International students being initiated for the first timeLTH
The red carpet was on Monday rolled out to welcome the students to LTH (Faculty of Engineering). For the first time the international students are given the opportunity to participate in the initiation period organized by the Student Union at LTH.
“They are new at LTH and they have not earned any university credits here. They are just as much freshmen as everybody else.
This is how the Student Union Vice President, Dara Kader, explains why exchange students are to be equally entitled as new students to participate in the initiation period “Nollningen”. In collaboration with the sections of the Student Union at LTH, Dara has devised a plan for as many exchange students as possible being able to participate in this year’s initiation period.
“There will be problems”, says Dara.
“There must be something we forgot about.”
Occasional nights will not be enough
In spite of the idea coming up late, Dara doubtlessly wishes to expand the initiative prior to next year.
“Pub nights are arranged where a lot of international students and Swedes come together. But I do not believe integration happens over night. The initiation is the best occasion.”
During these hectic times at the Student Union office, a German student pays a visit. A few minutes later, Dara has arranged for the student to participate in the initiation period.
“Since this is the first year, everybody will not be able to take part of it”, he says.
“I have worked according to a system where I choose the ones who approach and grab me.”
A different experience
Adriaan Bovendeert studies Industrial Design and he is one of the exchange students being subject to initiation. He already has plenty of experience of the life as a student:
“I joined a student organization where they required you to work as a volunteer for three days. Uttering the wrong words had you doing twenty push-ups.”
He says he does not know what to expect but he definitely notices differences. One thing he noticed about Sweden is the fact that there is much more emphasis on what you study. Thus, it is not certain whether there are advantages by participating only in the initiation period organized by LTH:
“It depends on what you are looking for. International student are taking a big step by moving to Sweden, so they are very susceptible. But I will know more about proper Swedish culture.”
Student Union President, Rasmus Kjellén, takes a positive stand to including the exchange students. The chance of possible errors is no reason not to carry something through. This becomes evident during the welcoming day, when virtually the entire Union office manually registers freshmen due to a, according to Rasmus, poorly planned change of servers which cancelled out the electronic service.
“It comes with the job, you know”, says Rasmus.
Text: Sara Willman
Translation: Maximilian Aleman Tennell