June 6, 2011

A place to call Home Sweet Home, part 1

Grattis på Sveriges nationaldagen!

That would be me congratulating on the Swedish National day, but take it with some reserve since I am still studying the language. Unfortunately I missed the holiday, since last night I flew back home. For sure they celebrated with lots of music, flags and very happy people dancing around. Next year I’m gonna stay in the city, just to see how festivity looks like. But talking of parties, this is a great point in time to explain how student housing differ. Facebook, CIRC’s forum and my mail box have been flooded with emails concerning different topics – mostly where to live. You can find a lot of tips on how to find a room, not to get scammed and typical prices for renting. What you cannot find and I think I can provide, is the way of living at different places. So bare with me, while I try to remember everything I’ve learned about different places in Gothenburg, during one year stay. I am talking only about student housing, since experiences with private accommodation vary too much.

So, let’s start with Kviberg. It’s the first student accommodation I’ve been in (in my entire life!). A friend of mine lives there and was good enough to let me stay while I searched for the flat. It meant so much to me and I want to say thanks for it once again. This, as you might have guessed means I had no accommodation by the time I got to Gothenburg. It took 9 days to find a place of my own (in Västra Frölunda). During that time, I was busy calling for flats almost every day, usually in the morning hours. Mailing didn't really work and once in Sweden it’s just best to call – as soon as you see something interesting. Also, since CIRC had reception activities and Chalmers was all so new and shiny I was out almost all the day.

Kviberg is not bad, but it's too far away. There is a good connection with the night tram, during the day it is approx. 15 minutes to Brunnsparken and 10 more minutes to Chalmers. But if you want to meet with some friends at Frölunda for example, it takes so much time. This wasn’t what I said in my first couple of months, but after a while you get used to being where needed in 15 minutes max, and then a ride of 25 seems like eternity. Use this site when searching for accommodation, just type in the address (or name of the station if you know it) and the location you want to get to - http://www.vasttrafik.se/ It will give you rides and times to move from one location to the other.

Anyway… Buildings and flats at Kviberg are nice. Some are newer than others, but both in good conditions. As far as I know, it is only apartments, but the sizes vary. This means you could share it with a roommate, or not. Also, people I know who live there are from outside EU. Never heard of a preparty or party there. This can be good if you need to study at home or just like when it’s quiet. There are some sport fields close by, a big flee market and a castle. Also, two stations further on you can find a big Lidl (this I cannot remember 100%, but it is either Lidl or Willy’s and both are extremely cheap stores). What I remember during my stay is a running path going around the buildings. It looked very nice, but for my taste maybe too dark in the evenings.

To conclude with, for the first couple of days Kviberg was ok. But I wouldn’t like to stay there at all, due to lack of social life. Fortunately I moved to Västra Frölunda, place to have crazy parties with mostly Spanish people. But this is a topic for the next blog!

Puss och kram,