Why I like living far from campus: 5 miles vs 5 minutes!


Written by Lauren

29 Oct 2018

Most student accommodation in Gothenburg is close to the university buildings where you will have your classes, but if you’re renting privately you might end up a little further from campus, like me. At the moment, I live about 5 miles away from my university building. It’s not the longest commute in the world, but most of my classmates live closer!

Sure, it would be nice to wake up a little later in the morning and take a five-minute stroll down the street to get to class, but living further away from university is something that I’ve learned to appreciate – and here’s why.

I really recommend getting a bike while living in Sweden. It doesn’t have to be expensive as long as it’s roadworthy – there are lots of second-hand bikes available at good prices (some local councils organise occasional second-hand bike sales, so keep an eye out for these). Also, ask around – a friend or classmate might be selling theirs, which is how I got mine.

Anyway, on to the point: if you live further away from campus, cycling there is a really good option. It takes me about 30 minutes to cycle the five miles to campus each day, and it’s a really good way of keeping fit without having to pay for a gym membership! 

Me, ready for a bike ride! Credit: Pawel Piatek

Sweden’s public transport connections are generally excellent, so if the weather is terrible or if I’m just feeling a little too lazy to cycle, I can always jump on the bus or tram to get to university. It takes me about 30 minutes to reach my campus by tram – a good opportunity to catch up on reading!

Remember to factor the cost of transport into your budget; season tickets are a bit cheaper than buying single tickets every time, and there is usually a student discount on season tickets too. In Gothenburg, a 30-day period ticket costs 470 SEK and a 90-day ticket is 1270 SEK for students.

It’s true that even the student accommodation in the center of Gothenburg is very reasonably priced but there are often long waiting lists for these rooms so you may have to turn to the private market to find a place to live. The good news is that if you’re willing to live a bit further away from campus the rooms/apartments on the private market are often bigger than what you’d get in the center and at a cheaper price.

My apartment right now is between the city and the sea. If I cycle west, I can reach the seashore in 10 minutes – a novelty for me as I grew up in Derbyshire, the county in England which is furthest from the sea! So I love the fact that the sea is so close by. It’s easy to access the islands of the beautiful Gothenburg archipelago from here, too. There aren’t as many bars and restaurants in my area as in the center, but I really like the peace and quiet – and besides, the nightlife is only a short bus ride away.

The beautiful West coast is right on my doorstep.  Credit: Lauren 

All students will get to know the city center really well because that’s where the majority of the campus buildings are. But in a city the size of Gothenburg there are lots of other little neighbourhoods to explore and this is something I love to do at the weekend, discovering the hidden places no-one else knows about! If you live far from campus, you will get a totally different perspective of the city.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’ve lived within spitting distance of my school or workplace, I’ve found it difficult to get a little mental separation from the stresses of the working day. If I can see my university building from my bedroom window or pass it on my way to the shops, it’s a constant reminder of all the work I should be doing! Living far from campus definitely helps me to separate work time from leisure time and helps me maintain a healthy work/life balance. 

Of course, sometimes I wish I lived closer to campus as it would be more convenient. But by adopting a positive attitude, I’ve found that are many good things about living far from campus and I really enjoy it!

So, don’t be put off if you can’t find a place to live next door to your campus building, living further away can be a great option too!

But what’s it like to live only 5 minutes away from campus? Read this awesome post from my fellow student ambassador Hazal to find out!


Written by Lauren

29 Oct 2018