25 August 2023

How do you get your LiU Card? Where is the gym? How do you get a bike? And what are those overalls people are wearing?

A woman wearing a LiU-T-shirt gives information to a student.
Master´s student Rana El Sayed clears things out for arriving student Fabio Crugnola from Italy. Charlotte Perhammar

These are some of the first questions that international students ask when they come to Linköping University. And coordinators Therese Lindkvist and Johanna Gistvik patiently provide answers. They work long days during the reception period in the first weeks when the students are to be registered.

Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar “They’re tired and full of anticipation. Some are so excited that they seem to have thousands of questions. Others are so tired from their journey that they have to come back the next day and ask their questions. It’s just fun to be able to help them find their way”, says Therese Lindkvist.

There are approximately 500 exchange students every autumn semester, and approximately 300−500 master's students. Many are from China, India and Pakistan. Within the ERASMUS cooperation, students come from Europe, mainly Germany, France and Spain. There are also exchange students from Singapore, China, Japan and Korea.

The large sized suitcase

Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar Marie Caris has just arrived from France and is in the queue for registration at Studenthuset, with a large suitcase behind her:

“I study business administration at home. This is not the first time I’ve gone to another university to study. I’ve been to Spain before”, she says.

What motivates you to study abroad?

“This is a great way to experience another country. You meet other people and learn a lot”, says Marie Caris.

Master’s student Fabio Crugnola, from Italy, looks a little tired as he reads through the checklists for new arrivals:

“It’s a little colder here than at home, that’s my first impression. Right now, I’m filling in my information so that I can get a LiU card”, he says.

Why did you choose Linköping University?

“I’m going to study the master's programme in computer science here for two years. I looked at the computer science courses and they seemed very good. And then I took an extra look at activities for students. I thought they looked very good, too. There’s a lot of activities and it feels a bit like an American university!”

Fabio  Crugnola chose LiU for the computing science and the good student life in Linköping.
Photo credit
Charlotte Perhammar
There is plenty of support available for the international students:

“It’s natural that they need a little help in the beginning”, says Therese Lindkvist. “Many of them are no older than 19 or 20 and this may be their first time away from home. We can support them and they’re usually very grateful when we come and meet them at the station and show them the way.”

Rana El Sayed is a master’s student from Cairo, studying aeronautical engineering in the mechanical engineering programme. She came to Linköping a year ago and is now in Studenthuset welcoming arriving international students with open arms.

Everyone is alone when they come here

“Everyone is alone when they come here. I know the feeling. There’s a great deal to take in. A new country, a new culture and you have no friends nearby”, she says.

 She has some basic tips:

“Do all the steps. Take part in the activities organised for international students. Join student associations, join the student union and follow them on social media. See what, for example, ESN can help you with. Get in touch and ask questions. Make contact with other students right from the start, as soon as you arrive and at the roll call.”

Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar

Focus on the students

ESN, the Erasmus association, arranges various activities for the students, such as the overall inauguration, speed-friending, and various dinner events. Their focus is on students in the European cooperation programme Erasmus.

“But we also welcome other international students”, says Nicole Backman, the association’s new president.

She is studying the business and economics programme and has just returned from an exchange year in Peru. And she recognises the confusion among arriving students:

“It’s very valuable to have a good reception at the university you come to. It’s great fun for us too, meeting new people from other countries and helping them”, says Nicole Backman.

What can you help with?

“Small and big things. They may have questions about housing ads or just about finding their way on campus.”

Asian vibes

EEA is an association that focuses on Asia and in particular Korea, China, Thailand and Japan. They have a simple purpose:

“We want to learn from each other. That’s why we meet and learn more about our languages and cultures. Not least the ´fika culture`, which is something that many have not come across before”, say EEA representatives Nougat Jarudrungchawalit and Jesper Eriksson.

What about Sweden is most often discussed?

“The food culture. And celebrations such as Lucia and Midsummer”, they both state.
Jesper Eriksson, and Nougat Jarudrungchawalit, Carl Earles från EAA intresserar sig för utbyten mellan olika länder och kulturer.
Photo credit
Charlotte Perhammar

Information for international students

Upon arrival, LiU will provide all students with a checklist (which differs depending on whether they are an exchange or a programme student), as well as the opportunity to get a
SIM card for their phone and a goodie bag. There is also access to comprehensive information on a variety of topics, such as travel, internet, housing, etc.

Frequently asked questions from international students

I have no accommodation. How do I find housing?

The university has only a limited amount of accommodation to offer (mainly for exchange students) so we refer students to Kombo, the students’ own housing association.

How do I buy a second-hand bike?

We have gathered information about this in our reception, but otherwise we recommend the student associations ESN and ISA, who are very good at providing advice in this area.

How do I go by bus?

If you are going to Norrköping you can go for free with the campus bus (with a valid LiU card) but for travel in Linköping we have information about the public transport provider Östgötatrafiken, how to use their app, etc.

How can I print and copy papers?

We recommend the web page https://liu.se/en/article/kopiera-och-skriva-ut (can also be reached by googling “LiU print”)

I need to change course or get papers signed, where do I go?

We can sign certain types of documents, otherwise we refer students to the faculties when, for example, changing course.

Is there a gym on campus?

Yes, the Campushallen building is located at the far end of Campus Valla and all new international students get one week of free training with their goodie bag.


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