Saturday, January 10, 2015

Oops i ranted again - Living costs and F-bombs in Uppsala

My nickname should be night-owl, nightcrawler or something along these lines. I like to be in the dark, i study better in the dark, i play and write in the dark. And then i regret it in the morning and die on my uncomfortable bed.

I also had a presentation on statistics today which was done in 30 minutes with Jaime. So you can guess how basic it was.

"Hi, i am Kostas, i did this that and that, put some really incomprehensible graphs that made me cry like a little baby when i was making them, results are these and more research is needed."

After finally receiving a couple of comments on the last post i will address them here. Let's get going!
The comment was "tell us if everyday life, university and people there are what you expected before going and how much has your opinion changed now."
How can someone not appreciate this scenery?
First i will talk about what i expected before coming here. Everyone asks me why i chose Sweden.

  • Best place to make a family
  • Society respects you
  • Multicultural with many greek expats
  • Great salaries and strong economy
  • Great quality of life
  • Great education system
  • Less corruption
Ok about the last one who am i kidding, i guess only Nigeria has more. Now what did i find here?
There is absolutely no regret over my decision, it was the correct one. The salaries are indeed outstanding, the economy is strong and the people are friendly (though reserved). The influx of Mediterraneans also makes it  feel like home some times in Uppsala.

But what about the things that i found completely different from what i expected?

  • Monthly life is cheap in Uppsala, mainly due to the student nations offering affordable prices. Stockholm can be extremely expensive. I find myself spending 600-700 euros monthly without starving or staying at home all day. I will break this down later. However if you decide to go all out on fun and entertainment as i did on the first month you will soon find a hole in your pocket.
  • The education is indeed great and they are always there for anything you need.
  • My master's is absolutely atrocious. From the way the classes are structured, to my fellow students, to the teachers. I will go into detailed extent later as well. The bottom line is i expected more from a top 80 university in the world.
  • The Swedes are cool people and will help you with anything, however i just don't feel like i want to meet them or get to know them.
  • The women in Sweden are 10's and the women in Greece are 6's. True but i find them absolutely boring. I will pass. Swedes are absolutely shit at pick up as well. Extroverts have no competition here.
  • I did not expect everyone to be so liberated in a fashion sense. Do you want to dress as a lobster? A ninja? A giant ball-sack? You can here sir, yes you can.
  • I believed due to how equal people are here that i would see a lot of homosexual men and women here. However they are very subtle and discreet unless you are in a terrible Flogsta party and everyone is smashed. What i mean is i have not seen extreme stuff in public that someone not so open-minded might find offensive.
  • Swedes speak great English but when they have to right i want to gouge my eyes out with a pitchfork. Along the lines of "give a birth to your own daughter".
  • The music is absofuckinglutely shit. And the way kids dance here will make you get popcorn from the local movies and laugh at the C-movie on your live screen.
  • Talking about music, for all of the Nordic countries and their death/black/heavy metal roots and bands there is not a single bar/pub that plays that sort of music. At least in Uppsala. And that makes me a very sad panda.
  • The roads are so slippery and you will fall down or slide like a penguin many many times. I got offered a great bike by Jaime but last time i slid down for 15 meters outside his house. Finland at least is covered in snow all the time, not ice.
  • The weather is not bad. This so far has been the best winter i have ever had. No rain, no showers, no humidity to penetrate my bones. The temperatures are more stable around the 0 mark which is ok, while on Greece we have havoc right now.
I believe that answers your questions Stavros and i will go in depth now. Also my love to Thessaloniki, i miss being there and in Anw Toumba.

Now i will make a breakdown of the economic side of living here in Uppsala.

My Costs
Average Costs
Personal needs
Total (in euros)

To be more precise. I have found a great house with a great rent. Most houses here cost a bit more than mine. I make my own food and i visit the supermarket every 3 days. I spend around 15-20 euros per visit. I don't go out that much but i visit pubs with my friends or i eat Jaime's expensive salmon at his house. As you will probably be a student you will spend more at MAX fast food and dirty burgers that are delicious. Personal needs revolve around clothing, things that need to be fixed or replaced, unexpected costs etc. University costs nothing for me yet but it could cost a bit during times because some of the textbooks have to be bought or you will rent them through the library. In Uppsala everyone uses a bike. I don't because it's shit. No thanks. A bike like Marley will cost you around 30-50 euros while a better one around 100 euros. The monthly bus card for students costs 55 euros and if you decide to simply charge it it costs 2 euros per bus ride (2,5 if you use a credit/debit card). So if you have your daddy to sponsor you you are looking at the 900's and if you are an extra saver you can make it probably with 500-600 euros per month. Not so shabby isn't it? The best thing is that heating, internet, water, everything is included in your rent.

Bread will cost you from 1 to 3 euros depending on the quality, while sometimes they offer discounts if you buy two. Milk will cost you less than a euro and for 1.5 you can buy four cups of greek yogurt with honey. Bottled water is expensive around 1.5 euros but tap water is very good here. A homemade pizza will cost 2.5 euros and for less than 1 you can get the students favorite dish, pasta. A beer on a local student nation will cost from 2.5 euros to 3.5 and 5-10 depending on quality and origin in a normal pub. Pizza will cost around 7.5 euros. Going to the movies is expensive and you usually have to book a place. It costs around 12 euros for a seat. The quality is great though. Entering a nightclub has an age restriction at some places, from 21 to 25+. If you go to a studentnation club and you are not a member expect to pay 6-12 euros for the entrance. Coffee is shitty french filter and costs around 1 euro. Not bad is it?

Enough with the economic stuff. It reminds me of maths and that dreaded statistics course i have next week. University time.

The facilities are state of the art. There is no doubt about that. Everything is recycled and extremely clean. There are kitchens to make your food, multiple toilets with separate for disabled people. A cheap coffee/food place and decent computer rooms and labs. The library is quiet and great with a vast selection of books.

The staff is very friendly, polite and understanding. I found myself visiting the student adviser many times and she was always comforting or trying to assist me and find solutions to my problems. And boy i had many. The teachers are flexible with their deadlines and they will understand if you have a problem. The teachers are also fairly young, some have a good sense of humor and they will use colorful illustrations and cartoons so you understand something better.

Now for the bad stuff. When i start a completely strange new class that requires me to master a program i have no clue about and just thrusts you in the action, then teaches you this program on the next course next semester, there is something wrong here. Apparently the baboon that manages the course decided to go hunt polar bears and live with Mr. Poppers penguins in Antarctica so they switched the course. Not cool.

When i am in a master program classified as top 80 in the World and they expect from me to be punctual and proofread my essays and assignments, i expect the same from them. When the teacher fires up the lecture and on the first page you see something like "intrsuments" or "lithopshere" or "very crash, very sad" you wonder why do they expect it from you. Some teachers i have speak atrocious english. We are taking about making weird meditation sounds after ending a phrase or some ear-bleeding accent that will keep you unfocused.

Now while we have some great teachers, we also have some terrible choices. We had an asshole that tried to enforce his biased opinion about real researchers and phd's and how we master students are only motivated by money and we don't do true research. I got into a really heated discussion with him. Well fuck you Ala Al Muhadir Jihad or what the fuck was your name. There was no place to send our report, no feedback, no response from the teacher who was absent probably shoving dark matter in his asshole.

The other statistics course? We had to wait until 5 days before the exam to understand what we actually have to read for it. It was terrible. Oh also remember the course i told you about with the penguin man? Our supervisor sent us a mail 2 months after the course ended and said "I can't accept your paper". She corrected our mistakes and told us to be more formal and write better english while she is in need of some serious grammar lessons. Also fuck you Holger you are an idiot for leaving that phrase in our report. Did i mention that the 5th person of that report is missing baking cakes and dressing up as a cat? Fuck you too.

Well i think this concludes everything. To sum up, it has been a great experience coming here and i don't regret it. I think i will have a bright future here and so will you, potential reader if you decide to join me here. And if you do, send me a pm and we will go out for a fika. I did expect the level of teaching to be better. But i am getting valuable life lessons so far and how to deal in a group with complete imbeciles.

As always, please leave me a comment, subscribe, like and share! Also any more suggestions regarding future posts are greatly welcome!

Until we meet again, Goodnight Sweden.


  1. Oh what a great post! So now I understand the following rating in teaching!