Besides going to parties and fun activities, going on exchange involves a lot of organising. So let’s update you on the logistics of this trip. In the meanwhile I can sip my cup of tea and have some delicious blueberries.
Monday morning I had a meeting with the coordinator from the English Department. For some reason I was really nervous about this. Depending on whether I got accepted into this last course or not, I’d have to possibly rearrange my entire Learning Agreement, something that I’d rather avoid since it took me ages already to come up with a decent study plan that had been approved by all my professors in Ghent. So the course I had to be admitted to was translation. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but since translation here means translation from Swedish to English and vice versa, it could be a problem. The coordinator told me that he’d read my swedish letter and that it was good, not perfect, but good. He told me that since the course involved a lot of Swedish, I would have to be able to grasp the gist of the swedish sentences pretty quickly. I told him that I should be able to do that since we’d read so many Swedish texts and literature before (including Strindberg, who I would say is pretty hard to read). Whilst I was sitting nervously in an IKEA chair (what else?), he went on to tell me that he trusted my judgement and that I was admitted to all the courses I’d applied for. I was very happy with that , but also kind of scared because what if my Swedish is indeed not good enough? I guess we will find out in a week or two, hey.
Once that was all done and dusted, I had to get my library card. I also thought I’d give the printing and copying a go while I was there. Of course, that didn’t go to plan. For some reason my log in ID wouldn’t let me log on to the computers. Luckily, the support desk was right there, so I just got a new log in ID. And I managed to actually print my literature lists. Those literature lists are an entirely different issue; I have to get SO. MANY. BOOKS. I mean, some of the courses only run for 5 weeks and yet I have to get about 20 books. Ridiculous. I will be so happy when that’s all sorted. And I’ll probably resell them when I no longer need them.
On to the next issue: my bicycle. I was lucky enough to get one for free from my landlord, whilst other people were struggling to find a reasonably priced bike. Although the bike is pretty old, it gets me from A to B and that is all that matters here in Lund, really. Plus I have the advantage of it (hopefully) not getting stolen. However, the saddle was way too high, so at every red light I would have a minor freak out, scared that I was gonna fall off, or I would not be able to stop properly. I decided to take matters into my own hands and buy some tools to fix this. I thought I’d have it fixed in a jiffy. Thought wrong, didn’t I? All that could go wrong did. I was unable to lower the saddle, cut my finger on a sharp edge, bleeding all over my bike. I’d already given up on readjusting the saddle so I decided to try and inflate the tyres. What happened instead was that I saw one of my tyres deflate entirely in less than a second. And did I mention all this happened on Monday morning before my meeting? I’ve never walked this fast in my life.
However, a bike in Lund is indispensable, so I went to the bike repair shop (cykelverkstad) that same day. The man at the shop kind of freaked me out. He seemed to only be able to speak in one syllable words. This is kind of what the conversation sounded like:
Me: Is it here that I can get my bike fixed?
Me: Sooo…Where should I put my bike then?
Him: What’s wrong?
After I’d told him what was wrong with my bike he decided to very creepily end the conversation by staring at my and then saying: “Nice necklace.” Ehm, thanks, I guess?
Anyhow, there I was without a bike to get me around the city. Walking it was then. That afternoon, I was meeting some people I’d met the first day in Lund (we’ve named ourselves the Book Club) to hang out and play some games. Before that, there was this Information Fair in the AF building, which was great to see what sports/hobbies we could get involved in. I’m thinking of trying hot yoga… We’ll see. After the game afternoon, I had dinner with two of the guys that were there too; we made some delicious tortilla wraps!
Tuesday consisted out of doing a lot and nothing special at the same time. I got some books, ordered some online, went grocery shopping, and I successfully managed to do my first batch of laundry. I feel like that should be applauded. I also got my bike back, which was awesome, because after only a day without I’d come to realise how important a bike here really is.
Yesterday, I had a walk around town and took some pictures because the weather was just perfect for it. A lovely sunny (and surprisingly warm) day. Later that afternoon I went to this ‘Taste of Sweden’ food fair. It was great to be able to try some Swedish delicacies. Some were tasty, others… not so much. Wednesday night was also the night of the Write-On-Me Party, organised by the Erasmus Student Network here in Lund. The idea is that you go into the party with a white t-shirt and have people write their names, messages, drawings,… on your shirt. It was great!
I’m off to a Treasure Hunt Challenge now, where all the mentor groups compete against each other. Will let you all know how that went!