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Borås: 'A lovely city - if you're a student'

15 Mar 2013, 15:51

Published: 15 Mar 2013 15:51 GMT+01:00

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Amer Khamis describes himself as a photographer, an environmentalist, and big fan of Swedish cars. He studies engineering at the University of Borås, and has lived in the student town for six months.

While he admits that many residents might suggest the best thing about the Borås is the bus number 100 to Gothenburg, Khamis explains that there is a lot more to the town than meets the eye.

"Boras is essentially just a small university town, but it can boast that it’s the home of a few cool things," he tells The Local.

Sweden's reigning football champions – IF Elfsborg – come from Borås, and the country’s biggest research institute is there too.

But that’s not all, Khamis explains, as there's a famous landmark in Borås that well and truly blows the rest away.

"Borås has a bronze statue of Pinocchio that’s nine metres tall. Even King Carl XVI Gustaf was on hand at the launch in 2008," he says.

While the statue itself may take a while to grow on potential visitors, it has become something of a symbol for the town, erected by American artist Jim Dine in the middle of a roundabout at the entrance of the town.

The sculpture is entitled Walking to Borås, and is a "metaphor for art" according to the artist.

But the town is not just homages to Italian puppets with long noses. It's also known for its huge textile trade and textile schools. It's even known affectionately as "Textile Town" (Textilstaden) around the country.

Thanks to this focus on fashion, Khamis says the typical resident is generally well-dressed and rather stylish.

When it comes to a visit, tourists would have to include a trip to the Textile Museum, the Borås Zoo (which is renowned for its lion breeding programme), and a coffee at da Matteo, Khamis says.

But a word of warning for tourists – the town is much more suited to summer travellers.

"The best time to visit would be in early summer, actually. There aren't many students around, but the municipality arranges weekly concerts in the main square to make the city come alive," he explains.

"They even replace the flowers with different colours every two weeks so it’s even more vibrant than usual."

Story continues below…

So in summary?

"Borås is a lovely student city," Khamis tells The Local.

"But only if you’re a student."

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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Your comments about this article

17:05 March 15, 2013 by just a question
That's summarize all. All Sweden is great for students. If you are a student, you will have a great time everywhere. If you are an expatriate, refugee, an immigrant looking for job or a love expatriate, the story is totally different
10:28 March 16, 2013 by johan rebel
A lovely city if you like getting rained upon at least every second day.
17:27 March 16, 2013 by Rishonim
Shalom aleikhem Amer. Thanks for sharing your student experience in Borås. Sweden actually has some really beautiful and interesting places. Take Hälsingland and Dalarna for example; in my opinion you will find some very unique landscapes and the people are really friendly. In my opinion, if you want to enjoy a proper summer vacation, then Sweden is the perfect place for that. You will always be just a few steps away from a lake or the ocean.

18:48 March 16, 2013 by agrias
@just a question: Having been a student in Gothenburg, I am happy to say that, after sending thousands of CVs around and not having any responses, I sent a single CV to a company in Borås and got hired (and it's not washing dishes or cleaning anything; I sit comfortably in my office and do what I was trained in university to do). I don't even speak Swedish yet (but of course i am trying to learn).

Borås is a small city with a lot of big companies. Maybe sometimes the trick is to look out of the Stockholm-Gtb-Malmö axis, not even swedes are getting jobs there (if you're not working with IT, of course.).

I ended up moving here, got tired of the 1h commute every day. But Göteborg is just there and housing here is cheaper, so it was a win win in my case. But I'd be a liar if I said i didn't miss living in the big city...
14:24 March 18, 2013 by azimuth
I lived in Borås for a half year until I moved to Mölndal last year in July. It feels very nice that the city center is just in 15 minutes by walk from where one lives (especially compared to Stockholm where I lived before). On another hand, it becomes really boring after a while as the city (I'd even say the town) is really small.
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