Life in Sweden 101

This is a series of posts, where I will talk to you about everyday things that make life at Dalarna University all the more enjoyable!

December is upon us and finally, the dark days of November are history. While snow makes me slip on literally every alternate step I take, it does make the world whiter and brighter!

November made me realize that seasonal depression does exist. Luckily, my friend Tereza happened to write a post on ways to beat the winter blues and I couldn’t have been happier. It helped me to remember that I can always make the most of my time here, dark days or not!

On that note, here are lessons I’ve learnt in my first six months in Sweden –

  1. One thing that will always help you here is making a lot of friends. Meet people, go out. There have been many times I was invited to a party or to go bowling or for a movie, when I couldn’t go because I was either ill, had homework or something else. Don’t do that. Try and grab every opportunity to meet friends because after all, that is what you will remember down the line, not homework assignments!
  1. You might’ve heard that Sweden is quite an expensive country and while that is true, it is still possible to save money by doing little things like knowing where to buy what. Within your first couple of weeks here, go around and familiarize yourself with all the stores in and around. On my first shopping trip, I fell in love with a knit cap and bought it immediately – only to realize that a much better one was available in another store at literally half the price. Do your research, ask around, and explore all our options when you shop/buy groceries/eat out. Trust me, it’ll go a long way in saving money.
  1. Make sure you know everything there is to know about any formalities related to the course you are studying. I have always ended up in a mess because I didn’t register for a course on time, or I registered for the wrong course, etc. Certain things in Sweden are different from the education system in your country – for example, you have to register for every exam that you take, which is unlike what I’ve seen in India and the States. Your department most certainly tells you about all these things, it’s just a matter of remembering it all.
  1. Walk around, hike, go camping when in Sweden – whether you’re outdoorsy or not. I am certainly not one for the outdoors, but in my first couple of months here I went camping and it was an unforgettable experience. You can read all about it here. Also, Sweden’s Allemansrätten or right to public access makes it so much easier to enjoy the outdoors!
  1. Be prepared to spend time by yourself – and love it! There won’t be someone around you all the time. On many occasions, I have walked to the football fields close to University, sat by myself on one of the many picnic benches. That is where I have written most of my blog posts. The most important lesson in my opinion, is that you should always be able to enjoy your own company!

 

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