Hörsalen grand opening

Posted in: Activities, Concerts, Norrköping on 28 April, 2017 by Alexandra Koptyaeva

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Last week, I and my friends went on the opening of the Hörsalen, which is located in the city center of Norrköping. This place was used for different public events (e.g. classical concerts) but then was closed for 7 years for the reconstruction. On Saturday, 22nd of April, we were lucky to be among the first visitors who saw it for the first time after such a long period. During four hours, the visitors were invited to join the cultural program with a city choir and orchestra that were singing traditional Swedish songs and playing beautiful classical music.

We were able to come only for the last part, which included choir and short dance program by 

Nrkpg horsalen


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Post-Brexit simulation model

Posted in: Studies on 26 April, 2017 by Alexandra Koptyaeva

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In the end of March, I was accepted to the school in political science that took place in Athens. Technically, it wasn’t really a school, but a simulation model of the European Union, which means that each participant was assigned a role of a Commissioner or a Council. The topic of this 4-days model was “post-Brexit prospects“: what is going to be with Britain in the nearest future, when the Article 50 will be triggered (keep in mind that by the time we discussed it, Theresa May didn’t start the process, as it happened when our school was finished).

Since I am interested in this topic from the perspective of the free movement of people – what will happen to the EU citizens who used to come to the UK to work or are currently working there, and what should British citizens do who reside in other countries now – I get a role of the Commissioner on ‘Migration, Citizenship, and Home Affairs‘. Before coming to Athens, I read enormous amount articles and newspapers discussing this topic from different perspectives: should the free movement be stopped, or not; what will be the consequences for the British economy, and so on. Honestly, I have always been so far from political science, so it took more time for me to understand all the debates.

How was it when the school finally started? It was boring! I don’t’ want to sound rude, but for me, it was so boring, so I quit after 2 days of these political debates. First, I should mention that there were around 50 participants, and only 4-5 of them were not from Greece (including me), which means that during the breaks people used to talk mostly in Greek with each other. I felt left over, and the last drop was when the organizers started talking in Greek during the model because it was ‘easier and faster’. For sure, it was but what was the point to organize the school in English in the first place then? I was quite upset with it because (1) I didn’t learn anything new at all, which means that (2) I wasted my time. So, I think I am done with simulation models: no more for me, thanks.



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Student accommodation: Q&A (2)

Posted in: Campus Norrköping, Dormitory, Kitchen, Laundry room, Student accommodation, Studentbo in Norrköping on 22 April, 2017 by Alexandra Koptyaeva

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In this second part, which is a continuation of my previous post, I will discuss another practical aspect: what you should bring with you to the dorm in the first place. For some of you these might be very basic things but at least it can serve as a good reminder and checklist. However, please keep in mind that I live in Dalkharen (Norrköping) where all the basic things are included in the rent; if you are considering renting the room in another place, some information provided here might be slightly different for other places.

First, what is included in the rent in Dalkharen, and what you might expect to find if you move to the furnitured room there? Electricity, heat, water, Internet and light is included BUT there is no light in the ceiling in the living room – it’s kinda weird, but you will have to buy bulbs yourself. In my room, I have a bed, cupboard, desk and chair, fridge, and bathroom (shower and WC). So, I only share the kitchen with 7 other people.

  1. Bring your own blanket, pillow, and linens. If your room is with a furniture, then you will have the bed (for sure), but keep in mind that you need to bring the rest yourself. You might think about buying these things in IKEA here BUT! it’s in Linkoping (another city), and other shops here have short opening hours.
  2. Wanna have a free Internet access? In Dalkharen it is included in the rent BUT you need to bring your own cable or router. I didn’t know about it myself when I came here, so in the first day I had to go to Clas Ohlson – it’s a big shop in the city center, where you can find many useful things for a home for comparatively low prices. There is no internet in the corridor or kitchen either, as you might hope.
  3. There are no hairdryers, no vacuum cleaners and other kinds of stuff for cleaning. This probably won’t bother you in the first few days, since when you move in your room should be clean (it’s one of the conditions – when someone moves out, he should clean the room) but it might be dusty because those who move out usually do it in June.
  4. Bring some plates if you want to eat and pans if you are planning to start cooking once you move in. It might sound weird, and I had only my own cup with me but the truth is that in many dorms kitchens are empty. I was lucky because in my place we have everything left from previous tenants (so we share frying pans, spoons, knives and forks, cups, etc.) but of course, some of these things are too old or broken.
  5. If you are a tea drinker, you might need to buy/bring your own kettle. Again, in my place, we have three of them left by someone but only one of them is working by now. You can buy your own kettle in Clas Ohlson, it’s actually not that expensive – the average price is 300 SEK (30 Euros). More about the kitchen and laundry room you can read here.
  6. Even in the laundry room, there is no iron (there is only an iron desk but it’s pretty dirty, to be honest). Some people might have it (I needed it here only twice, and I knew the right person) but if you know in advance that you often will need it, then you should keep in mind the fact that it’s absent here. Hint: the laundry is not free, you will have to pay 7 SEK per wash (the use of dryers is included).
  7. The last thing that I came up with here, is that there will be no trash can in your room when you move in. The weird (in my opinion) rule by StudentBo is that when you move out, you need to take all the stuff that you bought during these years, and whether get rid of them or take them with you. Anyway, you are not allowed to leave anything in the room except furniture that was there from the very beginning.

I think, this is it by now (at least this is all that I remember I didn’t have or forgot to bring with me). If you have more questions regarding what you will have in your room when you move in, do not hesitate to leave your comments here or contact me via Facebook.


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Student accommodation: Q&A (1)

Posted in: Dormitory, Linköping University, Norrköping, Queue points, Student accommodation, Studentbo in Norrköping on 21 April, 2017 by Alexandra Koptyaeva

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Hey, folks! In this and the next post, I will try to answer the main questions that I received from you regarding accommodation. First, congratulations again to all of you, future LiU students! Hopefully, we will see each other very soon so I will be able to say it personally. Anyway, here I will talk about questions that are directly related to the dormitory: how and where to register, which dorm to choose, and how to pay the rent.

  1. Registration. If you haven’t done it yet, you should do it right now. Don’t wait until the last minute, you might not get anything at all otherwise! It’s not a joke, housing is a big issue in Sweden, and there were some cases when students had to live in the university while waiting for the free rooms. There are many different pages where you can do it: (1) for Norrköping: StudentBo and Hyresboståder; (2) for Linköping: Studentbostader, ByggVesta, and Stångåstaden. Alternative housing option for both cities: KOMBO. If you don’t have a Swedish number, you still can register by simply choosing ‘no’ in a registration form. I wrote about queue system here, check it too.
  2. Contract – part I. Once you register, you need to pay the deposit first – otherwise, your application for any room won’t be considered as valid. Confusing moment: there are two different companies on one page (I’m talking about StudentBo in Norrköping now), and you need to contact them if you don’t want to live in a dorm. However, living in a dorm might be much cheaper here, since many things are not included in the apartment rent (e.g. water, the Internet).
  3. Contract – part II. Some rent contracts say that you don’t need to pay a rent during summer. It is true, but it only applies to those who lived in a dorm during the year and will be staying there next year, too. It doesn’t work for new tenants! I mean, if you will sign a contract with Studentbo this summer, you will have to pay. So, be sure to sign the contract that starts from August (if you are moving in in August).
  4. Contract – part III. According to the contract, you should pay the rent and deposit in Swedish Krona. However, if it doesn’t really work for you, you can ask for another bank account details where you can transfer your payment in Euro (it’s hidden in many web pages about housing, you should contact them personally).
  5. Important tip: if you will move in at the end of August (the studies will start around 20th of August), you can politely ask to make your contract from the day you move in, so you won’t have to pay for the whole month. Make sure to do it in advance & don’t forget that you need to pay (1) deposit and (2) rent before you come here. They don’t take cash, bank transfers only!

Finally, where and which dorm to choose? I would recommend to those admitted to my MA, which is located in Norrköping, to choose the dorm there, not in Linköping. While searching for rooms, carefully read what is included in the rent – some rooms are without furniture, some places have shared bathrooms and kitchens, some have only shared kitchens. In Dalkarlen (the place where I live), I share only the kitchen and there is the fridge in my room! This is the only dorm where you will have your own fridge but it might be not that important for you (but I’m honestly very happy that I don’t have to share it with anyone).

If you have more question regarding this topic, do not hesitate to leave your comments here or contact me via Facebook.


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Påsk in Sweden

Posted in: Activities, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, Sweden, Swedish food on 17 April, 2017 by Alexandra Koptyaeva

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On Sunday, Swedes, and thousands of people around the globe celebrated Easter. Since I live in a student dormitory, I didn’t have a lot of options how to do it. I mean, I wasn’t even thinking to color the eggs, for instance, because I knew that I won’t eat all of them myself. Anyway, somehow I managed to celebrate this even in a non-traditional way twice: first, we did it with members of Ett Norrköping för alla, and then I did it with the friend of mine. Easter is the first extended weekend of the spring, and for many students, this means that they can go home to see their parents – my floor in the dorm became quiet and empty for a couple of days (and I was really happy about it, to be honest). As I was told, the members of the family arrive from near and far – the aim is to gather as many relatives as possible. However, it also means that a lot of places are closed or have shorter opening hours. Here I want to describe the Swedish Easter traditions: what do people do during this time, which food do they cook and eat, and so on.

While in other countries (e.g. Russia) Easter is specifically a religious holiday, it has become a secular one in Sweden. First, what you might notice during the Easter time, are the giant beautifully painted paper eggs (Påskägg) crammed with candies – by ‘giant’ I mean that they are really enormously big. Many of the practices associated with Easter have religious origins, but this is not something that bothers Swedes much. They eat colored eggs during this time because they use to eat eggs on the daily basis − not because they have just completed a fast. A traditional Easter lunch is likely to consist of different varieties of pickled herring, cured salmon and Jansson’s Temptation (potato, onion and pickled anchovies baked in cream).

What I noticed in my city, is the dominance of the yellow color in the streets during this time. When I asked someone about its meaning, turned out that Swedes like to decorate their house and public places for Easter by putting birch twigs in a vase with artificial feathers in garish colors and hanging little eggs off the twigs. Yellow is especially popular but there is no clear explanation behind it. Well, this is basically the main things that you need to know about this event, in order to feel comfortable here 🙂

Easter Nrkpg Glad påsk! I hope you had a good Easter this year!


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Alexandra Koptyaeva

Alexandra Koptyaeva
My name is Alexandra, and I am from the cultural capital of Russia St. Petersburg.
I am a first-year Master student on a new program called Ethnic and Migration Studies, which is located in Campus Norrköping. I am studying sociology of migration for almost four years, and during this MA program I hope to deepen my knowledge in this sphere and gain new experience.
I have never lived in Europe for such a long period before, and I am so excited about it!

MA Ethnic and Migration Studies

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