Yoerick in Gothenburg

Field of study in Wageningen: Biology
Study period exchange: 15/01/2023 – 02/06/2023
Country (exchange): Sweden
City (exchange): Gothenburg
University (exchange): Gothenburg University
Faculty (exchange): Marine Sciences

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

I felt like I followed all courses at WUR I found to be interesting, and the WUR could no longer offer me more knowledge and experiences in the field I want to get more familiar with.

What is the reason you chose for this country/university?

I want to get into marine sciences, and Gothenburg University has a marine sciences department. Also my application for Tromso got rejected and this was a less extensively informed second choice.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

Flixbus is cheap, but tiring. Get a seat in the middle of bus as the temperature will be best there. Transfer busses in Kopenhagen (as opposed to Hamburg), and travel the Amsterdam-Kopenhagen part during the night as the stops are the furthest apart here.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

There seems to be a preference for group discussions rather than lectures, with a lot of repetition of the same material instead of introducing new information. In general my study days were very short (10:00-15:00). Examination at the end of the courses was done through a report, with an intermediate test early / in the middle of the course.

What is the culture of the university?

The culture is similar with WUR where everything is on first-name basis. In bigger groups the Swedish students tend to stick to themselves, but in smaller groups the Swedish and international students mix nicely.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

There’s a bunch of microwaves in each canteen for people to warm up their lunch. While there are no café’s in each building like here at WUR, there are drip-coffee machines for everyone to use.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

I got offered a room through the university. Rent is similar to if not cheaper than in Wageningen.

What is the culture of the country like?

Swedish culture is way more held back than Dutch culture. People tend to not want to stand out, and rather avoid confrontation (e.g. when someone doesn’t properly participate during group projects they’ll go to the course coordinator after a course ended instead of talking to the problematic group member during the course itself). The main spices they have in their food are cinnamon, kardemom, and salt (so much salt). However, they have a culturally diverse population with plenty of authentic places to eat out at, which is much cheaper than it is in the Netherlands (still not cheap, but definitely less expensive & more viable). As soon as the sun starts shining around april you start seeing people picknicking or barbequeing or just chilling and reading outside in many of the parks around the city, which is also perfectly acceptable to do alone and people tend to do quite a lot. The work-life balance is way better in Sweden than in the Netherlands, and people seem less stressed / rushed in general.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

Fresh produce is more expensive, but overall it’s roughly the same price, especially after the inflation in Wageningen of the past year.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

A monthly tram subscription to travel all around Göteborg costs ~60eu. However, a lot of people don’t pay for public transport and just get out of the tram to take the next one when ticket inspectors get on board (recognized by their white cap and/or light blue Vasttrafik jacket). The cheapest (and fastest) option is to buy a secondhand bike at one of the bike-kitchens for 100SEK (~10eu) when the weather allows it. Travelling by bike cuts your travel times in half. You’ll get used to the hills.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

The botanical garden is very nice to visit throughout the year. Especially in early spring there are lots of cherry blossoms that are just stunning, but during early summer there are also lots of amazing smelling flowers. If you like bouldering you can go to Utby (a forest close-ish, lots of granite with sharp quartz crystals), but I recommend going to Ersdalen on the island of Hönö when the weather allows it. You reach the free ferry by bus from Göteborg. Going to watch ice hockey matches during winter is also very fun.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

The lake Delsjön, it’s pretty all year round and has various fireplaces for bbq.

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

There are a bunch of not-too expensive restaurants, make a list with the ones that appeal to you and go by as many as you can. My personal favourite is Gansu köket near Linnéplatsen, which has 3 menu items but all taste amazing.

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

The first few months were tough since I had a lot of free time but didn’t have a big social network to spend my free time with. However, this got better each passing week as I made more friends and spent more time with them.

What was your best memory abroad?

The research cruise for the Chemical Dynamics course.  

8. Contact Details

Would you like to ask Yoerick more questions about his exchange?
Send him a mail: yoerick.lankhof@wur.nl