Student Union x Student Nation


I realised that had never described the difference between Student Union and Student Nations in Uppsala, which is something I was really lost in during my first days of the campus (let´s be honest, during first weeks or months :D). I did not know what students unions or nations are from my previous studies, so that I had to learn more and maybe this article could help you not to be confused by these two terms.

Student Union

  • There is only one
  • You have to pay to become a member
  • Union is located on the campus
  • Only SLU´s students can join
  • Union is mainly in charge of monitoring the quality of education therefore they work with the university and try to address some shortcomings
  • They organize activities for new students in the beginning of semester but also during the year there are events organised by Union
  • Membership fee is 250 sek/semester (if I remember correctly)

Student Nation(s)

  • There are 13 nations in Uppsala
  • You have to pay to become a member
  • They are spread out in the city
  • History of Student Nations goes back to 17th century
  • All students at the university in Uppsala can join
  • Student Nations are named according to Swedish regions
    • Stockholms nation, Uplands nation, Södermanlands-Nerikes nation, Västmanlands-Dala nation, Smålands nation, Göteborgs nation, Kalmar nation, Värmlands nation, Norrlands nation, Gotlands nation, Gästrike-Hälsinge nation, Östgöta nation and Västgöta nation
  • There are several activities every week – ranging from pubs, clubs, theme events – so that students have endless opportunities to meet and socialise
  • To become a member you can choose whichever Nation you like (some serve more vegan food, some have good parties,…)
  • Membership fee varies from nation to nation, but expect to pay around 260-280 sek/semester
Building of Student Union (on the right)

So, now you know the differences and maybe you are asking: Why should I become a member?

  • Of course, you can become a member of both
  • During your first days, Student Union will help you to get a Mecenat card (student card to get student discounts) and you can buy discounted tickets for events organized by Union (some dinners, Lucia concert and a lot more). Since I do not live in Uppsala, I have not participated at those events and for second semester I am not a member anymore
  • Having a Student Nation card seems to be a must have for students since most probably you will go out with your fellow students and you cannot enter Nation without a Nation card, which proves that you are a member. In case of some nations, you are allowed to eat lunch there even without the card, however, you cannot go to pubs or clubs without one. So that, I think you will not avoid becoming a member of Student Nation

Hopefully, this helped you somehow. I would have really welcomed these differences at the beginning of my studies because this is not information that you will find on Nations´ websites.


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