LiU Campus Valla

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Linköping University has three different campuses. Campus Valla, Campus US, and Campus Norrköping. As you may guess from these names, campuses Valla and US are located in Linköping when the third one is in a different city, Norrköping. Depending on your major, you will spend most of your time in one of these campuses. If you will study international and European relations, political science, economics, engineering, among so many other subjects, you will most likely become familiar with campus Valla. You may check in which campus your classes will be held from LiU’s web page from your own program’s home page.

Campus Valla

Studying international and European relations, I have only been to campus Valla. All of my lectures and seminars are held here, and the course literature needed for my program is also found here in the campus Valla library.

Valla campus is a nice campus. It is located near downtown Linköping, only about 2–3km away, around 10–15mins by bike. The campus itself does not seem too big, but when you walk it from one end to another, it will easily take you 15 mins.

 

 

The campus is surrounded by beautiful nature, including a nice park, Valla forest (full of walking paths) as well as a small horse ranch. So, if you need a break from your studies you can always walk a couple minutes to see the horses and relax your mind in the forest. There is also a gym on campus called Campushallen.

Campus Valla is also full of different “art”. You will see the weirdest (but nice and funny) paintings and other pieces around the campus.

 

Campus Valla offers many places to have/get lunch; lunch resurants, cafes, small markets/kiosks, food trucks. You may also bring your own lunch, and heat it up using microwave rooms around the campus.

The campus also has two different book stores, where you may buy books you might need, but also other study materials. The university also has its own store on campus, selling LiU branded products such as hoodies, book bags, notebooks, etc.

Whatever your campus might be, explore it as you start your studies here at LiU!

 

Till next time,

Tuuli

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Practical guideline to Linköping’s Public Transportation

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Wherever you end up living in Linköping, you won’t have to worry about getting to university or any other place. The public transportation in Linköping is very handy and easy to use. It is organized by Östgötatrafiken.

The Main Station:

The Linköping main bus station in called Rececentrum. This is located at the Linköping railway station near downtown. All the Östgötatrafiken busses will eventually go to Rececentrum, so if you ever get lost, just stay in the bus and hop off here.

To buy a bus ticket:

Östgötatrafiken sells different kinds of tickets to your needs. If you travel by bus daily, you might want to invest in a bus card that has “time” in it. This means, that you will pay a certain amount to be able to travel for unlimited times using your bus card for a month (for example). You can also put some money in your bus card, meaning that every time you hop on the bus, you will pay for the trip and money will be taken out of the card. This is a good option if you only use the bus every now and then. You may buy your bus card from Rececentrum where they have Östgötatrafiken information point. Remember, that as a student you may get your bus card cheaper, but you will have to show your LiU student id with an Östgötatrafiken stamp on it, that you will get from the student office in Zenit building on campus. If I am not mistaken, you might be able to buy a bus card from Pressbyrån (small kiosks located all over the city).

Hint 1: At the beginning of the year there are many events for new students, such as Kalasmottagningen, where Östgötatrafiken provides students with free bus cards that already have 100 SEK in them. If you want to save a couple pennies, grab one! I have also managed to get a free 14 day unlimited bus card from one of the events, so keep your eyes open if you want one!

 

 

Hint 2: If you already have a bus card (that has not got money or time in it yet) you may use Östgötatrafiken’s green ticket boxes to put money/time in your bus card. These ticket boxes are on campus next to Zenit building and in Kårallen, in Gamla stan bus station, and downtown, for example. The best thing is, that you don’t have to go all the way to Rececentrum to change your card to “student card” in order to get cheaper prices, but you may use the green boxes, choose the ticket option you want, and pay the youth price (which is allowed for students). Might sounds very complex, but you will get the hang of it!

Single and day tickets are also sold, but you may not pay on the bus with cash. For this, you might want to upload an Östgötatrafiken bus app, where you can buy and activate your ticket whenever needed.

To get from A to B:

Östgötatrafiken provides very simple and clear instruction when you need to get from place A to place B. Again, you might want to download the app for your phone as this is the easiest way to check directions. You can also search from the webpage itself. The only thing you have to do is to provide the address you are leaving from and the address you want to go to. The app will show you a map (including the nearest bus stop and where to get off/transfer) and a time table of specific places and times you have to follow.

To get more information about public transportation click here. Don’t be afraid to hop on the bus and explore Linköping!

 

Till next time,

Tuuli

 

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Master’s Degree in International and European Relations (MIER) – Courses Part II

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I have written about the courses of the first semester before and will now write more about the courses of this second semester. This post is especially helpful for those who are thinking about applying to the MIER program and want to know more about the courses. Please feel free to ask me any further questions!

The second semester consists of four different courses: Contemporary European Institutions, International and European Security, Europe’s Relations With the World, and Research Design and Methods. Again, I would like to point out that it is always possible that the courses or their content change and are not exactly like described.

Contemporary European Institutions

This course mostly focuses on, as its name implies, European (European Union) institutions. In the course, students are expected to learn more specifically what different institutions do, and what is their main purpose. In addition, the course focuses on EU policies from different perspectives as well as the main challenges facing the EU. It has been a yearly tradition that a former Swedish MEP comes to hold a guest lecture about Brexit. Most likely this will happen in the future years as well, as Brexit still hasn’t officially even happened. The integration theories also have a big role in the course, and students are expected to learn more about them. The course includes a lot of group work pre-seminars, which is always nice!

The best part of this course is, of course, the (optional) study trip to Brussels. The trip is fully organized by students with some support from the University. The trip lasts usually up to 5 days and includes many visits to different kinds of EU institutions among other international organizations. More information about the trip you may read here. The course includes writing a report from the trip visits as well as a home exam.

International and European Security

If your main interest is in security, this is the course for you! This course is one of the most interesting courses of this program, at least for me. It focuses on security studies in general, but especially in European security issues. In the course, you will focus on theories in the field, but also on different kinds of concepts like power and security, which will help you broaden the way you see security and foreign policy issues, for example. This course highlights the importance of critically looking into issues. Like always, this course includes seminars where security issues are discussed and debated in small groups. A big part of the course also focuses on the EU Global Strategy, which you will most likely become familiar with in the Brussels trip the latest. A home examination is included.

Europe’s Relation With the World

This course’s main focus is on the North-South relationship as well as in European identity. You will learn about Europe’s (EU’s) relations with developing ACP (=African, Caribbean, and Pacific) countries. You will become familiar with related theories, such as Said’s Orientalism, among others. You will discuss more specifically about possible future developments of the ACP countries and the EU’s role in it. In addition to the normal seminars, you may also have the chance to participate in a role play with other students to better focus on a certain actor in the North-South relations, and learn more through that. If you are interested in developing countries, this course is for you!

Research Design and Methods

As boring as the name of the course sounds (trust me, I was not excited either…) it has got me excited about writing my master thesis! Like you probably would guess, the course focuses on prepping you for writing your thesis; what methods to use, how to formulate your research questions, what to pay attention to, etc. Even though the course is only halfway through for me, I still feel like I have gotten so many things out of it that will help me write my thesis. This course is a lot of work: a lot to read, many seminars + seminar papers, quantitative labs using SPSS and writing a report about it, writing your master thesis proposal and doing a home exam at the same time. However, this course will be your biggest asset in writing a good thesis. As you are expected to write your thesis proposal in this class, often times people have changed their topic for the actual thesis. However, as you have to put a lot of effort to the proposal anyway, you might want to start planning your thesis topic at this stage already and take advantage of drafting the proposal during this course.

My descriptions of the first semester courses can be found here.

More information about the courses can be found here (Linköping University Page).

 

Till next time,

Tuuli

 

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Student Trip to Malta

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Like I have mentioned before, I am part of UF Linköping – a student organization concentrating on foreign and global affairs. Every year the organization organizes a field trip to a chosen destination. This year the trip was done to Malta. In addition to a couple of us board members, we had UF Linköping members come with us.

 

 

The point of the trip is always to get to know the destination, its history, current national political issues and the system in general, and to visit interesting places. The trip took one week, and in addition to a couple of historical places in Malta, we visited the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the Maltese Labor party, the European Commission Representation in Malta, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). These visits gave us very good insight look into national politics as well as the migration matters in Europe as Malta has a big role in it being one of the Mediterranean countries.

 

 

We also had a lot of time to enjoy the country itself; the food, the beautiful buildings as well as the Mediterranean climate. One of the best things was also to get to know new people from Linköping University, as we all did not know each other beforehand. Like I have mentioned before, I strongly suggest to take part in activities that different student organizations do at LiU. To become a board member or just an active member taking part in different kinds of events will make your study experience a lot more fun!

 

Till next time,

Tuuli

 

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Spring Has Arrived and the Summer Is on Its Way to Linköping

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The summer is slowly, but surely, making its way to Linköping. Since April, the weather has been getting warmer – still, however, changing from warm days to very cold days. Nevertheless, summer is coming. The trees have started to have some leaves on them and some flowers have already bloomed. Even though the spring and the beginning of summer may be rather cold in Linköping, this is one of the best times to enjoy the nature and fresh clean air with a hint of sun.

 

 

 

As the days get longer all the time, one can see more and more people outdoor enjoying the nature; some people taking walks in the forests, other sitting on a terrace in downtown Linköping and enjoying some cold drinks. Everyone with their own terms 😉

 

 

Because the weather in the Nordic countries is a lot more chilly than many international students are used to, it may be funny for some people to see Swedes walking with their shorts and t-shirts as well as tanning as soon as the weather gets closer to 20 degrees Celcius. However, Swedes definitely can appreciate the sun after cold dark winter and know to enjoy it as they can.

Nature is in its best during this time of the year, so take advantage of it and get yourself out with your friends!

 

Till nest time,

Tuuli

 

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