Last week was amazing! I don’t think I have ever had more fun and bonding time with my corridor-mates, as well as people from my nation.
I live on a corridor with 11 other people and we share a kitchen together. There are 4 other international students, and the rest are Swedish. Last week we decided to have a corridor dinner so that we could get to know each other and to discuss some corridor rules. This was truly an amazing idea! We all got together, cooked, and then had a nice meal. The best thing about the corridor dinner is that you get to know people in a way you can’t in class or at fika. Everyone is so much more relaxed and there is a sort of positive vibe around them. It was fascinating to see how none of us study the same thing or have classes together (we even have few Master students), but we all get along really well. Student life in a residence here is very different than at UR, since the residence halls are not specific to any grade, group, major, or area of interest. It would seem like all of the residents would be more disconnected as a result, however that is not the case. Sharing a kitchen and a corridor makes us more likely to hang out and to spend time together. I really enjoy this part of being an Uppsala student. And all of my corridor-mates are really great, which makes it all so much better!
The big part of my week was the Reccegasque I was so excited about. On Friday, we all got ready, dressed in cocktail dresses and suits and all gathered at our respective nations (each of the 13 nations had a Reccegasque at the same time). Uppsala never looked so fancy! We were very lucky to have clear skies and no rain (it rained in the morning). First we gathered at Värmlands Nation (my nation) and then we walked over to the University Main Building. There was a senior member of the nation who carried the nation’s flag and we followed him in a line. This entire ritual made me feel like a part of something bigger. The sense of community is on a really high level here. When we got to the University Main Building (which is conveniently 2 minutes away from our Nation’s house) other nations’ members were also gathering on a patio in front of the building. After about 10 minutes of waiting and chatting with people standing around me, new nation members, lead by the flag bearer, started entering the building. We were seated in the Great Hall where we had the reception for international students. The program was amazing. We had representatives from the University and Student Union speak, and there was also an entertainment program. It all looked very majestic, especially with the classical music playing while the flag bearers entered the Hall. The weird thing was that most of the speeches were held in Swedish and I, along with all other international students, didn’t understand much. Luckily we had some Swedes around willing to help us. It was funny that there was an a capella group singing, and they performed “Levels” by Avicii. Does it get any more Swedish than this? 😀
After the program in the University Main Building we headed back to our Nations. There we had a looooooong dinner (5.30-10.30pm). The food was amazing (we had typical Swedish food like salmon and potatoes). Of course we sang a lot and heard a lot of speeches. There were also a few short performances by the Värmlands’ drama club and choir. The funniest thing for me was when we had to make a hat out of napkins, put them on our heads, sing a song, and then wave with the napkin after the song. For the last song of the night we had to get up on our chairs and sing. If, after the song, you sit down on your chair you will fail your exams. So we all stood a bit until the dinner was officially over. After the dinner we had an after-party in Värmlands’ own club “State of Mind” that was open to every student (not only the students who attended the Reccegasque). I really enjoyed the Gasque and I can’t wait for the next one (which is in October!). This is a great way to learn more about traditions, have a very formal dinner, and meet new people (the nation arranges the seating so you are almost never sitting next to your friends. I was lucky and had amazing table neighbors).
Uppsala is a place where you can experience so much and I am more and more sure of this every week. 🙂