Wednesday, 18 June 2014

A Goodbye post

      This is my Goodbye post. Two years flew as if it was one day, so much happened!
      I can hardly mention a half of what I was part of during this period. So many classes, lectures, trips and conferences. New friends and colleagues, food experiments and numerous FIKA! Berries and mushrooms in the autumn forest, blueberry homemade cakes. Biking a lot and some bike accidents. Full Moon walks, barbeques, nice days on the lake and boring ones in the library. Music concerts in Musikhögskolan, picnics and baking at home, working at the student bar during the Halloween party, open street markets in winter, spring and summer. Incredibly tasty Nora-ice cream, Ethiopian coffee, Arabic tea and Russian pancakes. Studying at home for weeks before the defense and crazy home parties and Girls’ nights out!
      Working on the project together with my incredible classmates. Movie nights and taco evenings. Enjoying weird art during Open Art festival, Couchsurfing meetings and dancing Lindy Hop! Touching concert at the church on Santa Lucia day and fireworks under the rain on Valborg!
      Here are some moments from those past almost 2 years already of my time in Örebro. I hope, you will enjoy your stay here as much as I did or even more!
 
  Good luck, have a nice Midsommar Day and who knows, may be one day, you will meet me on the streets of Örebro!


Autumn in Örebro 2012


Winter in Örebro 2012-2013

Spring in Örebro 2013

Summer in Örebro 2013

Autumn in Örebro 2013

Winter in Örebro 2013-2014

Spring in Örebro 2014

Summer in Örebro 2014

      Yours, Alla R.



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Global Journalism Day 2014 at Örebro University

   
Walid Al-Saqaf, the Director of the Master of Global Journalism at Örebro University and the head of the Organizing Committee, Örebro University
    Global Journalism Day 2014 ‘Transparency, Surveillance and Trust in Technology’ – was most probably the biggest event at Örebro University this spring and definitely the most remarkable for Media and Communication department. Students, professors, professionals - more than a hundred guests registered, high key-note speakers from Google and UNESCO, open discussions and round tables – this is all about GJDay 2014 (#GJDay14). Moreover, it marked the 10-year anniversary of the International Master Programme ‘Global Journalism’, which started in 2004.
    To have a brief overview about the event - check the podcast (6,5 min) about it from my colleague Elin Häggberg, the Chief of the Radio Campus.
     For those who are interested in all those topics mentioned in the headline – I really recommend to watch the presentation by Nicklas Lundblad (30 min, in English, video below). Surely, it will be interesting not only for journalists. Well, if you have no time to watch – read a summary below. Enjoy!

Nicklas Lundblad, the Director of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google for Europe and the EU
    The main question of Nicklas’ presentation was “Who watches the watchers?
 His presentation consists of 1 question, 4 answers, 3 complexities, 2 challenges.
    Although, the question above is very old one, it has a new complexity in our age. Nicklas makes a premise that surveillance is legitimate. According to him, one part of the protection of social organizations is some kind legitimate surveillance.
     The speaker gives four answers for the main question. The first one is by an Ancient Greek philosopher Plato: through education, we can create a better kind of human that does not need to be watched. But are the guardians better?
    A Roman poet Juvenalis was disagree with this position. He argued that guardians are not better than other humans, because they can be corrupted. He gives the second variant of the answer to the same question. It just cannot be done, because there should be guardians of the guardians and the guardians of the guardians of the guardians…etc.
     According to Nicklas’ presentation, a Nobel Laureate, an economist and mathematician Leonid Hurwicz offered the third answer. Any population has “intervenors” – people, who genuinely want to do what is right. Hurwicz offers the idea that a small amount of right-minded watchers can enforce the rules against the enforcers. In an open democracy, where information is available on equal basis, the electorate will be able to vote those corrupted guardians out. Therefore, intervenors will act with altruism and accountability in front of the electorate.
     Another idea about how to organize the surveillance is offered by Jeremy Bebtham and his concept of the special construction of the prison – famous Panopticon. The panopticon provides the advantage of allowing a single guard to watch the prisoners. The idea behind is that people need to be watched otherwise they don’t behave well. The solution is to take this model of the prison and implement it in the society. But is that transparency? “No”, argues Nickals. The fourth answer Nicklas found in the book, which he recommended to read, “The Transparent Society” by David Brin (1998). And the answer is – equiveillance, where everybody surveils everybody equally. So, Brin suggests that everybody watches the watchers, because everyone is a watcher.
     But Nicklas argues that none of these answers is sufficient or necessary and none of them gives the whole picture. The reason for that is that we’re facing a number of new complexities in the information society. And these complexities change the nature of the question and make it more difficult to answer.

1.           Data growth. Does anybody really know how much data we have today? And what about tomorrow? What is the speed of process of the information growth? Nicklas was talking about the “Heidegger conjecture” – the process of “enframing”. In other words, something that was not available to be stored with help of technology can be framed and stored now.
Technology makes the world available – as data?
It's one of my favourite quotes from this presentation. It does by means of growing use of different sensors. More data and a broader set of data – that complicates the question - “What the watchers can watch?”
2.             Machine intelligence. The second complexity has to do with watchers and how they make sense of this enormous amount of data. Today we can make faster correlations between different data. But not all the correlations are meaningful. A funny example is the website – Spurious Correlations. It gives a simple example that correlation might not be causation. Falsity grows faster than information. This can lead to a logical mistake “post hoc ergo propter hoc” society – in Latin: after this, therefore because of this, or cinac – correlation is not a cause. So, the way the watchers watch not only what they watch (the data set) expands in a way it is less and less reliable as the data sets grow.
3.               Asymmetric threats. Nicklas presented the idea of Nick Bostrom who argues that in modern society individual ability to cause harm is increasing enormously fast. But taking in account a constantly growing data set the detection this harm is harder. It is a problem of a growing haystack and shrinking needle. This leads to the question of efficiency of watching and if the watchers really can watch.
The ability to find something is less and less especially with the ability to hide or encrypt the information. According to Nicklas, the whole world of computer science is devoted to explore steganography. For those interested – check the website Spam mimic.

       Challenges.
     1) Responsible transparency. What the watchers are watching? Do they know? What is the data quality? Who are the watchers? Who actually have the right for that? Can watchers share the information between each other? Whom are watchers watching? Should you be notified at some point? When the watchers can watch? What triggers allow to watch? Why are the watchers watching? – Oversight vs accountability. In addition. There should be documentation and reporting about watching process. There should be an access to how the surveillance is conducted. Check this the project by Google – Google Transparency Report.
       2) Striking the balance. What level of surveillance we believe is right for an open society?
“We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure”, Karl Popper.
Some of these principals of surveillance are shaped by the series of companies taking part in a project Global Government Surveillance Reform. Nicklas concluded his presentation that an open debate about these question is need.

Videos:
Keynote speech by Nicklas Lundblad, Google.





Panel 1: Digital surveillance and privacy issues in the age of social media.
Panelists: Nicklas Lundblad (Google), Dean Marcinyshyn (GMedia Center), Lena Scherman (SVT). Moderator: Walid Al-Saqaf (Örebro University).






Panel 2: Social media and digital journalism: Conflict or convergence?
Panelists: Ulf Johansson (SVT), Rouba El Helou (Notre Dame University), Henri Heikkinen (Foilchat). Moderator: Mahitab Ez El Din (Örebro University).




Panel 3: Challenges to the global journalist in the digital age.
Panelists: Guy Berger (UNESCO), Peter Berglez (Örebro University), Anna Roxvall (Freelance journalist). Moderator: Roland Stanbridge, MAGJ co-founder.





Round-table discussion: With current MAGJ students (Alla Rybina, Irene Rapado, Luise Röpke, Eden Fitsum) and MAGJ alumna Claudia Pricop.




The Final Speech by Guy Berger (UNESCO).






Saturday, 5 April 2014

Studying Swedish language in Örebro


     There are different opinions about whether or not to study Swedish language. I’m not going to argue here and give all the pros and cons of it. My choice was to study Swedish and I recommend to do so, especially because you can do it in Sweden for free. In this post I want to give some information how and where to study Swedish language in Örebro.
     This is the scheme of the usual steps of learning Swedish language process in Sweden. I made this table myself based on my experience and it is not an official scheme presented by any Swedish educational authority:

Basic level

SFI (≈1-2 years, 1 level = 1 semester)

easiest
A

B

C (the entry-level in ‘SFI för akademiker)
hardest
D
Preparatory course for Gymnasium

Grundläggande (1 semester course)
Gymnasium level
Nationella prov
(National test)
Svenska som Andra Språk 1 (1 semester)


Svenska som Andra Språk 2* (1 semester)
This level of Swedish language is needed to continue studies at University level in Swedish language
Nationella prov
(National test)
Svenska som Andra Språk 3* (1 semester course)
* It is possible to combine SvAS 2 and SvAS 3 courses and do them simultaneously during 1 semester.

     The logic of the studying process is - with each next level you get fewer hours at school and more time for your individual work at home.
   First letters, that you should remember are – SFISwedish for immigrants or Svenska för invandrare’. SFI is basic Swedish language training for adults who are not Swedish native speakers. Swedish for immigrants is a separate type of school. Now SFI-courses in Örebro are based at Nikolaiskolan, Manillagatan 15-19.

To study at SFI you need:
 - to live in the municipality
 - be over 16
 - have a residence permit (social security number – ‘personnummer’).

    The admission to the course is ongoing. You can register for the course online, using this form. Sometimes, you need to wait the answer for several weeks, be patient. The contact person at SFI is Birgitta Lundh, most probably she will be your first Swedish language teacher at SFI.
     There are two possible options within SFI: General (SFI) and Academic (SFI för akademiker). Both groups follow the same programme. Don’t mix up this division with the one in English language tests, for example. In case of SFI, the word ‘Academic’ means that people in this group have academic background (any studies at university level in any country). It is assumed, that people with academic background learn faster. The ‘Academic’ group starts SFI at C-level (see the scheme), so it skips A and B-levels.

Disadvantages of SFI:
 - It takes quite a lot of time (classes are every day for 3-4 hours)
 - The pace of studying is rather slow. New people join the group, some persons skip the classes, and the teacher tries to follow the middle level of the group. So, there are always a lot of repetitions and you go through the same topics several times.
 - Groups are quite big.
Well, although they claim that they from groups according to the students’ level in Swedish language, it is not always like that. The level can be very different in the same class, which slows down the studying process.

Advantages of SFI:
 - Very little homework
 - Possibility to skip classes (in case you study somewhere else or work)
 - All your classmates will be migrants that will make your network bigger
- It’s FOR FREE
 - Some activities outside your University&Campus circle.
 - You can choose between daytime and evening courses.

     There is one important thing one should understand about SFI-courses. It should be clearly stated that SFI is kind of survival type of education. You shouldn’t expect to get a degree as an interpreter after that or be able to translate “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy into Swedish. These courses are for everybody, people of all ages with different education and background, from different countries. So, I recommend you to keep down your sophisticated linguistic ambitions.
     
SFI-grading system
     According to the description of SFI-course on Svenska Institutet (Swedish Institute) web-site, the last D-level of SFI is equivalent to B1-level in the European language proficiency levels. Well, personally, I disagree with this estimate. To my mind, SFI-courses are all within A-level, they are basic and introductory. According to my experience, people who complete SFI-courses can hardly express themselves and their ability to discuss is very limited.

If you studied Swedish before
     You should remember that Swedes are usually easy to negotiate with. So, talk to people more often. In case you missed a deadline to apply for the course, in case there is no place for you in the group or the level is too easy/hard for you – just talk and I’m sure there will be a solution. If you feel that you are learning faster and want to go to the next level, most probably you will be allowed to do so after you pass the test for the next level. In case, you feel that it is hard for you and you need more time, you can stay at the same level longer than the rest of the group. Some people don’t go to SFI at all, because they studied Swedish somewhere else and they know already the basics. So did I. I started to study Swedish in Örebro on Grundläggande level (see the scheme), I just talked about it and they let me skip the SFI-courses. If you have any questions I recommend you to contact Börje Lundell, a student advisor.
     
     Grundläggande course is a preparatory course for the studies in Gymnasium. It lasts one semester. After passing this course, you will move to the next level – Komvux (KOMmunal VUXenutbildning, ‘municipal adult education’). It is a form of secondary education for adults in Sweden. It is primarily intended for adults who did achieve the grades needed for higher education. Komvux in Örebro is based at Rudbecksskolan, Kungsgatan 31-33.
     After Grundläggande course you go to the Gymnasium level courses: Svenska som Andra Språk 1 (SvAS 1), SvAS 2 and SvAS 3. Gymnasium level means that now you have an ability to study on Swedish Gymnasium level. This doesn’t only include Swedish language. You can choose different courses and subjects (History, Math, etc). Gymnasium - is a preparatory level for the university studies, so both Swedish people and migrants, who completed Grundläggande level in Swedish language, study there.
     As for me, I’m already a university student in Sweden and I only want to study Swedish, so that was my only choice. But usually after finishing Grundläggande course in Swedish, people start to study subjects they need for their future university programmes.
     So, imagine, that now you are at SvAS 1 level. The difference here is:
 - less hours at the class,
 - more time you should spend on working individually
 - more homework.
    At the end of SvAS 1 and SvAS 3 courses you have to write ‘Nationella prov’ (national test). It’s a school exam in Swedish, which is the same in all the schools in Sweden. The task is made in Uppsala. This exam is considered to be very important.
     Swedish students who study Swedish as a subject on Gymnasium level and migrants, studying Swedish as a foreign language, get the same test, but their papers are estimated differently.
     After completing SvAS3 level, you are allowed to apply for University programmes in Swedish language.

     Other ways to learn Swedish

     1. Free courses for exchange students
If you are an exchange or ESN-student, you have a chance to study basic courses in Swedish language (both at introductory level) at Örebro University. These courses are free and organized especially for exchange students. If you are an international Master student, you can try to talk to the teachers and ask about the possibility to join the course, but the groups are usually full and there is no chance to get in, but anyway you can always try. Persons, teaching this course, are Tomas Svensson and Helena Legl.

     2. Folkuniversitetet
     Folkuniversitetet (Public University) is one of the forms of adult education. It offers a big variety of non-degree courses in different disciplines. Education there is not free, prices for the courses you can check on the web-site (1530 SEK for a beginners course, twice a week, 1,5 h), students have discounts for courses at Folkuniversitetet. It is important to mention that you can register for the course without personal identity number, which for example 1-year international Master students don’t get. So, if you are one of them – keep this opportunity in mind. Folkuniversitetet in Örebro offers courses in Swedish in different levels. You can visit one lesson you’re interested in for free, you should register for that on the web-site (prova på lection).

      Komvux or Folkuniversitetet?
     You wonder, what is the difference between Swedish courses at Komvux and Folkuniversitetet? I will explain as I see it. In Folkuniversitetet groups are much smaller (4-6 persons), therefore contact with the teacher is closer and the course time is easier to change. In Folkuniversitetet the registration for the course is ongoing, while in Komvux there are strict deadlines when to apply for courses and there are official dates of the beginning and the end of the course. In general, to make it clear, Komvux is an official education on Gymnasium level, so, it has all the school attributes. Folkuniversitetet is a more relaxed and flexible type of education, which is private and doesn’t necessarily follow official school study-plans.

     I wish you good luck in learning Swedish in Örebro. Lycka till!



And some funny Swedish words for you at the end!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Accommodation. Mission possible.

Tybblegatan, a student dormitory
     Accommodation...it is a very hot topic in Sweden. It is difficult to find accommodation for students almost everywhere in university cities’ with big influx of students every year. To find a room for international students - a special mission. Luckily, in Örebro situation is not that bad comparing to Lund or Uppsala regarding costs and places avaliable. Calm down, it is Possible!
     I will give you here just SOME information, some tips and hints. But you should continue exploring yourself, using the links provided.
    First, just some general information. University doesn’t provide accommodation, neither to Swedish students, nor to the international ones. University doesn’t deal with student accommodation and doesn’t own any special student dormitories. It means that your admission to the programme doesn’t mean that you will be provided with accommodation automatically. It also doesn’t mean that University staff will assist you with finding accommodation. It is your own responsibility.
     
     ÖBO - a key word!

     Since you started to look for a student accommodation, your main contact should be with Öbo company. This company works with students and student accommodation.
   The site has all the information in English, please, explore it. Well, the procedure of registering of international students is changing every year. I really hope that some of this information will be relevant for some time, but be ready for changes and updates.
     Right after your acceptance to the Master programme at Örebro University (around April) you should be registered in Öbo company’s system. It is a very important moment. You can be registered in the system only if you have a Swedish security number (personnummer), which you can get in Tax office in Sweden. But of course, you are sitting at home and just wondering how you can get this number? Well, that’s why you need the University assistance here. Usually all the new international students who are accepted to the programmes are registered automatically (only in Öbo system, you will not get a personnummer). It means that by e-mail you get a login and a password and can use all the services on the Öbo web-site, register your application for the room and take your place in the line…
     Yes, queues...you will be placed in the line for student accommodation. Don’t ask why, it’s Sweden =). Just try to understand how it works.
     During the time you stay in the line you get points, 1 day = 1 point. The person with bigger amount of points has better chances to get a room/flat. That’s why it is very important to be registered within Öbo as soon as possible, to collect as many points as possible till August/September. More about points – here.

A corridor in a student dorm in Tybble

     General important things
     Water, electricity, hitting and Internet are included in the rent. There is no wi-fi, bring your own cable for the Internet or buy it when arrive. There are furnished and unfurnished rooms, the latest are cheaper. In furnished rooms there is a bed, a chair, an armchair, a table lamp (without bulbs), a floor-lamp, a shelf, a coffee table, a desk, a bed-side table plus/minus some details. There will be NO mattress, so be ready for that. In some rooms, mattresses were left. Also, remember that each dorm has storage rooms ( in Studentgatan – in the basement, in Tybble – a small one on each floor and a big – in the basement inside the Laundry building). There you can find a LOT of stuff left by previous students. Also, ask your neighbors, they definitely have some friends who are going to move out or they can offer you some useful second-hand stuff. For girls – no curtains in the rooms, only blinds.
     There is parking for cars and bikes next to all the dorms.
     
Оne of the kitchens in Tybblegatan
     In the shared kitchens situation is different from corridor to corridor. In some kitchens there are a lot of common plates, forks, pans and pots that you don’t need to buy anything extra. But in some kitchens there is no common stuff at all.

      One student per room. No pets
     This is an official rule. Only one student can be registered in the room. Although I know several couples living together, probably then one of them is registered somewhere else. Pets are not allowed, although again I know students who do have pets in their rooms.

     Summer – for free!
     A good thing about being a student in Sweden is that there are rent-free months during the summer time. It refers to apartments with 10 months’ rent. It means that you don’t have to pay the rent from 15 June till 14 August and can still live in your room without moving out for these months.

     There are several districts with students dormitories. They are listed here with a very nice map. I have been living in a student dormitory on Tybblegatan, I didn’t change the room and I never moved to another place. So, I mostly tell about it, because this is something I really know well. All the general information about different districts you can read on Öbo web-site, I don’t want to repeat it here. I will just give you my personal view on different advantages and disadvantages of districts.

Tybble (around 2900 SEK for a 19 kvm room)



“+”
 - Bigger rooms and shower;

My room in a dorm in Tybble
 - close to ICA (a grocery store which is open till 22.00 every day and gives a student discount 5%);
 - in some corridors there are only 5 persons in one corridor/per kitchen, less people=less mess;

A common living room in the dorm in Tybble

 - in some rooms there are even bathes in the bathrooms;
 - nice barbeque place with a garden house (convenient for big groups of people).

“-“
 - LAUNDRY! Laundry in Tybble is in another building and all students are using it. Hence, there are big queues. As a result, you’d better plan to do laundry about 2 weeks in advance. The situation when you want just to drop in and do a spontaneous laundry because you have a spare hour – doesn't work. There is an online booking system on Öbo web-site, which makes life easier. But when I go there, the only possible time for laundry is usually 00.00-03.00 or 03.00-06.00…I wonder who are those people who occupy all ‘normal’ hours?...
 - Going uphill to the University. Well, it’s not really a big deal. Let’s say, it’s a disadvantage from a point of view of a very picky student;
 - higher rent because of the bigger size of the room.

Studentgatan (around 2800 SEK for a 17 kvm room)

“+”
 - Very close to University. It is so close, that you can even make your tea/coffee and bring it right to the classroom! Although some students still bike from Studentgatan to the class.
 - Close to Campus Pizzeria. A fast food place, which works even during the official holidays. Well, when you are new in Sweden and don’t really know those special dates when even grocery stores have short open hours – this place can save you from starving.
 - Close to Pressbyrån. A small store, where you can find just everything: from junk food to cigarettes, stamps and frozen food. It is also a ‘survival’ point, which works till 22.00, but it’s quiet expensive.
 - Laundry! Every building in Studentgatan has its own laundry in the basement. Booking system is not that strict as in Tybble and you can actually do your laundry whenever it’s not occupied by anybody else.
 - A bit cheaper rooms comparing to Tybble, cause the size of the rooms is smaller

“-“
 - Rooms are smaller, than in Tybble, for example, especially showers. But it’s not a big difference actually.
 - It’s close to Pressbyrån, which is expensive and can become your addiction if laziness will take over you.
 - A bit further from big grocery stores like ICA or Willy’s.
 - a bit louder because the University student club Kårhus is nearby.

Brickebacken (around 2300 SEK for a 15 kvm room)

A student room in Brickebacken

       I have never lived in Brickebacken and can only give limited information about it.
    Well, it is a bit further from University then Studentgatan and Tybble, but still it’s possible to walk this distance. It will take around 25-30 to walk from there to University. Well, still very close for bigcity-minds =)) It’s a bit tricky to bike on the way from University to Brickebacken cause the way goes pretty much uphill and it’s a real hill. Especially tricky it is to bike during the winter. That’s why I guess students who live in Brickebacken spend more money on buss cards. Well, good thing about Brickebacken is that the rooms there are pretty cheap comparing to Studentgatan or Tybble. And you live not in the corridor but in a shared apartment, so you share kitchen and a shower with 2-3 other students of the same sex. Some students prefer to live in shared apartments than in corridors. Moreover, it’s a very green area, surrounded with forest. Another thing about Brickebacken is that it’s very diverse and international with less Swedish people living there, however there is also a double-opinion about that.

A shared kitchen in Brickebacken


     SOS! Didn’t get the room!
    What if it’s already August and you still have no place to sleep? It’s possible. And it’s better to just be ready for this kind of situations because sometimes students get their rooms in the very last moment or they fly to Sweden without a certain place to stay in. But again, calm down, in this case you have several options. I’ll tell you about some of them.

   This is a special service within Öbo company. You can register to be covered by the guarantee of accommodation from 15 July until 1 October (autumn term) and from 15 December until 15 February (spring term).
     You can register for guarantee of accommodation by sending your letter of acceptance from the University to bostadsgaranti@obo.se. Mark it “Bostadsgaranti” (guarantee of accommodation), and attach your letter of acceptance in PDF format. After you do so, Öbo should garantee that you will be offered somewhere to live within one month.
     Remember, that accommodation that you will be offered on this scheme - is always on a short-term contract. No specific personal requirements are taken in account, you will just get the first place to stay that is available. The districts where you can be offered a place are Vivalla, Baronbackarna and Varberga. Mixed gender roommates are possible.

     2) Akutboende from Student Union
     Student union can also help you to find an emergency accommodation. Emergency accommodation vary in design and can be anything from an empty apartment with a mattress on the floor to a private room in a house or sleeping on someone's couch. Remember that it is a temporary solution and you shouldn’t expect much.
     Rent for emergency accommodation is 500 SEK per week, regardless of the form of accommodation. The amount you pay as a tenant to the project leaders for emergency accommodation every Monday. To be registered for this kind of help, you need to be a member of the Student Union and be registered within Öbo emergency accommodation service.
    
     Information on the link above is in Swedish but feel free to contact Student Union in English.
     Örebro studentkår, Fakultetsgatan 3, 702 81 Örebro
     +46 737 10 90 48

     There is always a possibility to use Couchsurfing. Here you can find not only a free place to stay for a couple of days, but also new friends!


      Good luck! Wish you a comfortable couch!
A view from my dorm on Tybble-barbecue place

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Introduction. Örebro Day

     This post will be interesting for those who have already applied for studies at Örebro University or are still thinking of applying. Those who have changed their minds - look what you are going to miss next autumn!
     Well, I'm still sitting in Långhuset, cause I don't have internet in room, and this is all for your interest! But, it's quiet cosy here and I have my tea. Yes, this chilly February night I want to tell you about the Introduction Programme and one special event in it - Örebro Day.

ESN-team on Örebro Day, 13 September 2013
     Every autumn semester the University students invade the streets of Örebro. Students go around the city in a loud and colourful parade, where all the university sections (faculties and student associations) are presented. Later after the parade, sections are competing against each other in various funny and exiting activities.

ESN-team on Örebro Day, 13 September 2013
     A section or ‘sektion’ is a member-group of students in a student union. Sections consist of students from a certain faculty or department, or from specific study programs. Every section has it’s website or a Facebook page. Some of the sections are listed here (in swedish). Well, it’s something very Swedish and usually Swedish students are more involved in the sections’ activities. But International students of course are allowed to participate and be members of the section depending on their program.

Different student sections. Örebro Day, 13 September 2013
     Usually all the teams have special costumes in specific colours and attributes. If the weather is fine, Örebro Day will be one of the funniest events during the whole introduction programme.

Getting ready for the parade. Örebro Day, 13 September 2013
    Although, it may seem that this is an event only for Swedish students and their sections, I really recommend all new international students to take part in it. Don’t feel awkward, if you don’t know any of the sections, just come and take part in the parade together with whatever section you like. There is an ESN-section for Erasmus students, the only English-speaking and international one, and international Master students are very welcome to join it.
     It’s such a nice feeling to be in the centre of the attention of the whole city, when you literally occupy the main street – Drottninggatan and everybody takes pictures and videos of you.

ESN-team. Örebro Day, 13 September 2013
     Some of the competitions are quiet in Swedish style - like innebandy. At the end, one section wins the overall competition. In 2012 that was the section 'Corax', in 2013 – 'Sesam'.

Örebro Day, 13 September 2013
     A very special part of the competition is stealing the coat of arms of another section. You should do it not by force but in a sneaky way. The team who has lost their coat of arms should invite the team who has stolen the flag for fika or beer.
     Oh...nice memories... Hope, now you have something more to look forward.