A Warm Welcome and the Best International Experience!

Excited for your arrival at Chalmers? You should be! This is what you can expect those first few weeks.

Photo: Welcome Day for Chalmers International Students, photo by Johan Bodell

I still remember my first day at Chalmers. Music blared through the loudspeakers, people mingled with nervous excitement, and the participating student committees (wearing their VERY cool committee overalls) ran around in preparation to welcome us. It was Welcome Day at Chalmers University and all the admitted international students were gathered outside the student union (Chalmers studentkår). Last year, I stood with my newly made friends amongst the rest of the crowd, eagerly waiting. Chalmers’ marching band appeared. They played the school song and performed a cheesy skit that we all laughed at anyway. This was followed by a dance performance by Chalmers Ballet and then the Indian Association sang a few popular songs I immediately recognized. It didn’t take long for the cluster of us to join in, slightly off-key. I had several Indian friends back in the United States and it reminded me of them. I smiled to myself. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed. The spirit of all those involved was palpable. I truly felt welcomed, as if I, along with everyone around me, was being adopted into Chalmers with open arms. The surmountable joy coursing through me made me realize I already loved Chalmers. I didn’t want that day to end and it didn’t have to because the festivities would last for an entire month! 

That first month at Chalmers was one of the best in my life. I had heaps of fun and was continuously being introduced to new people so that I could never remember anyone’s name (haha oops)! CIRC or Chalmers International Reception Committee organizes four weeks of activities every semester for the new students. The events include a tram race throughout Gothenburg, laser tag, park hangouts, sauna trips, parties in Chalmers’ very own train wagon, and much, much more! These are all done with the phadder groups you’re divided into before your arrival. Phadders are fellow students at Chalmers who volunteer to help you get acquainted with Gothenburg and Chalmers, so make sure you sign up for one! Those first few weeks were chaotic in the best way possible. The more than warm welcome to the university and the city made such a huge impact on me that I was inspired to spread that spirit to others. Thus, when Autumn Reception ended, I decided to join CIRC as Phadder Manager and I am now part of the 2019 team! So, when you arrive this fall, we will definitely meet! And I cannot wait to welcome you! 

At Chalmers, I have met dozens of people from all over the world. In fact, ten months later, I am still constantly meeting new people! While I knew that Chalmers’ student body consisted of 30% international students, I was blown away by how international it was. Often, it feels like a much larger percentage than that! Mexico, Romania, Lebanon, Thailand, Canada, Brazil- you name it, Chalmers has it! People are of all different ages too! I am often shocked to find that someone I thought to be in their mid-twenties is in their early thirties! This incredible representation of people is the best asset Chalmers has. It is a unique social experience and extraordinary opportunity that you can’t get at a typical university, especially coming from the U.S. It truly has opened my eyes and mind to how diverse the world is. I’ve learned about various cultures just in passing conversations. I’ve talked in depth about politics, religion, lifestyles, everything under the sun. I don’t even notice when it happens, but it all adds up and my perspective has gotten so much bigger since everyone is so open-minded! Students at Chalmers are not only here to learn in school but also from each other (including the teachers)! In fact, students I have spoken with don’t want to return to their home country after graduation. They want to see the world and experience all it has to offer. That is why they came to Sweden to study at Chalmers. In my opinion, the international presence and that open-mindedness are worth as much as the education itself and this is what makes Chalmers so special.

Author: Emma Norde​n 

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Page manager Published: Thu 10 Feb 2022.