I promised already a while ago that I would tell a little more about Uppsala’s student nations. The nations play an important role when it comes to student life in Uppsala. Or as they describe themselves: “The nations are the social nerve of the student-community with accommodations, scholarships, clubs, culture, pubs, associations, sports and a lot more – by students for students!“. Even though all aspects mentioned are true, I would say that the nations are most famous for their energetic night life. The roots of the nations date back all the way to the sixteenth century. There are currently thirteen student nations in Uppsala.
Gästrike-Hälsinge, Göteborgs, Norrlands, Värmlands, Uplands and Västgota
The nations are named after the Swedish provinces from which they traditionally used to recruit their members. For example if you were a student from far North of Sweden moving here to study in Uppsala, it would create a possibility to hang out with people from your area of origin. As Sweden is such an outstretched country and regular visits to your parents may not be possible, I can imagine it to be nice to speak to people who share your dialect or maybe local habits. Especially in earlier times when the internet – or even phoning – were not existent yet. Nowadays almost all the nations allow everyone to join, no matter where you are from. Though in practice I think still many Swedes prefer to sign up for the nation that relates to their area of origin.
Kalmar, Stockholms, Södermanlands-Nerikes, Smålands, Västmanlands-Dala, Gotlands
Some of these nations are rather small, while others count many members. As a member of one of the nations you get access to all other nations as well. However, almost all nations will charge different entrance prices for club nights depending on whether you are ‘their’ member or member at another nation. Membership isn’t cheap, about €30 per semester, but you’ll get a lot out of it! The nation pubs are cosy and freely accessible once you are a member, and offer alcohol at a cheaper price thanks to some tax discount system. The activities organised are usually pretty fun and offer a wide range of possibilities. For example I have been painting at Kalmars nation, active with sports at GH-nation and spend now quite some time social dancing at both Smålands and Värmlands nations. But if you are really keen to become part of a nation, it is strongly recommended to start working at them. I haven’t done it myself yet, but heard a lot of positive experiences about it.
If you have any more questions – shoot!