If you are thinking of going to Lund, or have already been accepted to go there (congrats btw), you will soon realise that the heart of the social life here at Lund University are NATIONS.
Nations have many functions. My slightly generalised definition would be: A large residential area where students live and work, where events and parties are held and which only are allowed to be accessed by students of Lund University and students from other Universities with Guest passes (visitors) – with the exception of Smålands Nation*. They are not allowed to have political views or agendas, and you can register yourself to ONE Nation, but can still go to all of them. You can volunteer at events in the Nation to which you are registered, and are “thanked” with a free Tack-Sittning.
*(Smålands Nation is not technically affiliated to the University because of it’s a socialist, feminist, vegan and anti-racist nation.)
Sound complicated? It is, kind of, but it’s also quite simple.
Before you are even allowed to visit one, you must have a Student Lund card, where you pay about £30 roughly to register. When you have paid, you must go to a Nation to register and then get a lovely card in the mail or you can get it on your phone through the Student Lund app. This is separate to your Lund University student card which you get from the university to gain access to the University buildings and the library. This is ALSO separate from your library card, which allows you to borrow texts books, but you’ll find out about that later.
They host events such as brunches, lunches, dinners, movie nights, live jazz, parties, festivals, everything.
I didn’t meet a single person that did not have a Student Lund membership, so I strongly recommend that you get one asap. I was a member of Västgöta Nation, or VGs as we called it, because it was the closest and my friends were signing up to it. Simple as that. It wasn’t a big decision that I made with a pros and cons list. Just a quick decision.
I didn’t go to all the Nations and had different experiences in them all, so the ratings are subjective and do not represent the entire Nation or anyone else’s opinion of the Nation.
Here is a a wikipedia page on the Nations if you’re interested! (I will be following the order of the wikipedia page, so the order does not represent my ranking).
*Click on the Nation’s name to go straight to their website!*
- ÖSTGÖTA NATION
- VÄSTGÖTA NATION
- SMÅLANDS NATION
- LUNDS NATION
- MALMÖ NATION
- HELSINGKRONA NATION
- SYDSKÅNSKA NATION
- KRISTIANSTAD NATION
- BLEKINGSKA NATION
- GÖTEBORGS NATION
- HALLANDS NATION
- KALMAR NATION
- WERMLANDS NATION
Each of the Nation’s website has a calendar of events, and the StudentLund website is a great source for more information on the Nations and also a calendar of all official Nation events.
I went a few many Nations for food, because it’s way cheaper than going to a restaurant. Most places that do dinner need to have spots reserved in advance, for example Västgöta Nation has a wonderfully classy dinner they do most (if not almost all) Fridays, which must be booked in advance. It’s usually as simple as following the Nations on facebook and following the instructions if they post something about a food event. Sometimes you need to call, other times just an email or an online form is enough.
I’ve also heard that most brunches done at Nations are pretty killer, so if you have the opportunity to go one then do! I regret not going to one. I’ve heard brunches at Östgöta are fantastic (although some friends have called it a bit hit or miss)
Sweden being Sweden, vegetarian and vegan options are offered in every occasion.
PARTAAAAYs and events
So one thing that the Nations do very well are THEMED parties. There is always a party to go to on the weekend or during the week, be it 80s night, Abba night, Hip hop night, you name it, Lund will have it at some point during the academic year. Kristianstad Nation has a super fun Nostalgia night that will bring you right back to your childhood.
Smålands Nation has some really great Jazz nights every month, which I strongly recommend you attend as the talent is beyond ridiculous. Sydskånska Nation does a movie night plus food every Sunday evening from 18 to 21 hours, which is a really nice way of ending the weekend. They show a huge range of movies, but they tend to always be good ones.
Lunds Nation has the most spectacular view from the top, it’s almost worth just going to a breakfast, lunch or dinner (but especially party) just for the view.
Naturally, you’ll find out more about Nations as you visit them and you’ll hear plenty of stuff from your friends, so don’t be shy and explore!