One day study visit to Gothenburg – Sustainable urban planning

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A couple of weeks ago I went to Gothenburg to learn more about sustainable urban planning and transportation systems as part of the activities the Swedish Institute promotes each semester for the scholarship holders. We started of with a presentation about the expansion and renovation of bicycle lanes around the city and the efforts being made to increase the number of people using bikes as their main transportation. Gothenburg is a spread city, with some hills here and there, but with a well planned network and incentives for acquiring a electric bike, the number of cyclists is increasing. Also, bikes can be used for half the journey, and the city is working to integrate better all different types of transportation. We then had a presentation about the new bridge they are building to connect the two sides of the river, the Hisings Bridge. What impressed me the most about this project was how mindful they were about including the population into the process, marketing the ideia and not only build the bridge, but think about how the city should develop on the other side of the river. We got to walk to the construction site, which by itself was impressive.

In the afternoon, we had lecture about autonomous cars that was very intriguing and brought up discussions about legal frameworks and how a city without drivers would actually work. They are working to put together the world they want to live in and there is already some autonomous cars running as test around the city. It kept me thinking how we must consider from where the resource to built such systems will come from and if it could be accessible to everyone. We ended the day with a ferry trip (it’s for free) and a lecture about the future urban planning plans for the city, they are big!! Because of its history as a important port, Gothenburg is a little tricky when it comes to urban configuration, but feels like the city is being almost rebuilt and setting the bar for sustainable and innovative urban planning practices.

After the program for the day was over I went for a walk around the town with some friends I met there, it was a beautiful sunny day (it rains a lot there so I heard) and we decided to have some drinks, it was a great day! Gothenburg is a beautiful city just 4 hours away from Linköping and it is perfect for short trips.

How the Hisings Bridge will look like:

Resultado de imagem para Hisings Bridge

google images

 

 

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Say hello to Spring

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And so spring it’s here, finally. In just one week I feel everything has changed. Doesn’t even look like in the beginning of April we still had some snow. Now,  different gardens are flourishing and the streets are full of people enjoying the sun. This past weekend I went to the city center Saturday and Sunday to take the most of the good the weather. With temperatures up to 21 celsius degrees, the days were truly warm. Saturday I went to the main square and what a surprise, there were many people eating outside in big structures put together just for summer. There was also a farmers market, that starts now and goes every day until around September. I bought fruits and vegetables at really good prices, now I want to go there every weekend. I took the chance to have lunch siting in a table in the middle of the city, taking the advantage of all that vitamin D.

Sunday I went to the park Trädgårdsföreningen for my friend’s birthday picnic. And in another warm day, we spent the entire afternoon chatting and eating and playing games. The park isn’t that big, but it has a great garden between big trees where people can lay down, there were even girls in their bikinis already!! It’s was the perfect weather, and biking around it’s the best part. One thing though I need to point out, it is just the sun goes down and the temperature goes down with it, so always take a coat even if the day is warm. Here there is also a lot of wind, so mind that when biking after sunset. But anyway, I’m each day more excited for summer.

 

 

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A webinar for more information

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Last Friday I participated in a webinar promoted by LiU for admitted students. During one hour, me and another master student, spoke about different important things for anyone coming to study in Sweden. For the first half a hour we discussed some specific this that every new student needs to know, such as accommodation, programme structure, demands and transportation. In the second half of the webinar we took questions from those watching us, what made the conversation even more informative.

I decided to post the webinar here in my blog since it is a good source of information and in an alternative format. We tried to make it in an informal way so you can not only learn all those things you need to grasp in such a short time, but also understand a little bit how is the feeling of being a student in Linköping through our individual experience. In the webinar we give some tips and clarify the most common doubts. Even if you are still deciding about where to go, it is a nice way to get a closer look on what your life at LiU could be like.

 

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Mini-glossary of Swedish expressions

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When I arrived in Sweden I didn’t even know how Swedish sounded like once I couldn’t find the time to study the language prior to my arrival. Of course you can be ahead and start practicing with one of the many apps available for learning a new language, but it is always nice to know some words and expressions that can help you in your first days. I found this glossary in a flyer about Sweden and thought of sharing with you. Also, you will listen those all the time, so it is nice to start getting used to them. Inside the [] you can have an idea of the pronunciation.

     Hej! [hay] – Hello

     Tjena! [sheh-nah] – Hi (informal)

     Talar du engelska? [tahl-ahr doo ehng-ehl-ska?] – Do you speak English?

     Hur mår du? [hoor moor doo?] – How are you? (neutral)

     Jag mår bra, tack. Och du? [yag moor brah tuck, ock doo?] – I’m fine, thanks. And you?

     Trevligt att träffas [trehv-leet ut trai-fuss] – Pleased to meet you

     Hejdal [hay-daw] – Bye-bye

     God morgon! [good morron] – Good morning

     God natt! [good nut] – Good night

     Tack! [tuck] – Thank you/Please

     Varsågod! [vahr-saw-good] – Here you go/Please/ You’re welcome

     Ursäkta mig! [ooshehk-tah mey] – Excuse me

     Var ligger toaletten? [vahr liggeh twa-lett-en?] – Where is the toilet/restroom?

I also wrote about Swedish courses at Liu here, and there is also the great website if you are looking for where to start https://www.loecsen.com/en/learn-swedish.

Another tip I would give and that works really well for me is to watch some Swedish tv series, you can learn while you listen and it is also quite fun. So, how is your Swedish going?

Imagem relacionadaResultado de imagem para speak swedish

Images: Google
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Taking the bus in Linköping

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This post is to help you understand how the public transportation works in Linköping. For me this was a bit tricky once it is sooo different from my country. First, you cannot pay for your ticket with money and you cannot buy it on the bus. Around the city there are different machines, which are green and named Quickomat, where you can buy a travel card and fill it up with credits. There is a minimum of 100kr when you are filling this card, and the price per ticket valid for 1 hour is 18kr for youth (under 26 years old) and 26kr for adults.

You can also download and use the app of the bus company, named Östgötatrafiken. I think this is the best option since you can buy it anytime. In the app you also have the option of buying a day ticket, and for 36 or 52kr, depending on you age, you can use the transport system as much as you want for 24 hours. (The prices might change from year to year). When in Linköping for the first time, you will probably arrive at the city terminal, called resecentrum. There you can also buy a ticket for the bus in the convenience store, Pressbyrån or at the ticket counter, inside the central station building.

One thing that it was strange for me is that the bus does not have any ticket gate, you just go in and validade your card in one machine close to the driver or in the others around the bus. If you bought the ticket in the app, there will be a screen showing the time you have left to take the bus, and you jus have to show that screen to the bus driver. Yes, just show your phone, the driver will look it really fast and you are good to go. It is great how smooth it is transportation here in Linköping. Very, very different from the caos it is to take a bus in Brazil.

Here are some important bus lines for you as a student:

  •      – Line 12, 20: between the University (Get off/on Mäster Mattias väg) and the central station (Resecentrum)
  •      – Line 2: Resecentrum – city center- Campus US(university hospital) – Lambohov
  •      – Line 4: Resecentrum- city center – Campus US – Police – Campus Valla (get off/on Nobeltorget)-Lambohov
  •      – Line 3: Ryd – City centre – Train Station (Resecentrum)
  •      – Line 10: Train Station (Resecentrum) – Tornby/IKEA
  •      – Line 26: Ryd – IKEA

There are no buses between Ryd and the university, maybe because it is really close. Also, if you are going to the city center just get of in the stop called Stora Torget, and everything is from a walking distance. There is also a bus between the campus in Linköping and the one in Norrköping, it is the line 73, and it is free for student during week days. It takes around 40 minutes to commute.

The app is really good because you can see the timetable for all the buses and also plan your trip, indicating from where you are and where you wanna go. One good tip is to always know the name of the stop you are in or wanting to go to. Buses in Linköping are always on time, and once you get how things work it is really easy to go around.

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