Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Questions about Uppsala

Someone asked me some very good questions about Uppsala and the MSc in Computer Science, so I decided to share them here.

1. How are the living expenses in Uppsala in general?

Sweden can be a bit expensive. In my opinion, housing is not too expensive (I used to live in Madrid and Barcelona before moving here, so that's my reference point). You'll pay about 3000-3500 SEK/month including Internet. The major problem is that it is hard to find accommodation. Prices for other things are: about 20-25 SEK for a bottle of water or soda, same or cheaper for coffee/tea. You can get a (reasonably big) sandwich on campus for 45 SEK, or a caesar salad for 65 SEK. You can buy lunch (salad + main course + coffee + bread or fruit) for 70-80 for lunch. Another option could be a frozen meal for 20-30 SEK. Fruits on one of the campus restaurants are 1 piece 7 SEK (and of course cheaper in the supermarket). A pizza is about 70 SEK and frozen pizza 25-40 SEK. Alcohol is EXTREMELY expensive!


2. Is it easy to find jobs at the university in research? in general, is it easy to find a job anywhere?

Getting a job at the university is hard. Normally they hire students as TA or the sort once they know the student, so it probably won't happen during the first year and it is not as common as in other universities. It is also hard to get a part-time job without speaking Swedish (it is a lot easier to find a job once you graduate or an internship even if you don't speak the language). You can work at the student nations but the money is not great. It might be good for making friends, paying some meals and drinks but you won't support yourself with this kind of job. These student nations are great for having cheap food and cheap drinks as well as meeting many students. You can always consider studying Swedish before you come here and continue getting free lessons once you're here.


3. How good are the professors in Computer Science?

Professors are GREAT! They really care about preparing their material and explaining things. The atmosphere is very relaxed and informal. You're free to pick the courses you want, you have access to tons of papers and extra reading, and people are really open to comments and suggestions. I really enjoyed my time as a master student here. You can easily approach TAs and professors and they will happily answer your questions (well, maybe not if you ask for the solution to the assignment).


4. Which areas should I stay in? I don't mind using public transportation.

Like I said before, finding accommodation can be quite hard in Uppsala. You should rent whatever you find and once you're here you can try to move. Most people use bicycles. Buses are quite expensive (between 20-30 SEK depending on how you buy your ticket and about 500 SEK unlimited for a month). You can find used bicycles and everything is really close. If you're studying computer science, then you should live as close as possible to Polacksbacken. But again, 15-20 min by bike from most parts of the city anyway.

Enjoy your time in Uppsala!

4 comments:

  1. I am moving in Uppsala in August and i found this really helpful, thanks! Reminds me what i am trying to do with my own blog, giving insight on how it is to live in Uppsala and actually give some information to the interested people!

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  2. Verry informative and good to know. Thank you very much.

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  3. hey :) thanks for this very helpful blog ! I´ll be in Uppsala for two month next year and wondered if you knew a place where I can by a bike ? thanks a lot ( lara-kaiser@gmx.de )

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    1. Hej Lara! I though this was a very interesting question, so I wrote a new post :-) http://studyingatuppsala.blogspot.se/2014/11/getting-bike-in-uppsala.html

      I hope it helps!

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