Photo credit: Erasmus Student Network ESNHowever for most new students at Linköping University, the reception period is an unforgettable experience. There are parties and presentations, barbecues and ‘brännboll’ tournaments. Of course there’s the famous Swedish ‘fika’ – a break for coffee or tea, and something sweet. On campus you’ll see people wearing sunglasses and strange outfits, marching back and forth. It’s a couple of weeks when you’ll hardly see your bedroom – but your laundry basket will end up overflowing. You won’t get enough sleep – but you’ll make loads of new friends.
Preparations for the activities start months in advance. Roughly 2,000 students are trained in how to be a peer student, whose job is to take care of the new arrivals, and make sure they feel welcome. Every study programme has its own club, which offers the newbies a packed agenda. For international students there is a special peer student programme, and the international student clubs organise a wide range of activities.
The icing on the cake is Kalasmottagningen – New Students’ Day – one of the largest such events in the country. It includes a fair with all sorts of special offers for students and an outdoor area with loads of activities. Topping off the day is a concert featuring some of Sweden’s most popular musicians.
Compared to the other major Swedish universities, Linköping University has the highest retention rate of students continuing to year two. In other words, fewer who break off their studies, and more who feel they’re in the right place. Perhaps it has something to do with the reception they get.