Timst’s Happy Place

30 Days

by timst on October 2, 2012

It’s been a month now. A month that I’ve wanted to write this post, but mainly a month since I arrived in Teleborg Area, Växjö City, Kronoberg County, Småland Province, Sweden. The seat of the Växjö campus of Linnaeus University, where I’ll stay until 2014, at which point I’ll (hopefully) get a master degree in software technology.

 

Flag of the university

 

The campus at Växjö is US-style. I’m not sure how it works in most countries, but I’ve never seen something like that in France. Basically, the campus is like a miniature city : everything, from apartments to lecture rooms to restaurants and nightclubs, is located in the same park. There’s a small network of roads, sport fields, and even some shops dedicated to the approximately 15000 students living here. This is life-changing. It’s an entirely different approach to student life that everything I’ve seen so far. In France, you go to your school for the lectures, and that’s it. You can choose to have lunch at universities restaurants, and there might be some sport associations where you can work out for a low price, but for most people that’s the whole extent of the student life. You’re supposed to provide for everything else, and notably, if you want to have a social life, you have to work on it, because you’ll most likely never meet anyone from your class outside of the university buildings.

 

Not so much here, where basically everything is in the same place. You study, live, eat and work out on the campus grounds, and you’re never farther than 500 m from anything. This is very nice and convenient of course, but an unexpected result is that you spend your whole day meeting the same people, which is a huge social life accelerator. Now the assignment and exams are starting to pile up so most people just spend their free time in the library or in their flats, but at the beginning of the semester the campus felt closer to a summer camp than to a school. This tight integration of social life and studies is really something new for me, and I’m still getting used it to it, but so far I love it. It’s always awesome to meet new people, and the fact that most of them come from the other side of the continent (or planet) only make it more interesting.

 

VIS Welcome Dinner

At the Växjö International Student’s Welcome Dinner. It’s me in the middle, with the tie (because I’m classy).

 

And it’s a good thing, because I have a lot of free time here. I mean, A LOT. I only have, like, 3 or 4 lectures per week, sometime only over two days. As a result, I go to sleep at three in the morning, eat my lunch in the afternoon and generally live like I’m in vacations all the time. Now to be honest, the time I don’t spend in front of a teacher, I spend it in front of Eclipse in the library. We have a ton of assignment, and that’s not the sort of stuff that you can just brush off in an hour. The fact that there is so few lessons also means that you really, really can’t afford to miss one, since the teacher won’t backtrack and you can easily get lost if you’re not careful. For the moment I’m pretty well ahead in our Software Engineering Fundamentals class. Where I’m not ahead, however, is in the optional Graph Drawing class that I took, which deals with this kind of things:

 

Lecture slide

Yeah huh right, too much computational effort, let’s forget about this shall we ?

So yeah, not as relaxing as it seems. As I said, I still have some free time though, and next time I’ll talk about what I do with it.