International students' blog – LTH

Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design students write about life at the Faculty of Engineering LTH

Arrival in Lund!

Tjena all you good humans!

My name is Isabella and I am in my second year of the MArk program at Lund University. Feel free to contact me with any questions at

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This time last year my Swedish adventure began in Kiruna visiting friends during the perpetual dusk to dawn of their arctic summer. A 16hr train and some unconventional modes of travel took me down from the most Northern town in Sweden to Skåne län Lund. Pine tree forests, humble mountains, fjäll raven clad Swedes and moose sightings fell way to expansive flat plains interrupted only by wind turbines.

Watching the sun never set at 2am atop a big red church in Kiruna.

I arrived in a big 8 bedroom housing collective in Northern Lund. It was 10pm by the time I arrived into an empty house. I knew not a single soul in Lund. I had ambitiously arrived early to set myself up in Sweden, hoping to open a bank account (ultimately to acquire swish) – a bureaucratic process that required first obtaining a person number, residency permit, etc before eventuating in an account some 9 months later!

I had decided in 2012 during my second year of my bachelor in Architecture that I wanted to study in Sweden. I had met Swedes while ski instructing in Revelstoke, Canada and while volunteering in Budanilkuntha, Nepal that I had fallen in love with. Their witty sense of humour, adventure seeking and open-minded nature I found among many Scandinavians drew me in. Nature aside I was always captivated by the Swedish and Danish minimalistic and humanistic approach to design. I ventured to challenge myself by studying my Masters in Architecture abroad, and further to specialise in human shelter and urban design which I had yet to explore during my prior 5 years working.

Charmed by the cobblestoned old town, a soon bustling housing collective, sailing between Malmö & Copenhagen, home-baked fikas to the vine leaves clinging to beautiful historic buildings, my welcome to Lund was a vibrant one.

Vine leaf clad buildings of Lund.

However settling into a new environment will inevitably come with some challenges. Such are the ebbs and flows of venturing out of your comfort zone. Trust that the highs are higher – reach out to those around you and whenever possible immerse yourself in various activities outdoors while the days are long! Moving abroad to a foreign context in such a progressive part of the world will only nourish your patience, humility and empathy.

Welcome to Lund for all you newcomers! I wish you a smooth transition full of friend-making, picnics, falafel, weekend hikes, kardemummabullar, sunshine and fika!

Please feel welcome to reach out with your own experiences of arriving in Lund 🙂


16 August, 2019

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