ID Card

Posted in: Mixed on 21 March, 2018 by Amelia

0 people like this post.

I’ve received an SMS, (yes, an SMS!) from Skatteverket, the Swedish tax agency – I am invited to go and pick up my new ID card. I’d been getting worried as I applied back in December, but it’s finally ready, so life is about to get easier 🙂

If you are a new international student and would like information on how to obtain a Swedish ID card, you can look here to find advice in several different languages. If you are eligible and can spare the 400 kr, it will help at banks, when collecting mail, when dealing with the authorities, and even when proving your residence abroad. Just make sure that you go to the tax office first thing in the morning to avoid a long wait.


Share:         Share on Twitter       E-mail


A Controversial Topic…

Posted in: Studies on 18 March, 2018 by Amelia

0 people like this post.

I’m just getting ready to write an Ethics essay for which I chose a very controversial topic: is it ethically permissible to require a license to procreate? This is a topic I’ve been highly passionate about for several years, and should have been the topic of my first Master thesis, but my supervisor in Tromsø was very unsupportive, so I ended up looking at the United Nations’ interpretation on reproductive rights. It was… boring, to be honest, because the relevant documents pre-date artificial reproductive technology and recognition of same-sex partnerships as well as non-binary genders, and my supervisor, an anthropologist, strongly tried to twist my arm away from any philosophy at all! I passed, but left frustrated, and upon re-reading the thesis a few months ago, became rather ashamed of what was really quite a superficial and pointless project.

Since graduating from that degree, I’ve thrown myself back into this topic whenever I can, taking a course in Umeå in which I defended abortion from a vegan standpoint, and including reproductive ethics in every single thesis proposal which I wrote at LiU! It will play a huge role in my Gender Studies thesis, but for this essay, I’m choosing a narrower focus: Does the State have a right to interfere in reproductive decisions? Which grounds could or should be used for granting or withholding a license? What could or should happen if laws are broken? Controversial, but fascinating! It addition to reading academic literature, I’ve been watching documentaries on fourteen-year-old parents, fertility treatments for sixty-year-olds, and first cousin marriage, and think it’s finally time I got on with the essay. I expect I’ll receive the feedback that I’m too radical again, as I did when I argued against the breeding of cats, but at least being so passionate about a topic means it does not feel like work!


Share:         Share on Twitter       E-mail

Tags:  - 

A great book, well, books:

Posted in: Recreation on 14 March, 2018 by Amelia

0 people like this post.

I know this might be a bit cliché, but I am currently enjoying one of Sweden‘s best known exports. Well, two actually, if you count the fact that I‘m sat on an Ikea chair, but actually what I was referring to is my book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. This is the first in a trilogy known as Millennium due to the publication on which some of the characters work, and the author delivered the manuscript of the first book only shortly before he died, never getting to see how popular his writing has become. All three novels, published posthumously, are gripping crime thrillers, which I‘ve never been able to put down despite having read several times each, and their bestseller status means that I‘m not alone! I won‘t give away too much of the plot, but generally the books deal with an interconnected web of murder, trafficking, corruption and abuse which stretches from the 1940s to the time of writing… if that‘s your style of story, you probably know these books already, but if not, I highly recommend them.

The Swedish and US-American film adaptations are not quite so brilliant in my opinion, but then again, films rarely live up to their source material… in my book, books come first!


Share:         Share on Twitter       E-mail


Sweden – The Digital Capital

Posted in: Reflections on 11 March, 2018 by Amelia

0 people like this post.

It‘s getting harder and harder to get by without a Smartphone in Sweden, and for international students who cannot obtain a Swedish debit card, that must be difficult to live with too. More and more places, from public toilets unlocked via SMS codes to coffee shops, do not accept cash at all, and even my bank (ICA)‘s employees always seem suprised when I want to deposit notes. Many vending machines now have card readers too, which is convenient to keep track of spending, but a bit unfair on those who have high card fees.

Luckily I have both a Swedish debit card and a credit card with no conversion fees within the EU, but I still get hit with fees as I need to receive money via a bank transfer or PayPal, rather than Circle or Swish, the ever more common payment systems which use Smartphone Apps. Then there‘s the issue of BankID, the legitimation service which enables those with a national ID number to receive early tax refunds, communicate legal changes of address, and open bank accounts without ever speaking to another physical human being… except my bank has changed to offering Mobile BankID only, so I‘m stuck! See as I work online from home, I‘d always be on duty if I had a Smartphone, and to be honest I prefer not to be at everyone‘s beck-and-call 24 hours per day; I‘m the younger end of the last generation to remember life without mobiles at all, and I‘ve never really adjusted, indeed with the exception of my mother-in-law I‘m the worst person I know for checking my messages. E-mail is ok, as that‘s work, but SMS etiquette, costs and abbreviations are completely beyond me…

Is it time to compromise? Do I need to become more digitally literate in order to fully participate in society? Maybe… but I think I can hold out for a few months yet!

If you aren‘t as stubborn as me – bring a Smartphone to Sweden. You‘re life will be more straightforward for sure!


Share:         Share on Twitter       E-mail

Tags:  -  - 


Posted in: Activism, Food on 7 March, 2018 by Amelia

1 people like this post.

One advantage about working in the animal rights field is that I get to hear about many upcoming vegetarian and vegan festivals, and I‘m happy to say that there are a few large scale events taking place in Sweden this year:

Vegovision Gothenburg – 7th April

Vegovision Umeå – 5th May

Vegovision Stockholm – 3-4th November

These festivals offer not only the chance to taste great plant-based food, watch cooking demonstrations and find out about local restaurants, but they are great places to connect with other activists, sign up to mailing lists and petitions, and shop for animal rights literature and apparel. Whether you are interested in nutrition, ethics, the environment, or all of these, I really recommend these events, and I‘m disappointed that I probably won‘t make the first one… see you in Umeå? 🙂


Share:         Share on Twitter       E-mail

Tags:  - 

Amelia Gackowska

Amelia Gackowska
Hej, my name is Amelia and I recently moved to Linköping to study the Master programme in Applied Ethics, as I thought it was about time to study the theories behind my activism!

When I am not studying you can find me teaching ballroom dancing, learning Swedish, up-cycling whatever I can find, or getting carried away debating politics into the early hours.

MA in Applied Ethics

Search the blog



Tag cloud

animal rights campus culture friendship housing Linköping city Nature philosophy politics programme schedule social student life technology Travel university work



  Share on Twitter     E-mail


Detta är en personlig webbsida och information framförd här representerar inte Linköpings universitet. Se även Policy för www-publicering vid Linköpings universitet.

This is a personal www page. Opinions expressed here do not represent the official views of Linköpings universitet. Please refer to Linköpings universitets wwwpolicy.

Amelia's blog is powered by WordPress