Here’s yet another Somali success story from Sweden. It should be noted that Borlänge has a neighborhood dubbed “Little Mogadishu” by the locals, just like Minneapolis.
International students’ shock: This isn’t Sweden — compared to a war-torn land
October 5, 2020
International students at the Dalarna University in Borlänge do not want to live in the student residence which is offered to them in the immigrant suburb Tjärna Ängar, which is commonly called “Little Mogadishu”. That is what a representative for Dalarna’s student union wrote in a letter to the university’s board.
In 2005 the community housing company Tunabyggen in Borlänge converted two multiple-family homes in Somali-dense Tjärna Ängar into “Locus”— a student complex with a gym, study spaces, and 126 student apartments, in order to remedy the shortage of student residences in the city.
A second student housing area with another 59 student apartments lies in an adjacent building. The residence is marketed by Tunabyggen’s communal home page as a “multicultural residential area”. Together they make up more than two-thirds of the city’s student housing.
But the students don’t want to live in them.
The university’s rector contacted the municipality four years ago, in connection with a woman being raped, and demanded that they arrange other student housing in the municipality that wasn’t located in Tjärna Ängar. Not the least because female students felt unsafe in the immigrant-dense suburb.
“This is unacceptable. Students must be offered a residence when they are accepted, or at least at the beginning of instruction. The housing’s general standard must be reviewed, and above all, students must be able to feel safe and not worry about their personal security. Nothing else can be discussed,” said the rector, Marita Hilliges, at that time.
But the student housing has remained. And now, international students who are placed in the residences are protesting against being forced to live there. After experiencing shootings outside the student residences on several occasions, the students write that they “experience a glimpse of war-torn countries” in Tjärna Ängar with arson and firefights between criminals and police.
There are many horrific examples in the letter. Several female students have been followed and harassed by “unknown men” and feel that they are unsafe when they are outside the house. Two people were recently stabbed right outside Locus.
One student awoke in the morning when robbers climbed up the face of the building and into the room. They stole his phone, money, and other valuables. A female student was similarly awakened in the same way by a thief in the room, according to the letter.
“The general perception of the students is that they don’t feel they are living in Sweden, they don’t hear the language, and can’t experience the culture or traditions, which makes them feel they live in a segregated environment,” reads the letter in which the students demand to be allowed to live somewhere else.
Many international students, who began university during the autumn, have already dropped out of instruction and left Sweden.