sweden you can just go to one of the many nations with your friends and have fun inside. This way you can survive Sweden and compensate for the lack of light and warmth with the light and warmth your friends and some fun brings you. My second tip is that you should not underestimate the emotional impact of a stay abroad. When you leave your own country it can feel very scary, when you are living abroad you can really miss your friends and when you are back home you can have a really hard time with reintegrating back home. Also, just being abroad is a lot to process for your mind and this can be very exhausting. The same goes for the first period of time you come back home. I think this is an important thing to take into account. If you are prepared for all of this I think it will be easier to deal with. I really underestimated this and I would have liked it if someone told me this before I left. So this is some very important advice. My third tip is not to only hang out with people from your own country! I decided not to hang out with Dutch people at all and I think this was a great decision. I made friends from all over the world and learned so much about other cultures and languages. It is really fun to have international friends! You have all your life to hang out with people from your own nationality, but an exchange also gives you the opportunity to hang out with people from other cultures. I would really recommend everyone to take this chance! My last tip is that if you want to go abroad, you should really go! I was a little afraid to go and there were some obstacles that made me have second thoughts regarding wether I should stay or go. In the end I decided to go and it was one of the best decisions of my live. Everything turned out well and I made so much great memories and friends. I wouldn't want to have missed this for anything! So take the chance to go abroad and make it a great expierence! CONCLUSIONS would you recommend this university/destination abroad to others? please explain Yes, definitely! Uppsala is a great student city! There is so much to do for students and there are students studying at Uppsala University from all over the world. So you can also meet many people from different cultures! Also, Uppsala has some great teachers and staff. Everybody speaks english really well and everything is extremely well organised and this makes everything much easier for you! All of this makes Uppsala a great choice! do you have any additional advice or comments? No.
8 preparation exchange/placement application process I started a year before the exchange with research and also with applying for an exchange. I contacted the International Office of my home university and also my studyadvisor at the University of Leiden and the University of Utrecht. For the application, I had to write a motivation letter, hand in a list of my grades and I also handed in two references of Dutch teachers of the University of Leiden. After my application for the exchange to Uppsala. Uppsala University contacted me and I had to choose the course I wanted to attend there. There were a couple of courses to choose. I choose to attend the course European Labour Law for 15 ECTS. counselling/support at home university The International Office and the student advisor of the University of Utrecht helped me with my application for Uppsala and helped me planning when the exchange would fit the best in my master(s). They were a great help. I did not do any. The course I attended was 15 ECTS and was for my subject of chose for my master in Utrecht. The classes were in English and not in Swedish. My English was already good enough so I did not need to attend a English language course. Some courses in Utrecht are in English and therefore I had enough practice before I went to Sweden. The level of English at the University Uppsala was fine. I applied for the Erasmusbeurs and Curatorenfonds in order to pay for all the costs. Sweden is a very expensive country (for instead food and alcohol is very expensive). In needed the scholarships in order to pay for the exchange. Besides the scholarships, I also saved almost 3000 euro's myself. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) I attended one course at the Uppsala University, which was from mid January till the end of March Besides that, I also wrote a big part of my two mastertheses in Uppsala. Before I went on a exchange I collected a lot of information for my thesises. I also had some meetings with a professor of Uppsala University to talk about European Law and competition law which was very interesting. academic quality of education/placement activities The lectures were held at different buildings over the city. The books we had to buy were quite expensive, but
9 were very good. Also the same for the compendia the University made for the course. We also made a trip to the ministery of employment in Stockholm as studytrip. This was really interesting. The University paid for our travelcosts to Stockholm. counselling/support at host institution/organisation There was not really a support from Uppsala University, but if you had any questions you could go to the international office, or teachers or even Swedish students were very helpful and really wanted to help you. I also had some meetings with a professor of Uppsala University to talk about European Law and competition law which was very interesting. transfer of credits Before I left Sweden I asked for a transcript of records which I could pick up at the student office of the law faculty. The grades in Sweden are not the same as in the Netherlands. So they have to be transferred. student life welcome/orientation programme The International Committee welcomed us in the weekend of 18 th of January. At one of the nations I had to pick up my key and got information about Uppsala en the nations. They provided us with the most important information about living in Uppsala as a student. It really made me feel welcome. One of the girls of the committee was a Dutch girl, and we became very good friends there. accommodation I lived at a campus (Kantorsgatan) in Uppsala. I shared a kitchen with four other people in my corridor. There is a washing facility on the campus with about 14 washing machines and 5 dryers. I lived in a really nice room, which was recently renovated and cost about 400 euros a month. In the corridor I lived with Swedish students who were very nice. leisure/culture Sweden is famous for their fika (coffee/tea and something sweet like biscuits), which is a perfect opportunity to have a break with friends or people from your study. Also the nations are a big part of student life. What I noticed when I came to Sweden, is that the Sweeds are a bit more distanced than Dutch people. It is called the 'Scandinavion coldness', but you used to it easily though. The reason they are like this is because they respect others privacy and it is not very polite to look at other people and start talking to others. suggestions/tips Start in time with arranging your exchange. And also ask for student discounts at the shops in Uppsala. Also, I advise you to become a member of one of the nations. Besides that, add yourself on the Facebook page of Uppsala Erasmus exchange. You can make friends or ask questions about things you want to know or want to do. When you arrive in Uppsala and you want to buy or sell things, you so like the page on Facebook called buy
10 and sell items Uppsala. Very helpful. conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain Yes. The faculty is very nice and the courses are quite good. Also the teachers and the students are very nice. Uppsala is a studentfriendly city. Although the weather might not be really great (not really hot), but it is really a great destination. Swedens landscape is very beautifull and the city Uppsala it really great. But you should keep in mind that it is not the cheapest country. However, there are a lot of discounts specially for students. do you have any additional advice or comments? Uppsala is famous of their student nations. You need to attend a nation in order to have a social life. You study at a nation (they have libraries), you can have lunch, fika (coffee or tea with something sweet) and dinner. Also they have club nights and game nights. If you go to Uppsala for an exchange, I advice you to become a member. In that way you will also make new friends. Besides the nations, you also should attend the buddy programme. It is also a very good way to meet new people and make friends. Also you should buy a bike in Uppsala. Everything is quite closeby with a bike preparation exchange/placement application process Even if you choose to go on exchange the second semester, the application process begins a year full year in advance. In my case this meant December 2012 in which going abroad still feels ages away. There are quite a few documents that have to be submitted and it takes time to draft them or get them signed so starting on time is recommended if you want to avoid stressed moments during the Christmas holiday. My choice for Uppsala was because I heard great stories about the welcoming student life and the international vibe this university town has. The fact that the offered European law courses was also an persuasive argument. counselling/support at home university All the different application requirements can be a bit complicated but every time I wasn t sure about a form or deadline I could always walk in at International Office to ask questions and get instructions. Uppsala University is well organised and the international coordinator there is also really helpful if something is unclear. As always though, it is your responsibility and nobody is going to do it for you.. I did not do any as my courses where at a comparable level as in the Netherlands.
11 I took the course Legal English for Academic Purposes which is interesting and a nice extra contribution to your ECTS but it I cannot say it was extremely helpful for your studies abroad. The English is comprehensible and the biggest improvement in your English will come after your arrival by talking to other people. In comparison to the Netherlands Sweden is horrendously expensive. Things as public transport, restaurants, cafes and just the average costs of living are a lot higher than in Utrecht. In order to finance this trip, I had an Erasmus grant, my normal monthly student finance and an extra 100 euros per month as a public transport compensation. Since working in Uppsala for these 5 months is not really realistic if you don t speak Swedish, the rest of your have to come from your own resources. I got money from my parents and the two months before my departure I worked a lot to earn some money. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) In Uppsala you can take courses of 15 or 30 ects. This means that you either do two 15 ects courses or one big 30 points course during your semester there. I took Economic Foundations of Private Law first and during the other half of my exchange I was enrolled in the World Trade Organisation Law course. These two courses both contained an average of two seminars a week of 2 hours, comparable with a working group session in Utrecht. There were no lectures. Exams are mostly open-book and take pretty long or students are required to write papers. academic quality of education/placement activities Even though the courses are worth more ects and they are classified as master courses, the work load is highly comparable to your studies in Utrecht. counselling/support at host institution/organisation The host institution organised a welcome speech where they explained the basics of studying in Uppsala. Before my departure I already had received an from my teacher with the course information and the time and location of the first seminar. The only inconvenience was the fact that I had no account for the internet in my room which you have to obtain by going to a university in the outskirts of the city. I was luckily able to use the Wifi of my Swedish neighbour. If you are able to get these log-in data in advance, I highly recommend it. transfer of credits No transfer yet student life welcome/orientation programme The first day we had to go to the welcome centre at one of the student unions in town. You can walk there from central station and your arrival you will get information and receive the keys of your room. From there I was
12 taken to Flogsta (the student neighbourhood I lived in) with a shuttle bus. There is a buddy system which is handy and fun if you want to meet a Swedish student who shows you around. You have to sign up beforehand I you would like to participate. There is an orientation week which contains several activities at different student unions. You can choose for yourself which one you would like to attend. accommodation I lived in Flogsta which is a notorious student neighbourhood in the outskirts of Uppsala. A mix of international and Swedish students life in more than 1000 rooms. It feels like a little village full of students from all over the world. There are corridor parties and every night at 10 pm the traditional Flogsta scream (see youtube). You will get a big room with your own bathroom. The kitchen is shared with the other 11 people on your corridor. leisure/culture The student culture in Uppsala consists out of the student nations which are student unions. Almost every Swede is member of one or even of multiple. Even exchange students can join them by paying a small fee. There is no hazing and there is an abundance of different unions to choose from. These nations provide a platform to have lunch with your friend or go to their pubs. Almost every day of the week one of the big nations have their party night. If you are a member of that particular nation entrance is free. These student unions are surely the axis of Uppsala student life. suggestions/tips The darkness of the winter months is something that can really affect your mood. You should consider if this could be a problem for you. My semester felt perfect because each day the sun set was 4 minutes later and at the end of my stay in June it was only dark two hours per night. You certainly learn to appreciate the sun living there! conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain Exchange in Uppsala is a wonderful experience. Maybe Sweden doesn t feel like far away but there are so many exchange kids from all over the world that you have the feeling of living in an international bubble for five months. The education and organisation of the university is perfect and the atmosphere in the city is great. do you have any additional advice or comments? -