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in Sweden The role of the student unions

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in Sweden The role of the student unions
« on: January 08, 2009, 10:10:04 PM »
in Sweden The role of the student unions

Student unions, formed to represent the social and academic interests of their members, may be found at every university and university college in Sweden. Membership is compulsory; students pay a small fee (SEK 150-400 depending on where they're studying) at the start of each term.

Swedish student unions have traditionally played an important role in university life. Compulsory membership fees have enabled them to improve conditions for students.

Student unions are there to make every student’s stay as pleasant as possible: they provide accommodation, operate restaurants, cafes and bars, arrange parties with live bands, run sports programs and organize orchestras and student theatricals. The union is the organization you will be most in contact with when arranging accommodation.

Students at older Swedish universities are organized into nationer. These “nations”, of which there are many, represent the different regions of Sweden. Many have traditions dating back several centuries. Every student studying at a university of this kind must belong to a nation and pay a small membership fee. Together, these organizations form the student union at that university. Foreign students may join whichever nation they prefer.

Student unions have long been the natural meeting point for new students and many offer services of different kinds to foreign students. Some have so-called host or mentor programs in which students already enrolled at university meet visiting students on arrival and introduce them to the city and fellow students. You can get in touch with your union through your university or university college and ask about the services they provide to foreign students.

When you join a union you will receive a student card that entitles you to benefits and discounts on domestic travel. Many shops also offer student discounts. Other services include updated information on activities on and off campus and help in most matters relating to your stay in Sweden. Best of all, perhaps, is the chance to take part in interesting social activities and meet new people.
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