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New Semester, New Students and a New Welcome Programme

NEWS: September 16, 2019

During the start of each semester, a big part of Welcome Services’ work consists of making sure that arriving international students get all the help they need during their first few days in Gothenburg. Knowing that the initial days sometimes can be a bit overwhelming, Welcome Services arrange the Welcome Programme at the start of every term.

Studying abroad is a rewarding experience. There are, however, many things to take into consideration before one embarks on a journey to a new university in a foreign country. Among other things, you need to find housing, make travel arrangements and make sure you know how to find your faculty when your classes start. Depending on where you travel from, you might also have to arrange a visa prior to embarking on your journey from your home country. When you finally arrive, it is understandable if you are a little tired, a little stressed and maybe in need of a little help to make it through the first couple of days without missing anything important. Welcome Services at the University of Gothenburg arrange the Welcome Programme every semester for this very reason. When international students started arriving for the fall semester they worked hard making sure that everyone had the best possible arrival and first impression of Gothenburg, as well as the university.

Welcome Packs, Fika and Keys

The first part of the Welcome Programme was the Arrival Day, a twofold event. During August 24 and August 27, about 1000 students arrived in Gothenburg from all over the world to attend the University of Gothenburg. They were picked up at the airport, the train station and the ferry terminal and shuttled to either SGS Student Housing’s offices or Welcome Services’ offices. There the students could pick up their Welcome Packs, and those who are going to be living in students housing during their time in Gothenburg could pick up their keys. The Welcome Pack is full of useful things to help the students make their way in Gothenburg. Among other things, it contains a Swedish SIM card, a map of the city as well as information about the University of Gothenburg.

This also served as an opportunity for the students to mingle with one another, enjoy some “fika” and ask any questions that they might have had to either the attending student guides or representatives from Welcome Services. After collecting their Welcome Packs and their keys, the students who had gotten student accommodations were shuttled to their respective addresses.

“Here we have people from all over the world!”

However, a smooth arrival is of course only a small part of acclimatizing to life in a new city. Hence, the next part of the Welcome Programme took place on 28 August in the form of the Welcome Day, which serves as an introduction to living and studying in Gothenburg. It took place in the auditorium of the university’s main building by Vasaparken. During the event, different speakers talked to the newly arrived students about the University of Gothenburg, the university’s online student portal, student unions, Swedes, Swedish culture, and much more. In his opening speech, Nils Nävert from Welcome Services spoke of studying abroad as a great way to broaden one’s horizon and how studying in Gothenburg allows you to get to know people across borders, and not only Swedes.
“Here we have people from all over the world!”

The Welcome Day also gave the students an opportunity to ask any questions they might have. The event was concluded with a panel discussion were seasoned international students shared their experiences of coming to Gothenburg and answered queries about, amongst other things, learning Swedish, food and dealing with the climate during the winter in Gothenburg.

The last part off the Welcome Program took place the following day, on August 29, in the form of the Welcome Fair. Students got the chance to fraternize with representatives from the student unions, student organisations, different faculties and departments at the university, the University Library, the Student Chaplains, and more. One student who attended the fair was Ophelia Fu, who had travelled from Shanghai to Gothenburg in order to attain a master’s degree in strategic human resource management and labour relations. She enjoyed the fair but found it a little short.
“It was a really good fair, but I wish I could have stayed a little longer.”

An official Welcome Reception will also be held on October 3 at the Clarion Hotel Post at Drottningtorget.

BY: JOACIM SCHMIDT

Page Manager: Welcome Services|Last update: 9/16/2019
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