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Students go by train to the exchange

News: Sep 11, 2019

Felicia and Nils are two of 29 students who applied for the University of Gothenburg's Erasmus Grant for Train Travel. The grant amount of SEK 2,000 goes to students who choose to go by train instead of flying to the destination for their exchange studies in Europe.

“I had already decided that I wanted to take the train, because I wanted to choose a more sustainable way of travelling and avoid straining the climate, when I heard about the travel grant. The 2000 SEK will cover the travelling cost for me, says Nils Elofsson, who will study sociology and political science in Slovenia until the end of the year.

Wanted to go to Eastern Europe

Nils studies the Master´s Programme in European Studies at the University of Gothenburg and will go to the University of Ljubljana for an exchange semester.
“I've always wanted to study abroad, and I was eager to go to Eastern Europe. Prague was my first choice, but I didn't get it. Instead, I got Ljubljana in Slovenia, but I'm not disappointed, it feels exciting. Not many students from GU have been there”, he says.

The semester starts on October 1. Nils’ train journey take five days, and will allow him to visit a couple of German cities along the way.
“I have always wanted to go interrailing. Now I am really stoked about my upcoming trip, I want to go today”, he says.

Communication studies in Spain

Felicia Sundblad has already been in Santiago de Compostela in Spain for over a week, where she will study communication, in Spanish.
“I think I will manage, I have studied Spanish at the University of Gothenburg and my boyfriend lives here in Santiago de Compostela. But there is of course a difference between speaking Spanish with my boyfriend and writing academic texts”, she says.

The trip took two weeks

This is not Felicias first train trip to Santiago de Compostela but this time, she decided to make it a two-week trip to see a bit more from Europe. She stayed in Berlin, Prague, Strasbourg and Barcelona.
“It feels better to take the train instead of flying when possible. The trip went very well, you get a slightly different perception of distance when you take the train, you see things on the road and understand that the world is bigger than you think compared to when you travel by plane”, she says.

Despite some drama when the train collided with a car between Germany and the Czech Republic, where no one was injured, travelling went smooth.
“The trains departs often on the larger tours and the traffic information is good, so it doesn´t matter so much if you would miss a connection. In France the standard of the trains is good an in Germany the trains are punctually. Ironically, it was in Sweden that we had a delay”, says Felicia.

Erasmus Grant for Train T ravel

The Erasmus Grant for Train Travel is a funding offered on trial during the autumn semester 2019. The grants are earmarked to fund thirty students, who get 2000 SEK each if they choose the train before the plane to their exchange in Europe. Students from nearly all faculties have applied, travelling to countries far away as well as close, such as Slovenia, Austria, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Johan Ahlgren at the International Centre at the University of Gothenburg has been involved in setting up the travel grant.

“The students were one step ahead of us. One student at the Faculty of Science applied for a grant from GU´s Climate Fund, but it turned out to be only for incoming students. Therefore, we set up this opportunity for our outgoing students. Many of the larger Swedish universities offer similar grants for outgoing Erasmus students. It´s already in motion, the students want to take the train for the sake of the environment”, he says.

September 1 was the last day to apply. Selected students will be notified shortly.

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Originally published on: studentportal.gu.se

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 11/17/2016
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