Lund University has a relatively high proportion of international students. One-fifth of AF Bostäder’s tenants come from other countries and the international students like to live – and thrive – on corridors.
Sweden is attractive internationally as a destination for higher education and is among the world’s top four for several reasons. Sweden is the best in the world at English as a second language, Sweden is ranked as the world’s second most innovative economy and it is well known that Swedish universities are of a high international standard. Lund University sticks out as the best of them all.
“Internationally, Lund has strong drawing power,” says Claes Hjortronsteen, Rental Manager at AF Bostäder. “The University collaborates with over 500 higher education institutions in over 60 countries, and is consistently included in top 100 lists, which correspond to the best 0.4 per cent of the world’s universities.”
Lund University is ranked highest in Sweden by international students and attracts students and researchers from 130 countries. A total of eight Bachelor’s programmes and around 100 Master’s programmes are taught in English. Besides what the University offers, housing is an important factor. And, in terms of housing, Lund is also in a leading position.
“AF Bostäder’s rents are among the lowest in Sweden, the queue times are among Sweden’s shortest and all those in the queue are there on equal terms,” says Claes Hjortronsteen. “We have a good reputation internationally, among other things because our corridor accommodation is of a high standard, not least compared with similar forms of housing in other countries. Corridor accommodation is perfect for all those who have come from far away. On a corridor, it is easy to feel part of the community and you make new friends immediately.”
Equally important is AF Bostäder’s prioritisation of new students who live outside Skåne. It is difficult for these new students to organise housing in Lund themselves. For that reason, around 1 000 new students are given precedence for housing at AF Bostäder each year.
“Our prioritisation of new students is both unique and extensive, and also includes students from abroad,” says Claes Hjortronsteen. “It contributes strongly to Lund’s attractiveness and to the University’s potential to market its study programmes.”
Student housing can vary from country to country. Sometimes misunderstandings arise in AF Bostäder’s housing about contract matters and practical things, but the tenants soon get used to the routines with a little help from AF Bostäder’s service centre and friends on the corridor.
“Before each semester, Lund University organises the official Arrival Day,” says Claes Hjortronsteen. “We are there to give out keys and also to pass on tips about things like automatic detergent dosing, waste sorting and student life.”
At AF Bostäder, all housing is allocated equally.
“We want to have integrated housing, and our tenants also think that’s important,” states Claes Hjortronsteen. “The international students don’t want to isolate themselves, they want to share everyday life with Swedes and with people from other countries, especially if they are going to live here for a long period.”
“When every fifth tenant comes from another country, we have a dynamic environment on the corridors, which provides great value and raises the quality of the housing experience. The international angle contributes to increased knowledge about the world and other cultures, creates understanding between people and leads to many lifelong relationships. Corridor life at AF Bostäder helps the students to have an international network when they leave Lund,” concludes Claes Hjortronsteen.