28 August 2020

LiU’s international students got to know each other at Campus Valla, Linköping.

Picture of international students speed-friending. Charlotte Perhammar

Most people have heard of speed-dating, but speed-friending may be new to many people. Just as the name says, the idea is to find new friends quickly.

Alexander-Lee Couchy, to the left. Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar“It might feel a bit weird to start with. But it’s a good way to break the ice when everyone is in the same, slightly uncomfortable, situation”, said Alexander-Lee Couchy who has come to LiU to study this term.

He is taking a master’s programme in computer science, engineering and management, at his home university, and arrived only two days ago.

“It might feel a bit daunting to try to make contact with new people and to do it speaking English. This is a good way to start a conversation – to start the ball rolling”, he said.

Aleksandra Zielinska, chair of ISA. Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar

Around 400 international students have arrived at LiU this term. Quite a few of them gathered outside Studenthuset to take part in speed-friending, arranged by the International Student Association (ISA) and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). During the introductory period, 10 August to 6 September, these societies are holding several activities, around one a day, such as bowling, barbecues and zorb football (played in large inflatable balls).

“We want new students to find their feet here. The various activities we arrange can help them break the ice and find friends. We also introduce the students to student life and show what is available beyond simply studying”, said Aleksandra Zielinska, chair of ISA.

The speed-friending took place on the football pitch outside the B Building during lunch. The group of about 100 students was divided into two. The students then started to mix and chat in pairs for a couple of minutes, and then change partner.

Iris Potakovskyj is studying Experimental and Medical Biosciences at LiU. Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar“I ended up here sort of by accident: I was on a guided tour to get to know the campus and the speed-friending was immediately after it ended, so I just joined in”, said Iris Potakovskyj, who is studying Experimental and Medical Biosciences at LiU.

“But it’s great fun – I’ve met loads of nice people”, she added.

Julia Tao. Photo credit Charlotte PerhammarJulia Tao is taking the first year of the master’s programme in chemistry.

“This is my third year at LiU, but I just think it’s great to meet new people. It always is”, she said.Gabrielo Aimonino. Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar

Gabrielo Aimonino is in the final year of a master’s programme in industrial engineering at his home university. He arrived in Sweden on monday for a one-term exchange visit.

“I don’t know anybody yet. This is a good way to get to know people”, he said.

Translated by George Farrants

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