Jessica LaMantia Uppsala University
CSU Stanislaus - Majoring in Human Communications and the Media
Having lived my entire life at home with my parents, I decided to go out of my comfort zone and study abroad.
I have always wanted to move to a different country, immerse myself in a different culture, and experience something completely different from anything I had ever known. Studying abroad seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.
In this photo: I am enjoying a picnic by the river with my fellow exchange students (I am second from the right).
I am currently studying at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden.
As you can see, biking is the main form of transportation in Uppsala!
I live in a corridor (dorm) in Flogsta, a neighborhood in western Uppsala where a lot of students reside.
There are 12 people in a corridor, mostly Swedes and a few international students.
I have my own bedroom and bathroom, and I share the kitchen facilities and common room with my corridor mates.
Corridor life is simply awesome! My corridor mates have become like family, and we often have themed dinners.
This particular night was Swedish food night. We had pea soup and pancakes!
A big part of student life in Uppsala is the nations. Nations are student societies that have disco parties, provide cheap food, etc.
There are 13 nations at Uppsala, each representing a different region of Sweden. The Swedes usually join the nation that represents the region they are from, but as an exchange student, I have the freedom to choose.
During orientation week, my fellow exchange students and I visited the pub in Uplands Nation, which represents the Uppsala region.
Each nation also hosts gasques (formal dinners) throughout the year.
In September, all of the nations have a Reccegasque - a special dinner for new students at the nation, both Swedes and exchange students alike.
I attended the Värmlands Nation gasque and had a blast.
Another big part of student life is fika.
Fika is basically one word standing for having coffee or tea, with some sort of snack or pastry, with a group of friends.
Fika is a time to relax and socialize. Usually you can go to the nations and have fika, but you can also have fika at home or in a regular coffee shop.
Fika is most exchange students’ favorite activity.
Since I’m in the International Media and Communications program, during the fall semester I got the chance to go to Berlin, Germany.
During the trip, we visited the Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA), the German Press Agency, and RBB, Berlin’s main broadcasting station. We were able to tour RBB’s radio station and TV news studio.
In Berlin, our teacher also took us on a bus tour where we saw many landmarks and historical sites, including the Berlin Wall (pictured here).
There are a lot of other chances to travel while in Uppsala. I recently took a trip to Oslo, which is a seven-hour journey by train.
Before I came to Uppsala, I had never traveled outside of the U.S., and since arriving here, I have taken advantage of every opportunity that has come my way. So far I have been to Norway, Germany, France, Estonia, and Slovakia.
I’m not quite sure what the future holds for next semester, but I am excited to find out!
Learn more about the study abroad program in Sweden