Photo: Natalie Greppi

Student unions and student associations

A students’ union is an organisation run by students. The union is perhaps best known for organizing welcome weeks, parties and other activities for students, but it also looks after the interests of you and other students at the University and in society at large. There is also a lot of student associations in Gothenburg and we also have a student buddy system designed to welcome new international students.

Meet new friends through the students’ unions

During the first weeks, the students’ unions arrange welcome week and orientation activities. In Swedish, these events are often referred to as nollning or inspark. These provide an introduction to student life for new students at the University of Gothenburg and can take the form of different planned activities. These can include games, sports, parties, mingle events, dinners and many other forms. There are often activities both with and without alcohol.

Information about activities for new students is usually available on the websites of the students’ unions, on social media and on notice boards around campus. If you have questions, contact one of the students’ unions.

You decide how you want to participate

When you participate in a welcome week or orientation event, you choose what activities you want to take part in and you choose if you want to drink alcohol or not. Certain activities, like competitions and team sports, mean you will participate more actively. You can also choose to attend more informal events, like mingle parties, pub evenings or game nights. The main purpose of all these activities during the welcome week is to help you integrate as new student at the University.

Get involved in a students’ union association

The students’ unions have many union associations that arrange activities for students. Regardless of whether you like singing, dancing, playing music or something else, there is often an association for you. The associations are also eager to have new members. Several of the student associations also operate pubs where students from different programmes and other parts of the University can meet in the evenings and on weekends.

You can find a list of the union associations and their contact details on the students’ unions websites.

The representative of students at the University

The students’ union focuses on creating a good study environment for students and ensuring that the programmes maintain high quality. The union appoints student representatives who sit on many committees, groups and boards that prepare and decide on different issues at the University. In this way, the representatives ensure that the interests of the students are considered when the University makes decisions on issues that impact students.

The union helps you with your study environment 

There are many student health and safety representatives at the University who actively work with study environment issues. A good study environment means that you and other students are happy and healthy during your studies, that the University’s buildings are adapted for the people who use them and that no one is badly treated or discriminated against. You can turn to your your health and safety representative if you think that something is bad or if you have opinions about your study environment. Talk to the students’ union for contact details of a student health and safety representative.

International student associations

There are a few student associations that focus on gathering international students and introducing them to life in Sweden and Gothenburg. Through these organisation you can get a Student Buddy, who help you get settled when you are new in Gothenburg.