One thing University of Lund is quite famous for, and together with other Swedish and Finish Universities probably unique in the World, are the well-known student Nations.
The story dates back to the 17th century when universities were large metropolitan centers with students from many different domestic and foreign regions. Students who were born within the same region usually spoke the same language, expected to be ruled by their own familiar laws, and therefore joined together to form the Nations. Logically, Nations in Lund are named after provinces and areas in southern Sweden. It is 349 years since the first Nation was founded and much has changed but the Nations’ original purpose remains: to provide students with a good and congenial atmosphere while they live and study in Lund.
Emblem of one of the oldest Nations in Lund
Since student Nations are definitely the best way to meet new people, me and my friends have obviously joined one the first week we arrived here. Luckily, the decision about which to join wasn’t hard because joining one Nation gives you entrance to all the other Nations’ events.
In Lund, in total there are 13 Nations, and each Nation has its own particular atmosphere and is popular for various events and offers. Apart from the parties and pub nights, there is one special event organized by all the Nations, and it is definitely something remarkable – the so called ‘’Sittning’’. It’s basically a 3-course dinner with lots of interesting details. First of all, people are randomly mixed when arriving to the dining tables, so they are ‘’forced’’ to mingle, and after each course, you should change your seat, so you mingle even more and meet some new people! Then, a vital part of a sittning is singing. The guests are usually given a booklet with songs that will be sung during the sittning. Apart from the typical Swedish schlager music, there are songs in English and many other languages so singing the known ones and learning the new ones while enjoying some delicious food can really be a lot of fun!
Sweden is ‘’notorious’’ for being one of the countries with the biggest liquor prices in the World. Luckily, Nations offer liquor at reasonable prices, and it is possible for one simple reason: the student’s working in Nations are actually doing everything on voluntary basis. After spending a semester in Gent, and having 3 fellows from Belgium, we easily picked Hallands Nation as our favorite, since they offer some of the best Belgian beers at their pub.
Yes, they even have the famous ‘’Kwak’’ and serve it from the original cups!
Other Nation that also stole my attention, and that I gladly visit is the ‘’Smålands Nation’’. Apart from being the ‘’alternative’’ Nation that is the only one politically active, it also organizes awesome Jazz sessions and Karaoke nights. And, although I adore meat, their cuisine made me start loving Vegan food!
Apart from the aforementioned things, all of the Nations offer a very wide range of activities and services, including lunches, brunches, pubs, housing opportunities, orchestras, sports, night clubs, formal balls and traditional festivities, among many other things.
”Glow in the dark”
Although someone could think that such a small city as Lund would not be very dynamic, the number of almost 50’000 students, led by the Nations make Lund an exceptional and unique student’s city.