Welcome week calls for hectic days for Konstantina Elmpasidou, president of Chalmers international reception committee, CIRC. CIRC
, a committee of 10 voluntary students, works closely with Chalmers staff in arranging a variety of reception events for the students, and has also involved 130 student to act as mentors for the new students.
Konstantina describes how the welcome activities deliver both inspiration and necessary information for a good introduction to student life at Chalmers and in Gothenburg:
"Apart from the general practical introduction we arrange campus tours on both campuses, so that the students can get acquainted with the surroundings, the student library, meet the counselors and so on. We also organise traditional Swedish and international “sittnings”, sauna trips and tram races."
Chalmers International Reception Committee greet the new international students
The welcome week started with arrival day where Chalmers staff and students greeted the students upon their arrival at Landvetter airport. One of the campus days started with performances from dance academy Twisted feet, Chalmers student ballet group, live music from the student orchestra and Indian Bollywood-style dance.
Indian student dancers Dance academy Twisted feet and 5 degrees
Asian student associations
Within the international student community at Chalmers, the Chinese and Indian students are in majority. The Indian students have already formed their own association, Ran, and, this year, “the China group”, a new association, was formed. The China group is coordinated by Wenxuan Zhang, former master student of “Design for Sustainable Development” at Chalmers.
Wenxuan has first-hand experience from getting accustomed to Swedish culture as a Chinese student. The aim of the group is to support Chinese students in getting familiarized with Swedish student life, as it is quite different from their own culture. Wenxuan describes that their activities focus on culture differences and similarities. One example being the concept of “fika”, or how Swedes tend to leave the last piece of cake, and that it is important to socialise around lunch. In China, you generally don’t talk when you eat, but in Sweden it is natural to interact while sharing a meal. Another difference is second hand stores, that are very popular in Sweden, but hardly exits in China.
The welcome and reception activities for new students at Chalmers run until the end of September.
Text: Carolina Eek Jaworski
Images: CFFC, Carolina Eek Jaworski