Public transport and travel in Sweden

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Travel by car

I live about 130km from Linköping. Luckily I drive which makes life a lot easier.

By some strange coincidence someone on my course lives only 15km away from me. She also grew up in the village that I now live. We worked this out during the induction week, when she asked where I was staying in Linköping. When I replied, ‘no I live in Mörlunda’, she was amazed. Both of us had not expected anyone else on our course to travel so far.

On average we have lectures and seminars about twice a week. Because we car share it means driving only once a week. The journey takes almost two hours in each direction which makes the days at university quite long. I love my house and I like driving but I think if I had not met someone on my course who lived near by, I would have found the travel hard work.  

If my course had expected attendance everyday I don’t think I could live so far from the university. As well as the time it takes to get to Linköping, fuel is also quite expensive-not much more so than in the UK but the costs add up.

Public transport

When we drive, we talk, this is a great way to go over what we have learned that day in lectures, or to discus the reading we have done at home. It has also been really nice to have the time to get to know each other and for me to pester my friend for information about living in Sweden. Driving to university has many upsides but sometime I have felt like the four hours of travel could be used differently. My friend and I decided for this reason that we should occasionally take the train.

Luckily I don’t live too far from a train station and the town from which I travel is small enough that I feel confident that my car will be safe, even if I leave it all day.

Before coming to Sweden I was told that the public transport was great- cheap and reliable. Since being in Sweden people have said otherwise.  In my experience it is not that cheep but the trains have never been delayed by more than about 10mins- which is a good thing as you worry you might freeze if waiting for any longer in the winter.

I was lucky when I first took the train, that I was traveling with my friend who is Swedish. Tickets can be bought at most stations or on the train, using a bank card (almost all money exchange in Sweden is electronic). If you want to get cheaper tickets, a travel card can be picked up at most ticket offices- I got mine from Linköping train station. The travel card can make fares up to a 1/3 cheaper. My friend did all the talking but most Swedes tend to speak amazing English. (You can always learn some key phrases in Swedish to help with specific transactions- most people seem to quite understanding if you try to speak Swedish- even if you’re not very good, like me).

For travel in Linköping you need an Östergötland län travel card. This is because Linköping is in Östergötland County. I also needed one for Kalmar län because I live in a different country. These cards are like English Oyster cards, you can load them with money at a ticket office and then use them to pay for public transport. They work on both busses and trains.

Getting used to using public transport can be a bit daunting so I would recommend traveling with a friend at first.

Cycling

Everyone in Linköping seems to cycle. The first time I arrived in Linköping I got off the train and was greeted with the sight of a sea of bikes. I think it’s because of all the students. I’m actually quite jealous, if I lived in Linköping I would definitely get one.

I think bikes are quite cheap and there are lots of places to park them at the university and around town. I’d recommend a good lock but other than that cycling seems like a good, simple mode of transport.

 

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Travelling to Sweden

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After applying, being accepted, looking for and buying a house in Sweden, I thought most of the hard work had been done… I was wrong.

My course began at the end of August (much earlier than most course in the UK) so my husband and I decided to move in the beginning of August. We left the UK on the 12th August which was one of the hottest days of the summer.

Feeling full of optimism we took the euro star from Folkstone.  

We sent most of our possession by courier (this was expensive- £2000 but worth it for the amount of thing we wanted to transport) so we packed the car with essentials and our two cats.

 

The journey from the UK to Sweden takes about 3 hours by plane, but by car it takes roughly 16 hours without stops. With stops it takes two days. We stopped in Germany for the first night. The cats were relieved to see the motel- probably relieved to see anything other than the inside of their boxes.

On the first day we had travelled from Britain to France, Belgium, to the Netherlands and then into Germany. On the Second day we travelled through Germany to Denmark,before finally reaching Sweden.

In Denmark the east and west are divided by sea. An 18 km bridge connects the two parts. The Storebælt bridge is stunning. It was a challenge to drive across without staring at the shinning sea and forgetting to concentrate on the road but we made it safely.

The bridge is actually two bridges; one on piles and the other a suspension bridge.

When we reached the end there was a toll collection point. It costs about 35 euro to cross. 

Before crossing into Sweden we reached another bridge: Øresund Bridge. This was also incredible, though not quite so long. This bridge cost about 45 euros.

After crossing the Øresund Bridge we were finally in Sweden. It was not long before the scenery began to change and we felt like we had arrived.

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Applying at LiU and Looking for Accommodation

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Hello. It’s taken me a while to sort out some technical difficulties with my blog but I am now finally ready to get started. I guess I should start at the beginning…

In the UK I was a teacher, teaching in a small primary school in the south east of England. Working with children was great but it was hard. I saw somethings in my work and in my day to day life that made me question the teaching system, political structures and human morality in general. I decided I wanted to investigate these things further so I started reading. The more I read and researched, the more I thought about the practical application of morality: ethics. Eventually, the idea of further study struck me and I soon found that I could apply for a masters course in Applied Ethics at Linköping University.

Applying was surprisingly easy.

If you want to study in Sweden visit ‘university admissions’ https://www.universityadmissions.se

Create an account and follow the steps.

Be prepared to upload digital copies of your qualifications- this was the only part that took a little bit of time.

I applied in January 2018 and by March I knew that I had been accepted onto the Applied Ethics Masters course at Linköping university.

 

The next step for me was finding somewhere to live while studying. One of the university student ambassadors called me once I had accepted my place and asked if they could help me with anything. They were able to pass on my phone number to the international office who gave me some advice on how to find accommodation. This was such a relief as I had no idea how to go about finding accommodation in Sweden.

Two good places to look are:

  • Studentbostäder i Linköping AB
  • accommodation for students @ linköping (facebook page)

There is not a huge amount of student accommodation in Linköping so the earlier you look the better. Studentbostäder has a strange queuing system so sign up as soon as possible- you will be added to a waiting list and when accommodation becomes free, it is offered to the next person on the list.
The international office were so helpful and really put my mind at ease. If you need some questions answered it would probably be a good idea to email the student service desk central.studexp@liu.se. 

 

My husband has always been fascinated by Scandinavian history and loves the landscape in Sweden so he began to investigate living in Sweden and found that houses (compared to the south east of England) are very cheep. We started looking for houses to buy, instead of renting and found a house some way away from Linköping but tucked away in the trees. 

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