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So, why on earth would you want to know anything about a tiny city in the very south of Sweden? Simply because Lund is not just one of the oldest cities in Sweden, it is home to the largest university in Sweden – Lund university. A few years back, right after graduating from a university in Klaipeda, Lithuania, I had a chance to experience the studying and living in Lund Sweden. It has truly been one of the most magical periods of my life, you know, the student life. And most of it is thanks to the amazing student town of Lund, Sweden.
Every year this city attracts international visitors from all over the world, who come here to study. In fact, students make up nearly half of the city population!
This magical student city could be the new Hogwarts for hipsters. Busy from autumn through spring, when students are here for their studies and dead-quiet in the summer, it holds that charm to it which is mostly filled by population – drunken, funny, cheerful, smart, trendy students from all over the world. Lund, being quite small, has some great hang out places for youth. As one of the university’s alumni, I am offering you a guide to studying and living in Lund Sweden.
Where to hang out in Lund?
1. Old town
The old town gives away it’s real age, still having the stone paved roads and colorful little houses decorated by roses. It won’t take you long to take a walk all around the old town of Lund.Best time to see old town in its full glory is of course summer when roses are in bloom. But in order to feel the full spirit of student city, I recommend visiting before all of them vanish for holidays – some time in May or beginning of June.
2. Botanical garden
Botanic garden in Lund is not only a place to learn more about different sorts of plants but a spot for getting a tan in the summertime, hanging out with friends or gathering for a school project.
Student social clubs called ‘nations’ are unique Swedish student organizations which are the main drive of students’ extracurricular activities. Each nation has its own spirit: some are music oriented, some are heavy in sports. Main activities, such as culture nights, parties, discos and stand-up comedy happen in nation’s headquarters and are organized by volunteering students. Nations is where all the wild things happen. You don’t have to be a student to get in to one of these events, you’ll just have to pay the higher entrance fee.
4. Lund Library
It sounds way far from a cool spot to hang out for some people. But it’s not if library looks anything like Lund University library.
Secret cool spots around Lund
Living in Lund is not only bound to the city itself, having plenty of time on your hands as a student, you are simply obliged to visit the surroundings. Here are some spots I really fell in love with.
Okay, Lomma is not a secret for anyone studying in Lund. It is the nearest beach and a nirvana place in the summertime. With perfect white sand which still allows flowers to grow on top of it, it could be a first class resort, if only it was warm in Sweden.
The so-called Dalby lake is nothing more than a stone quarry that has been closed and got flooded with water. So, now this is a place with a beautiful clean lake perfect for swimming, bathing and jumping off the remaining stones.
Varpinge is a perfect place to take postcard pictures. A little stream hugged by green grass on the sides with windmills on the background creates a perfect view. It is also an extremely pleasant place to stay and do some homework.
Bjarred is a small town on the coastline making it a perfect resort spot in the summertime. The best thing about it is an awesome open air sauna situated 500m into the sea.
In order to find how to get to all these awesome places, I advise you to use Skanetrafiken website, where you can construct your travel route by simply putting in the departure and destination points.
Studying and living in Lund
Lund University is a big school, which ranks among the 100 top universities in the world covering everything from science and engineering to arts and aviation. The Admission process is very centralized, you have to apply through a central application portal: University Admissions that sends your application to the universities of your choice. This way you have the chance to apply to several Swedish universities at once, making only one application.So, let me paint the picture of Lund student life for you. When I was doing my Master’s degree in Sweden, it was the last year when anyone could study in Sweden for free. And by anyone, I mean absolutely anyone who gets accepted into the program. Since 2012, this is only the case for students from the EU. However, Lund is still highly international university with students from all over the world.
Living in Lund – housing
As you might have guessed, housing question is a tough one in Lund due to the high demand, however, if you are lucky you can be offered student housing by the university. Living in international student corridor of Sparta, where I have ended up, is not only one of the cheapest options but is also a great experience, since it connects people from all over the world by having a common kitchen and bathroom 🙂
But LUACC offers different types of housing, if the shared bathrooms is not your thing 😉
- A corridor room, where you get a room and share kitchen, bathroom and shower with rest of students (Available at Biskopsgatan, Margaretavägen, Sparta International and Spoletorp North)
- A corridor room with WC, where you share kitchen and shower with others (at Michael Hansen)
- A corridor room with own WC and shower, where only kitchen is shared with others (available at Eddan, Spoletorp South and Olympia (Helsingborg)
- A twin room with own WC, shower and kitchenette, if you request to reside together with another student (small availability at Klostergården Student house, Furutorpsgatan and Södergatan and Folkets Park)
- Studio apartment with WC, shower and kitchenette. (Available at Folkets Park, Furutorpsgatan, Klostergården Student House, Eddan and Östra Torn)
- One bedroom apartment with WC, shower and kitchen (at Klostergården Student House and Sofieberg)
- Room in 2-bedroom apartment, which is shared with another roommate (at Bautastenen, Sofieberg and Östra Torn)
- Room in 5-bedroom apartment with living room, WC, shower and kitchen, shared with another 4 tenants (Klostergården)
Of course, the higher your requirements, the higher the rent rate.
Housing areas are spread all over the city, which serves as a university campus. When selecting an area to live in Lund, the best operating principal should be the proximity to your study campus. Then, if that is not an option, just go for anything available. Many people end up communting from Malmo, which is just 20 minute train ride away.
As for the studies itself, expect little lectures and a lot of group work and self-study. An interesting part about studying in Lund is that you have a lot of free time on your hands, that’s right, a lot! I had only 3-4 classes a week, with plenty of group work tasks done outside of class, making your student life very flexible. Waking up at 10 AM, going to the gym, then starting your business. Oh yeah, and the gym! You definitely have to register with Gerdahallen, this gym has massive discounts for students from Lund University and some of the best fitness classes I have ever attended, afro-dance and yoga being my favorites. A lot of students use their free time to supplement their income by working (if your visa allows it) or to volunteer at a nation in order to meet people.
If you are used to being very involved in the school, studies at Lund University might feel a bit boring. Of course, this depends on your subject. But mine, being Masters in Accounting and Management Controls was a lot of water. Like I said, a big focus on self-studying, reading articles, and group work. My corridor neighbor, who majored in Literature, had only one class a week, so she was bored most of the time. Another neighbor did her Masters in Finance and she spent a lot of time behind a book. So, choose your major and courses carefully.
To me, Lund became another home, a place where I would always be glad to come back to and where each street reminds of some good student times, be it partying, studying, shopping or hanging out with friends. But the most important part is, when you live a piece of your life in the foreign city, you are bound to find a new family.
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What is living in Lund, Sweden like for you? Do you wish to apply? Do you know any other cool secret spots in or around Lund? Share them with us in comments below!
Thank you for a great description of Lund and its surroundings. As a native Lundabo and former student at the Lund University I can only agree with your recommendations.
Thanks for your comment, Axel! I’ve only lived there for a year, but Lund became like home to me. Love to come back every time.
Lena, your article made me feel so nostalgic, and started to miss Lund. My fav place is Bjärred, I think it’s magical… thank you for making me remember the good times. Hugs
I am so happy that this article awoke some warm feelings in you. I wrote about it for the same reason – I felt so nostalgic 🙂
Thank You. Comprehensive, compact and detailed, loved it. Feeling nostalgic, recalling those old joyful days, would love to visit and stay again in Lund 🙂
I think Lund simply has that affect on people, since everyone feels so nostalgic about it…haha.
I’d like to live there for a long time. And of cos Lomma is a cool place for relaxing and comfort beeing :]
You mean, in Lund? It’s fun a place to be as a student. I am not sure if it is fun to live there afterwards. But who knows:)
In my 10 years of study in Lund never have seen a drunken student in the streets.
Tareq, you must be joking… haven’t you been on the streets during student initiations in end August – beginning September? or maybe you simply hang out with a better crowd than I did when I lived there 🙂
Anyhow, cheers to the fellow Lundmate! Hope you are still enjoying it after 10 years.
Would you recommend to an international student to stay in Lund and work there for life? Are there good job opportunities in Lund?
Quite a few people stay in the area after they are done studying in Lund University. In Lund itself some of my international friends stayed to work for Tetra Pak or E-On.
Now with Ikea moving their headquarter to Malmo, there will be even more work that doesn’t require the knowledge of Swedish. Many people choose to go across the border and settle in a bigger Copenhagen, which is how I ended up living here 🙂
Thank you, Lena, for such a colorful and inspirational post (frankly, it gave me so many ideas for stories and drawings… you wouldn’t know! ). It seems so nice out there and alongside others’ questions related, I wanted to ask you for some infos, quite similar request, I see, with Nika’s one, about international studentship and blending-in the sweedish (and international) community there.
Currently, I live in Romania and as I’m passing through high-school, I’m thinking about following my, I guess, dreams. I’ve always wanted to learn how our minds work and how our behavior is becoming (from something unexplained to…) a reaction of some events happening in our body; I’ve always wanted to live far away from these lands, somewhere the air is cooler, the people are cooler, but typical, where the entire life surrounding would fit me better, right? But, when I found out about Lund, about a year ago, from a neighbor who’s daughter lives in Sweden, I started worrying.
I’m worried about my dreams collapsing, right? About me ending up the same as my friends who just wasted time on crappy things all the time, while I was in-door, thinking, writing, drawing, reading a.s.o.
What is that I request, Lena, is for you try and giving me some tips. I tried to comprehend by myself the whole bunch of info describing the university, the life in Swe, the process of blending-in, and I’m not so sure I would be able to fight my way through it. The thing is, I’m quite scared, and I’m quite new to this feeling ?.
Nitu, thanks for your words, I am happy that I was able to inspire you.
Your post really moved me, I mean, it sounds like you are a dreamer and really want to travel, am I right? Do not let anything stop you from discovering the world. The way I look at it – you can always come back if things do not work out.
Sweden might not be perfect for everybody, just like every country out there, but this is a good place to start. You’ll meet tolerant open-minded people, and besides, it is always easier in student communities because everyone is still young.
If you do go, be sure to get a space in a dorm, it is so much more fun to be around people than live separately.
Just a note – don’t be afraid. We are all learning via our mistakes, but the ones we regret the most are the ones we do not do.
Hi Lena, thank you for your description of how it is like living in Lund! I’m currently thinking about doing my Erasmus exchange in Lund, but I’m a little afraid… How are people in Sweden and in Lund? Because I’m a very shy and social axcious person, and this is what makes me doubt whether an exchange is something for me or not. I’m someone with a lot of interest in people and in social policy and equity, that’s why I think Sweden would be a great destination, because of it’s welfare state, but yeah,I’m just a little afraid, I don’t want to end up alone there… I hope there are more peolple like me, who also are more quite and serious, I’m not really a party-girl.
Nothing to be afraid of. Swedes themselves are a little bit reserved as well, so usually all the partying comes from international students 😀 I highly encourage you to come. Since there are so many students coming, there is place for everybody. I didn’t party a lot at all, but having outgoing international people around me helped me to get into social circles.If you want peace and quiet, you can easily just hang out in a pretty library or do the study groups. I am sure you’ll love it in Lund!
Hi, im all the way from Bahamas and i happened to stumble upon your blog ( which is absolutely amazing). As an international student aswell as a person of colour, do you think that sweden has an prejudice towards people with different skin colours and nationalities outside the EU.
Havana, welcome to the blog and thank you for your comment.
Sweden is like the most liberal place there is in Europe, so you have absolutely nothing to worry about, especially with regards to your skin color. They have a very open immigration policy so the Swedish population already has it’s share of citizens who do not look like typical Swedes. The people I lived with in the dorm literally came from all over the world, including Jamaica, China, Thailand, England, Canada, Australia and Jordan, and everybody was absolutely fine 🙂 On top of that, it is also one of the safest countries in Europe! I hope you make it to Sweden and I am sure you will love it there.
Hello Lena, thank you for your amazing description of Lund, it makes me want to go there!
I am from Portugal and I really want to move to Sweden, because everything I read about it makes me think that it’s the perfect place for me. However, I don’t have a lot of money. Is it hard to get accepted to study for free in Lund? And what about the student housing, is it expensive?
Tack sa mycket for your amazing post 🙂
Hi Andre, as far as I know, studying in Sweden is still free for people from EU, so all you need is to get accepted to the program you wish to study. Just read their requirements and send the documents they need. For me it seemed easy, I do not recall them requesting a lot of documents apart from school transcripts. But yet, I got rejected in other universities in Sweden. My advice, apply to as many as you can at once and go to whichever one accepts you 🙂
When it comes to housing, make sure to apply for it as soon as you get accepted. The cheapest student accommodation in Lund used to cost 200 EUR per month. I expect it to be more expensive now.
Best of luck to you!
I have got selected to LUND UNIVERSITY, how about living their, which area is good for home stay………… also any information about LUND UNIVERSITY regarding research…………….
Congratulations!!! I think you should start with the official Lund University site, they have a lot of valuable info https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/student-life/housing
Thanks for such a ice description about the town, As I have got admit from Lund University so just wanted to know what all to expect before going there. Also if you could just help and give me your view on how’s the job market there for international electronics engineering students, it would be really helpful for me.. 🙂
Divya, I cannot comment on the job market specifically for your segment, but in general, as a student you get a work permit as well. And those students that really tried, succeeded in scoring internships during their studies, which subsequently helped them to stay. But I can only speak for economics students.
Hello Lena, my name is Carla and I am from Ecuador. I will be studying a master in lund university this autumn and I will like to ask you, which neighborhoods do you recommend for a international student to live that are safe but also where more international students live? Because I think I will not get used to share bathroom with other people, especially having to take a shower in the winter in a shared bathroom haha. Therefore, besides the place you recommend which others, do you think are a good option? thank you in advance and i just found your blog but i really liked 🙂
Hello Carla, sorry I scared you with a common shower 😉 But Lund University provides all sorts of accommodation and there are options to get personal rooms with WC and showers (in Eddan, Spoletorp South) or maybe even an apartment. Sparta is just the cheapest option. So, I would suggest you to study their website Lund University Accommodations and probably choose something that is the closest to your campus. Even if it is far, Lund is a small city and transportation is always good.