With its 13 student nations, student life at Uppsala is something quite special in Sweden, and the nations are the core of Uppsala University’s student life. Become a member to get access to pubs, lunch cafeterias, libraries, formal balls, clubs, and theatre, music and sports activities.
The student nations were established in the 17th century and ever since have served as a second home for Uppsala University students. At a nation, you can have a coffee and read the newspapers from your home town, study, borrow books from the nation’s library, or play and sing in one of the many student choirs and orchestras. You can also go to the nation’s pubs or dance at the nation’s clubs. Or what about writing for the nation’s newspaper?
What is a student nation? In a nutshell, it’s a place students can go to study and spend time on a variety of activities. If you want, you can even get involved in the running of the nation you choose to join.
The nations have their own student housing which is rented to nation members and each nation also has scholarships that you can apply for.
Read more about registering for a student nation.
Would you like to know what nation life is like? Listen to the segment (in Swedish) “Att bli en del av nationslivet” in the podcast Studier & Studentliv to hear two students talk about what a nation is and what you can do there. This segment includes presentations from all 13 student nations, so you can get a sense of which one might suit you.
Being active in a nation
Each nation’s activities are run by the students for the students, and anyone can choose to be actively involved. In addition to working at the bar, serving food, or cooking, many nations encourage you to come up with your own suggestions for events and things to do. You might like to start a dance class or hold a fashion show. If you are active in the work of a nation, you can get a KK card that gives you and a guest free entry to all nations for traditional nation events and activities. For many students, the nations are just a place to hang out, have fun, and take a break from their studies.
What can you do at the student nations?
Food, pubs, activities – Uppsala’s nation life is boundless. Take a look at the Nation Guide, ‘Nationsguiden’, and see upcoming events and activities at the student nations.
Guest card for students at other universities
If you are a student at another university but would like access to the nations, you can take out a temporary nation membership. You will then be issued with a guest card. Temporary memberships are sold at the office in the entrance hall of the Uppsala Student Union building. The Kuratorskonventet (Curators Committee) will then issue a guest card for you.
The nations – a glossary
- First Curator: Also referred to as 1Q, the top representative of all the nations with overall responsibility for them. Similar to a chairperson.
- Second curator: Also referred to as 2Q, manages the nations’ finances and, in some instances, their real estate. Similar to a treasurer or financial manager.
- Third curator: Also referred to as 3Q, manages the nations’ kitchen and restaurant activities. This post includes extensive human resources responsibilities.
- Klubbverkare (club workers): These are the people who work in the nations’ catering and restaurant activities, either as volunteers or paid workers.
- Kuratorskonventet (Curators Committee): Also referred to as KK, the Uppsala student nations’ cooperative body.
- Underkonvent (Subcommittee): The cooperative body for matters affecting all the nations, such as sports or choral activities.
- Inspector: Generally a professor or senior lecturer at Uppsala University or the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) who serves as the liaison between the nations and the University.
- Landskap (County): This is also the nations’ conference. It is the highest decision-making body of the nations. It is similar to an annual general meeting, but is held four to seven times each year – this varies from nation to nation.
- Gasque: A formal, traditional sit-down event, usually in formal dress. Includes entertainment, speeches and singing.
- Sexa: A simple dinner.
- Skattmästare (Bursar): Older member with special responsibility for managing the nations’ finances and real estate.
- Spex: A kind of amateur theatre that involves singing and music. Often rendered in rhyme.
Uppsala’s 13 student nations
Gotlands nation, Östra Ågatan 13, +46 18 13 09 81
Gästrike-Hälsing nation, Trädgårdsgatan 9, +46 18 66 61 41
Göteborgs nation, S:t Larsgatan 7, +46 18 13 20 06
Kalmar nation, Svartmangatan 3, +46 18 69 49 80
Norrlands nation, Västra Ågatan 14, +46 18 65 70 70
Smålands nation, S:t Larsgatan 5, +46 18 13 18 54
Stockholms nation, Drottninggatan 11, +46 18 14 63 33
Södermanlands-Nerikes nation, S:t Olofsgatan 16, +46 18 15 40 60
Uplands nation, S:t Larsgatan 11, +46 18 15 21 51
Värmlands nation, Ingmar Bergmansgatan 2, +46 18 13 44 45
Västgöta nation, Västra Ågatan 18, +46 18 13 63 60
Västmanlands-Dala nation, S:t Larsgatan 13, +46 18 10 53 39
Östgöta nation, Trädgårdsgatan 15, +46 18 13 43 11
Student unions and clubs
Along with the nations, there are student unions, associations, and political parties who work to make your time as a student at Uppsala University as rewarding as possible. All of these groups also empower you to take an active role in your situation. For example, you can join one of the student union study groups, write for a student union newspaper, or become a member of a sports club. Many, many opportunities are open to you.