Ever wonder what types of students you’ll find at Swedish universities and in the towns and cities? Good news, I’ll be taking a look at some of the typical lifestyle and fashion ideas people have about students in Sweden! It will mostly be focused on Gothenburg and male fashion (since that’s what I know best), but I think you’ll find a lot of similarities with students from other cities.more
I’ll start off with what I know best. The humble engineering (or pure science) student. They’re found all over Sweden, from KTH (Stockholm) to Lund University (Lund). But today, I’ll be focusing on the Chalmers variety.
The engineer/scientist can be identified by their variety of patterned check shirts. These are often accompanied by dad jeans – just imagine Steve Jobs’ jeans. Rounding off the outfit will be a pair of technical shoes. Perfect for the unpredictable Gothenburg weather – we engineers love practicality! When the engineering student isn’t writing hundreds of lines of MATLAB code, you might find them reading comics at Science Fiction Bokhandeln / Café Sirius, or playing boardgames with friends at GG Bar. They’re also more involved in student life and associations than you might expect – engineering students love a good gasque or sittning!
Next up is the Handelshögskolan (business school) student. They study at economics at Handelshögskolan or maybe industrial economy / entrepreneurship at Chalmers. They’re fueled by NOCCO – an energy drink with a health-conscious spin. If you want to have a long, interesting conversation, ask them about their latest start-up! Warning: you might have trouble getting them to stop talking about it.
You can identify this student by their slick back hair, and often more formal, reserved outfit. On a relaxed night, you might catch them at Handelspub, an intimate event visited by economics and business majors. When they’re having a more eventful night, they’ll be somewhere on Avenyn. This may be a fancy restaurant, or at an exclusive (read: expensive) club. They do their best to avoid Andra långgatan. “It’s too wild and grungy” they might tell you. They’re probably half right.
This person absolutely loves Majorna! That’s where you find the best cafés and vinyl record shops! They probably study at the University of Gothenburg (GU). More specifically HDK, GU’s Academy of Design and Crafts. Their natural habitat is an independent store, Röda Sten exhibitions, or any of the establishments on Andra långgatan. If you know them well and want to have a long conversation with them, bring up something about climate change. If you’ve just met, simply ask about their favourite spots on Andra långgatan!
Half of the humanities student’s clothing is second hand. And it’s not because that’s all they can afford! Some is trendy streetwear, think fanny packs and Champion or Supreme hoodies. The rest will be pricey fashion labels, or rentals from Klädoteket. This student might have a tattoo, or ten. The humanities student does not go to Avenyn! “That street is too posh and overpriced” they’ll tell you. “Andra lång is the real social heart of Gothenburg” they’ll add. They’re also half right. When they do go to Avenyn, you might catch them at Yaki-Da, a popular spot just off the main avenue.
I hope these starter packs have given you some good examples of what you might expect! But I’d also like to hear from you…
Have you noticed anything similar in your city? What kind of student are you? Let me know in the comments!