Passport and boarding passes in hand, I was ready to board my plane. While checking in my suitcase, the lady at the front desk informed me that the plane had been delayed 40 minutes. Okay, I had an hour and a half layover. It’d be close now, but I would make it. After going through TSA and waiting for my plane to be prepared, I finally boarded. Over the broadcast system, the pilot states that Air force 2 has decided to leave when we are scheduled to. Since the Vice President has priority over our flight, we are forced to wait, and my layover time becomes shorter. We finally take off, and I am preparing my boarding passes for the next flight because I know there won’t be much time to spare. To people planning on studying abroad, I’d recommend having at least a two hour connection because delays are bound to happen.

As we are about to land, the flight attendant calls off a list of flights that have missed their connections. Luckily, mine wasn’t one of them, but I’d have to sprint. Hurrying through immigration and running across the terminal, I made it just in time. The plane was almost done boarding. An hour and a half into the flight, a passenger fell ill with appendicitis, and the pilot was forced to turn the plane around in order to ensure his safety. The man was escorted off the plane in Montreal, and after the plane refueled, I was on my way to Copenhagen once again. The plane arrived safely; however, my fellow UCEAP travelers and I were late for the program. Luckily, Lund students were still stationed at the Copenhagen airport to guide us to the university. They assisted international students in buying train tickets, and after a short train ride, we were in Lund.

When I arrived in Lund, I was escorted onto the top floor of the train station. Because Lund University was expecting approximately 800 students that day and only had 7 vans, I had to wait in line for an hour before I could be taken to Arrival Day. At Arrival Day, I was able to check-in my luggage before exploring the booths. There, one could check into one’s apartment/corridor and receive one’s welcome package. The welcome package came with a Swedish SIM card that can be placed into unlocked cell phones. One of the booths lets you fill up your SIM card, so your phone can start working abroad. UCEAP highly recommends that all students studying abroad have a cell phone in case of emergency, so I suggest loading the SIM card with minutes while you’re at Arrival Day. Additionally, there was a booth that handed out Jo-Jo Cards. These cards function as bus passes around Skåne (the county Lund resides in). Because Lund is so spread out, I recommend loading money onto the Jo-Jo card as soon as you get a chance, especially in the winter. It started snowing on my second day here, and it’s much easier to take the bus instead of trekking for forty minutes in the snow.

At Arrival Day, the teachers sell textbooks for the SUSA course, which is an intensive language course that is required for all UCEAP students. Luckily, the textbook is only about $2.50 USD. Also, you have the opportunity to buy event tickets. Keep in mind that these tickets sell out fast. By the time I came, they were already sold out of some of the events, so I recommend visiting that booth first. This year, the events included a welcome party, a tour of the Malmö Museum, a trip to IKEA, a hiking excursion, a meal of traditional Swedish cuisine, and a tour of the Lund Cathedral. These tickets are not expensive; however, the tickets must be purchased in cash. I recommend converting some money into SEK (Swedish Krona/Crown) before leaving abroad to save yourself some time and to help ensure you get a ticket to all the events you want to attend. I highly recommend going to as many events that seem interesting to you. In later posts, I’ll describe some of the events I went to.

Because of how late some flights arrive, you might be worried about having bedding for the night. Frankly, for me, there was zero time to go shopping for things like towels, sheets, and pillows because of the delayed flight and Arrival Day. Luckily, at Arrival Day, there is a booth that sells bath towels, hand towels, pillows, bedding, and shower curtains, so I didn’t have to figure out how to get all of that stuff to fit into my luggage. The only problem is that they don’t sell toilet paper at Arrival Day. Most of the housing provided by LU Accommodations have private bathrooms, and they do not supply toilet paper. Unfortunately, most students don’t realize this until they are back at their rooms late at night. Luckily, I had a chance to stop by the store before it closed. Make sure to schedule time to run to the store on your first day or bring a few pieces in your luggage.

After Arrival Day, the university vans drove me and my luggage to my dorm in Klostergården Student House. But, I only had time to run in and drop off my luggage before heading right back out. UCEAP had a mandatory meeting in the middle of town that I had to find my way to. The city is gorgeous with its brick buildings. In the center of town, one can see a castle and a cathedral that is nearly one thousand years old. However beautiful the city may be, I was not good at navigating it, especially in the dark. After getting lost a few times and asking quite a few people for directions (luckily practically everyone here speaks fluent English), I made it to the meeting. Linus, the UCEAP coordinator, introduced himself to us and went over some paperwork that would help us during our time in Lund. The meeting ended with me completely drained. I found my way back to my room and collapsed. I was happy to be here— completely exhausted—but excited.

Christine Pahel studied abroad in Lund, Sweden, in Spring 2017: