Survival Guide


I. When to come and when to leave

Arrival day will be the 7th of June 2016 and departure will be the 15th of June. When you get selected for the course, we would like to send us some information as soon as it’s possible for you:
– Your travel arrangements, such as arrival time in Uppsala  (as exactly as possible) and preferably your flight number.
– The day and time you will be leaving Uppsala and Sweden
– If you are a vegetarian or allergic to something. Note that if you do not tell this in advance, we won’t be able to prepare the right food for you.
– Your home address. Or make sure that the address entered in your application is correct so that we can make an address list for all participants!
– Contact information to a person back home – family or a friend.

Please send this information to the participants responsible. See contact details below.

Coming early/staying later: If you have some extra days before or after the course, we really recommend you to visit our capital Stockholm. We can help you to get in contact with the Local BEST Group of Stockholm and help to arrange your stay there. To be sure to find somewhere to stay, book a hostel early. If you want to stay in Uppsala longer after the course, please let us know as early as possible.

II. Getting to the Uppsala


Getting to Uppsala by air usually means booking a ticket for Stockholm, since the two cities are so close. In fact, the Stockholm International Airport (Arlanda) is actually closer to Uppsala than to Stockholm. Almost all regular flights to Stockholm land at the official airport Arlanda, but a few may land at the airport Bromma in central Stockholm. However there are also several low-fare companies flying to Stockholm. These usually use one of three smaller airports in the area (more or less) around Stockholm: Bromma, Skavsta (pretty far from Uppsala) or Västerås (not that far, but not that close either).

Low-fare companies flying to Stockholm: Ryanair; Malmö Aviation (from Brussels only); Wizz Air, and others.

Arlanda airport: We recommend that you take the bus number 801 to Uppsala. You can buy tickets at the airport. The bus costs 100 SEK and takes about 45 min, also leaves about every half an hour. The bus is the cheapest option. You can buy the train/bus ticket with your card. You can buy the bus ticket on the bus, but you have to use a machine to buy the train ticket. The machines accept most credit cards except for American Express. If you don’t understand how the machines work, just ask someone at the desk outside marked “SJ” or just a random swede and they will help you. If you decide to take the train you will have to pay an extra fee.

Bromma airport: Bromma airport is pretty close to the centre of Stockholm. Take the bus from there to Stockholm Central Station, and from there the train  (approx. 40 mins) or bus (approx. 1 hour) to Uppsala. Take care if you are arriving very late in the evening; check that buses/trains are still going. Make sure that you don’t miss the last bus to Uppsala!

Skavsta airport: It is relatively far from Uppsala. Take the bus from the airport to Stockholm, take approx. 1.5 hours. The bus will leave you at the Stockholm Central Station. From there, take the train or bus to Uppsala. Check the timetables at for the bus between Skavsta and Stockholm, and for the time-table of bus 899 from Stockholm to Uppsala.

Västerås: This is the fifth biggest town in Sweden. Take the bus to Uppsala (it leaves when the plane has arrived).

From Stockholm City: You can either take the train or the bus to Uppsala from Stockholm station. Here you can find bus tickets to Uppsala: On the website is says that it’s cheapest to buy tickets in advance on ther website. It is possible to buy tickets on the station as well, however the difference in price is unclear but it shouldn’t be much. The train with SJ costs around 80 kr and you can buy tickets in machines on the train station. Notice that there is another train called SL Pendeln which is more expensive and takes longer to travel with.

Useful information for traveling by air: There is a policy, when traveling by plane, which restricts liquids to be taken to the cabin. Therefore, all alcohol drinks should be put into luggage as well as hygienic items (shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, etc). Otherwise you will be forced to discard it, if you don’t buy it inside the airport.

By boat: Boats, which can be cheaper than planes, are available from Poland, Finland and the Baltic countries. The boats arrive in Stockholm, from there Uppsala is 45 minutes away by train.

By train: Book the ticket to Uppsala (or Stockholm and take another train from there) and enjoy the ride.

By car: The highway E4 goes from Helsingborg (south of Sweden) all the way to Uppsala. With a road map this should be easy.

By foot/bike/horse-carriage/riding a moose: If you plan something like this, you probably don’t need our help to find your way around anyway!

III. What to bring

– Passport, tickets
– Student ID card (necessary; if possible both in your language and an international)
– Pocket money
– Insurance papers and phone number to your insurance company
– Towel
– Rain clothes (just in case)
– Warm clothes
– Shoes suitable for walking
– Alarm clock
– Swimsuit
– Pen and paper
– English dictionary (can be useful)
– Your friends and family contact information (in case of emergency)
– Some songs from your university
– National drinks and snacks/food for International Evening. If you want to cook something, try to let us know in advance.
– Sleeping bag and pillow (let us know as soon as possible if you won’t be able to bring this)
– A fancier outfit for the Final Gasque ( = the last evening event, see schedule)
– Clothes that you don’t care if they get dirty for Cantus ( = a slightly messy event, see schedule )

IV. Insurance

You will have to make sure you have the proper insurance coverage to go abroad. This includes full medical and dental insurance. Travel insurance to cover any accident or loss during the course is strongly recommended. Do not forget this!

V. Accommodation and teaching

For your stay here in Uppsala we will have arranged your accommodation. It will be located close to the Uppsala city center and near the student area of the city. We will fix air mattresses for you but you should bring your own sleeping bag and pillow.

The teaching in the course will be held outdoors, and transportation to the different locations will happen by bus. Note that you will be moving a lot in the midst of Swedish flora and fauna, so be prepared to walk much in varying terrain during the course.

You will also get to visit some of our several campuses during your stay. You can see one of them, the Ångström Laboratory, where much of the science and technology education is taking place, in the picture below.


For the  weekend trip  you will be staying in a cottage outside of Uppsala called Norreda. You will discover and enjoy the Swedish nature even more, go swimming and play games in the sun. The cottage also has a sauna ready to use.

VI. Weather

The weather in June in Sweden is usually very nice. The temperature is between 10 °C and 20 °C approximately. However, it is quite windy in Uppsala and there might be some rain if we are unlucky, so bring warm and waterproof clothes! Especially because the teaching will mainly happen outdoors.

VII. Summer course fee

On the arrival day you will be asked to pay a course fee. This should be paid in cash and therefore we ask you to have this prepared. The fee is accepted in euros or in Swedish currency. BEST-member countries are divided into four categories and depending on where you come from you pay a different amount. Students from countries in category 1 pay the full fee, which is 36 euros. Students from countries in category 2 pay 2/3 of the fee. Students from countries in category 3 pay 1/3 of the fee. Students from countries in category 4 pay no fee at all. (This fee system is common for all BEST courses).


VIII. International Evening

For those of you who have not been to traveling with BEST before, the International Evening will be a new experience. It’s your perfect occasion to get to know other European cultures, or at least the parts of the cultures that you can drink or eat. For this event you are supposed to bring one or more bottles of drinks from your country. The evening also involves a typical dish from your country. The concept is that you will present the food and drinks from your country (everyone else will do the same), and then everyone can come and taste a bit of everything. You will have plenty of time to prepare your food before the International Evening starts. Note that if your dish involves any “special ingredients” that probably won’t be found in Swedish supermarkets, you will have to bring them yourself. Please tell us on the arrival day if you need to go and buy something from a local supermarket. You can email us in advance before the course and ask about ingredients and if they can be bought here.

IX. Information about Sweden:

Student nations: Uppsala has a rich and active student life and is one of the most popular student cities in northern Europe. The student life of Uppsala is famous for its so called student nations. There are 13 of them, representing different geographical regions of Sweden. To enter the nations, you will need guest cards which we can get for you ONLY if you send us a copy of your student ID and regular ID by email in advance before the course. Send these to the participants responsible and also bring your student ID to Uppsala, and then we can explore the student nations together!

Buying alcoholic drinks: In Sweden you can only buy drinks containing alcohol in state owned shops called Systembolaget or bars. You have to be 20 years old to buy it at Systembolaget and 18 years old to buy it in a bar. This is due to Sweden’s very strict policy on alcohol, which also includes heavy taxes. Prices on beer, wine, and liquor are what most Europeans may consider very high – so don’t be shocked by the prices. If you want to drink cheaper it can be a good idea to bring some from home. At parties during the course you will be able to buy beer and cider quite cheap from us as well. The prices at the student nations aren’t of the worst kind either.

Smoking in Sweden: It’s prohibited to smoke in most common places (indoors) in Sweden and also in restaurants and bars. In Sweden, people usually don’t smoke indoors at all, not even at home, so it will also be prohibited for you to smoke indoors at the places where you stay. Smoking simply is an outdoor activity. Note that you have to be 18 years old to buy cigarettes.

Going out early: This is usually a cultural chock for people coming to Uppsala. Here we go out really early (before 9 p.m.) and the clubs close at around 1 or 2 am. There will be no place open until the late hours. But don’t worry, we will make sure that you always have an after party to go to.

Spex: This is a kind of amateur comedy theatre act performed by university students in Sweden. University cities, such as Gothenburg, Lund, Uppsala and Linköping have long-running traditions of spex. The word is likely derived from abbreviated student slang for spektakel (meaning show or spectacle). Prominent features of spexes are the musical-like mix of spoken text and songs, the often rhymed dialogue, a good amount of satire and parody and the tradition of having the audience shout “Omstart!” meaning “One more time!”, if they consider the current scene especially hilarious or if they think they know how it should be done better. The length of the spex can vary. We will let you try this!

Gasque: This is a kind of formal dinner, where you are supposed to be fancily dressed. It’s exclusively an Uppsala student tradition. Gasques can involve spexes and the certainly involve lots of song and laughter. These are of the more memorable kind of parties, so we have saved this event to the last night of the course.

Slightly funny crash course in Swedish:

Swedish                     English                       Pronounced approx. as
Hej                               Hello                            hay
Hej då                         Bye                               hay-doe
God morgon              Good morning           goo-moe-ron
God natt                     Good night                  goo-nut
Tack                            Thank you                   tuck
Ja                                 Yes                                 yah
Nej                               No                                 nay
Ursäkta                       Excuse me                   uhr-shack-tah
Jag älskar dig!           I love you!                   yah-ale-scar-day
Är detta bussen till  Is this the bus to the  air-det-tah-bue-sen-til-
universitetet?           university?                  ue-nee-ver-seetay-tat
En öl                           A beer                           ayn-oel
En buss                      A bus                             ayn-bues
Ursäkta mig, jag       Excuse me, I don’t      uhr-shack-tah-may-yah-pra-tar-
pratar inte svenska  speak Swedish           inntay-sven-skah
Du är en väldigt       You’re a very              due-air-ayn-val-dit-snueg-
snygg tjej/kille          beautiful girl/guy       shay/killlay


Contact Information:

BEST Uppsala, Uppsala Teknolog- och Naturvetarkår Uthgård, 752 37 Uppsala Sweden (TFN: +46-18-57 25 20)


Participant Responsible: Per Frimanson – +46 72 221 15 18

BEST Uppsala Board Member: Anton Weber – + 46 76 414 85 40


We are really looking forward to meet you in June!