My New Favorite Spot at Campus Norrköping

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When I first toured campus Norrköping at the start of my studies, I always appreciated the incredible study spots throughout the campus. In Kåkenhus, the main building in Norrköping, there are great areas to sit and work that give you a view of the rushing water in Motala Ström and the ability to hear the falls. When you’ve exhausted yourself studying for an exam or reading class literature, the sound and view of the water helps ease your mind and refresh.

One downside to my first semester; however, was that my laptop had crashed and I was restricted to working within the engineering computer labs in Täppan, the building opposite to Kåkenhus. These computer labs contain all of the necessary analytical software needed for the ITS program, and they are open until 23:00 if you need a place to focus and get work done. I have a majority of my classes in Täppan, and overall I am so grateful for the ability to complete my assignments without a working computer, but I really missed out on the nice views that the rest of the campus has to offer.

After returning back from the break I purchased a new laptop, and now it feels as if I am rediscovering the whole university all over again! With my new found mobility to study throughout the campus, I have found one spot particularly nice – sitting on the blue booth tables on the lower floor in Kåkenhus.

In this study area, there are 5 booths with tables that make you feel secluded and in your own space. You have enough room to layout everything you need to study, and anytime you need a break from your studies, you can let your mind wander by watching the water flow past the university and underneath the Kungsgatan bridge. If you want to snag a spot, I recommend going and getting a table early, as this really is a favorite place to study on campus (and for good reason)! Plus, the the best views of a wintertime Swedish sunrise can be found here.


“Self-Study” in Sweden

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One thing that I have found to be different at Linköping University versus studying at an American university is the difference in the way the semester is setup. Each semester is divided into two periods, that act almost as half courses for the semester. In regards to the autumn semester, the first period ends right around the middle of October with an exam week, and the second period ends in January with an exam week right after we have “Self-Study”.

This Self-Study period lasts from about mid-December to mid-January as a break from the academic year. I used this time to go back to the US and celebrate Christmas and New Years with my family, but I really should have brought my textbooks with me to prepare for the exam I had this week. In the US, I was used to ending my studies prior to the start of the Holidays, and adjusting to this studying/exam period now in January has been quite the experience.

I returned back from the holidays 6 days before my Optimization exam, and spent the whole week cramming in preparation. I found myself tripping over some of the most basic concepts of the course, because it had been so long since I had last looked at the material. After having the exam today, I can assure you that the next holiday break, I will be taking my textbooks with me.

Don’t underestimate the second exam week of the autumn semester! From talking to others, I can assure you that I’m not the only one caught off guard.