Snow & Ice

Taking very small steps while being outdoors is quite a good recommendation right now, as the streets in and around Lund are full of ice and snow. Taking my bike to go around, it feels like cycling on a mirror 😀 I had a few moments where I was very close to fall, so go slow and take care everybody!

Malte

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Back home

I just had three weeks of holidays back home in my beloved Netherlands. Of course it’s always great to see my friends and family, but I came to notice that there’s one thing in particular that I missed and which makes me a bad Dutchman living abroad. My beloved bicycle, which is stored safely, could finally go on the road again. Normally I should have a bike everywhere I go, since it had been my main mode of transportation since I was just a little kid. And now I haven’t owned a bike in 1.5 years! Being back in Sweden again, I already miss him. 🙁

My beloved Dutch steel horse (as we call it).

My beloved Dutch steel horse (as we call it).

And finally for everyone that thinks that Lund is a city where loads of bicyclists are, be sure to visit the Netherlands at least ones, to get some perspective. 😉

My home town's bicycle parking at the central station. (Not my own photo but here's the source.)

My home town’s bicycle parking (which isn’t particularly big, but still…) at the central station. (Not my own photo but here’s the source.)

OK. Bye.
– Anton

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The Last Push

I hadn’t realized that I didn’t finish this blog post. So I’ll edit it now….

studio1 model-in-progress

Next week is our final presentation for SUDes. Right now it is busy. People are definitely stressed out about school work and getting things done, especially with the models that we have to make. Thankfully, they changed their minds and made us only make one model instead of two. My model is quite large it is about the size of an A0 paper. It is all down hill from here.

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Culture Shock

 

Studio Space at the End of the Semester.

Studio Space at the End of the Semester.

I asked my classmates the question: “What was your biggest culture shock coming to Lund or studying in the program?” The following were some of their responses, majority are about the program itself.

  • 75 minutes for lunch
  • The holy academy quarter [classes start 15 minutes past the hour – not on the hour]
  • lunch at 12
  • calling the teachers with their name
  • ONE laser cutter for 3 departments in SWEDEN
  • Having a 15 minutes tutorial and wondering for the rest of the semester what the teacher really wanted to say or imply
  • people saying Jaaa jaaa jahaaa and I seriously thought they had a problem thank god I didn’t ask “Are you ok?”       [[If you have never heard Swedish before people will say the words “ja”, “jaha”, “jaså”, “javisst”, “absolut”, “precis”, “exakt”, quite often….]]
  • Different lecturers almost every week!
  • In tutorials and presentations the crits were usually super nice so it was hard to know sometimes what one should improve/ what they really think about the project.
  • Very limited time to explain one’s project (which i think was good).
  • And of course people from all over the world in the same class 🙂
  • No grades – meaning there is no way to know your actual level.
  • Lack of critisism at tutorials ;(
  • The tiniest out-of-date architecture library that could exist! 😀 
  • Fikas all the time! 🙂

Clarification in regards to tutorials: This is something that I think pretty much everyone struggled with at one point or another. Many people in their home countries, at least in our class are used to having very straight forward critiques, or being told this and this and this is wrong. That is not exactly the Swedish way. That in itself is a cultural adjustment. However, if you really are struggling, they will pointedly help you out, but if you are going in the right direction, they are going to tell you to keep going – which is where some of the frustration has come into play.

Very limited time to explain your project: This is very true. For instance in my case, during our final review after having done a semester long project we would have a 45 minute critique time. It was up to us to divide the time between our presentation and how much time we wanted to leave for critique. Here, for presentations we have been given 5 or 7 minutes, I think the most we got was 10 minutes to present. Then there was maybe 10 or 15 minutes for discussion. It is very important to have a clear concept, project, and presentation.

No grades – In the SUDes program, our classes are Pass or Fail. It is never about you compared to other students it is you compared to yourself and your progress during the semester. If you want, you can do the bare minimum and probably get a pass. However, it is up to you to push yourself so that you get what you want out of the program. At the end of the day, it is you that will have taken advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow, or not to have taken advantage of the situation.

The architectural Library is small. I personally wouldn’t say out of date, they have always had what I needed, but that is what my friend said. However, I do believe they have inter-library loan, so you would be able to get a book, but it may take time to get it.

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New year, new life!

when I am writing this blog, I can hear the fireworks outside the window and in a couple of hours, it will be New Year, 2017. How time flies! Can you remember what did you do last new year? How many new years’ resolutions have you achieved in the year 2016? New year is coming and you have new hope and new life.

For the international students who will start studying in Lund University in spring 2017, the arrival day is also coming. The spring 2017 arrival day is January 10th. Some students may feel nervous when arriving in a new place especially for those who go abroad for the first time. And the suggestion I can give you is to read all the relevant information before you arrive in Lund and you can get well prepared. The information you need is collected on the site: http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/student-life/preparing-to-come/arrival-introduction/arrival-day. You will get much help during your arrival day and orientation week, so do not worry and you will settle down very soon.

Happy new year!

~Minjia

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Being Sick Abroad

I am normally the type of person to not get sick, but when I do, I get really sick. Once again, I am sick. Last year in the autumn I got sick, and ended up having pneumonia. Right now I have tonsillitis. In Sweden, they have universal health care, which is great, especially If you have a Swedish personal number.

The first thing I did in both cases was go to the apoteket, which is a pharmacy. While you can buy medicine for a headache, or cough drops at a grocery store, that is about it. For me, as is normal in my case, I got sick out of no where. I went there and explained what was going on with me and they tilda me what should work. In Sweden, apparently they are legally required to tell you if another medicine that is not a brand-name medicine is as effective or the same as the brand name. Also do not expect to find the same medicine as you normally would in your home country. However, the first time I got sick, even with all the meds I wasn’t getting better. I also would start coughing and not be able to stop and I was worried that I would start hyperventilating in the middle of the night  and not do anything. This time, I had migraines that were not going away even with migraine medicine. My mom, who is a nurse,  said that I should go in because I was also having neck pain, and the combination can be a sign of something potententially serious. The first time I called, to set up an appointment. However, they didn’t speak English, and I didn’t Know enough Swedish to fully explain what was going on properly. I was told to go to the clinic by the hospital during their drop-in hours. Should be noter that you don’t just go to any clinic you want. You are assigned to one, typically based on where you live. You can call any of the clinics and If you have a personal number they can tell you. However If it is after hours or the weekend, at least right now, you can go to the one during their drop-in hours, which is what I did this time.

When you go there is a machine you get a number from they will then call your number. When I was called, I talked to a lady at a desk, who asked if I had taken meds already, also what my symptomatiskt were. I gave her my personal number. Then I sat Down again and waited to be called. When I was called, I saw another nurse who I decribed my symptoms to, she also took my temperature and did some basically things to check me over. Then I went to another guys to have some initial tests done. Again I waited, then I was called by a doktor,  who asked more questions, both times I had more tests done. This time, they were able to figure out what was wrong and then give me a perscription and I was sent on my way. Last time, they were not able to and so I was given a reference and sent to the Infection Ward at hehe hospital.

It was difficult to find the ward,  truthfully I got lost a few times. The maps were not very helpful and the people I asked were not sure either.  I did manage to find it. Then when I got there, there was no one at The front desk, and the doors were locked. I ended up having to pound on a door when I saw someone inside walk past yo get their attention. Once I did, they let me in and I gave them my papers from the clinic. They random a lot more tests. I knew that they were running tests to figure out what was wrong, but that was it. They then came in to get me and a guy had this motorized scooter that had a trailer of a shorts that they could put a wheelchair on and drive to other parts of the hospital. By the way, there is an entire underground tunnel network that connects different parts of the hospital. First, they took Xrays of my chest.  Then I was bought back to my room. Later they came and took more tests. A while later they came and got mer again for a high contrast cathedral scan. They injected  me with something. It caused there yo be this warm sensation go through my entire body. Honestly, I thought I had peed myself – thankfully, I hadn’t. Once again, I was bought back to my room and later a nurse came in and told me that I had pneumonia. I was given perscription and told I could get it tomorrow (It was after midnigh4 by this point and between the clinic and the hospital I was there for 8 or 9 hours)

Some difference between the US system and Swedish system. I only had to give them my personal number and I was checked in completely. When they were done, I could just leave and didn’t have to fill out or sign anything.

In the US, they will always show you your Xrays tell you what they see and why they are going to take more if it is needed. They will also tell you what they are testing for specifically, which they did not do here. This shouldn’t be taken as they are not as good. It is just different, and they have a huge shortage of at least nurses in Sweden right now.

The bill was way less than I expected even though I did have Xrays etc. Even on a students budget it was completely affordable.

 

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Holiday season

Being back home in Europe after four months in Panama, I’m quite shocked by the cold weather. It’s a temperature drop of almost 40 degrees, so I am struggling a little bit to cope 😉 But it’s really nice to be back home and celebrate Christmas with family and friends before starting to tackle the Master thesis in the coming term.

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Studying during the Christmas break

Everyone is happy about the “holidays” in the end of the year, but unfortunately are the holidays pretty short, as the exams of a few LTH courses will be held directly after the Christmas break.

I am back in Italy for the holidays, but the few days I had to see all my relatives and friends were rather stressfull, as a shadow of guilt followed me when I was about to relax, because I will have a big exam in the beginning of January…

On one hand it is nice to have a little more time for studying, on the other hand it would be great to be done with the exams before the holidays, that the Christmas break becomes an actual break! 😉

-Anna-

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Lund Univ. 350th Anniversary Book

Our Lund University has published a caffe-table-designed book “Lund University over 350 Years – History and Stories” for the University’s jubilee year, of which the journeys depict major occurrences and overall trends in University’s history from a small provincial academy with 14 professors and 80 students to today’s major international university ranked among the top 100 universities in the world ! Both Swedish & English Editions available.
Welcome to order it from:   ADLIBRISBOKUS, or LU Shop on Winstrupsgatan 8.
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Around campus/Student life/Swedish culture and traditions/The city of Lund 0

Last day of work in Panama

Dear all,

so today the last day of my internship in Panama has come, and soon I am flying home for Christmas. I was an intern at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for the last four months.

It was an interesting experience, with a lot of things to learn. We’ve had hurricanes to deal with, for example. I got an insight into the functioning of the humantarian sector, and was able to improve my Spanish skills.

So I guess my message is, if you have the cahnce to go on an internship abroad as part of your studies, do it! It’s not always easy, but for sure you learn a lot of things about how you field of study looks like in “real life”.

I’ll sort through my photos and will post a few in the coming days.

Best,

Malte

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