Firstly, It’s true, they are almost all blonde and blue eyed, and most of them are also really attractive…
It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been living in Sweden for almost 3 months, when it feels like so much longer. I am staying in the small-compared-to-Sydney city of Jönköping, located somewhere between Stockholm and Gothenburg. Right on the edge of Lake Vättern, it is a very pretty city, with many churches throughout the town. I study at the school of Education and Communication here at Jönköping University, a uni of about 10,000 students.
Kick off week back in January was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. A week of games, introductory lectures, hanging out with our Swedish ‘Fadders’ or fathers, who were like our guardians for the first week (They’re also really awesome people), and of course, going to the student nightclub: Akadamien, or Aka for short. As new international students here, or zeros, as we are referred to, we are all encouraged to get a pair of coloured overalls, that represent what school we are in, so I am blue, for communication, and there’s red for education, yellow for the engineering school, green for business and white for health sciences. We are also awarded patched to stick to our overalls for participation in events that run throughout the semester, so naturally our fadders are covered in them. I think it’s a really unique idea.
I stay at probably the best accommodation here too, at a place called Råslätt, where a certain number of buildings are only available to students, the rest is public housing. We have a nice common room too, called Sockertoppen, where we play pool, table tennis, watch movies etc, and also where we have our parties, which is also pretty cool.
I’ve been on one of the trips organised by the student union, which was to Finnish Lapland, and our group that went was lucky enough to see the Northern Lights on our first night, which is something I’ll never forget. We also wen snowmobiling and husky sledding, both of which were a lot of fun. There’s also a trip to Russia and the Baltics in a few days, and also Norway in May, which I cannot wait for.
I’ve also had many a Fika with friends, a very Swedish thing to do at about 11, then again at 3, where we go for coffee and a light snack. Classes are pretty good, as the work load is literally half of what it is back home, so there’s always time to go out and party/chill. I am also taking Swedish classes, which I am quite proud of.
I’ve made a tonne of lifelong friends on this truly an amazing experience, and I am so glad I applied for global exchange! I don’t want it to end!!
-Rik Dutta in Jönköping, Sweden