My exchange adventure at KTH Royal Institute of Technology began the moment I walked into the arrivals hall at Stockholm Arlanda Airport after two weeks of travelling around central Europe (Austria, Czech Republic & Germany). There were a couple of KTH students there to greet the new international students and then there was a free shuttle to campus where I got the keys for my accommodation and signed up to events during the orientation period. It all happened so efficiently that within a few hours of getting off the plane I was already settled down into my corridor room for the next 6 months.
I arrived a month early before classes because I opted to take the optional intensive Swedish course at KTH. While most Swede’s are fluent in English, it’s still nice to know a few words to talk to the locals. You’ll also find that one of the hardest things about moving to another country (where they don’t speak English) is grocery shopping. Case in point: that time I accidentally bought sour milk (filmjölk) thinking it was normal milk (mjölk).
In addition to the Swedish course, the KTH Student Union was also been extremely welcoming and ran reception activities almost everyday during August such as an amazing race, archipelago trip, city tours, gasque (a Swedish student banquet) and the the classic ‘just got to Sweden and need to get lost at Ikea’ trip. These activities and the Swedish course were awesome in getting to know both the city of Stockholm and also other International students from all over the world.
So…what exactly is Sweden like? You’re probably thinking blonde hair, IKEA, H&M, ABBA and meatballs. While some of this does hold true (i.e. within Centralen alone there are 5 H&M stores within metres of each other that all sell the same stuff), the past 1.5 months in Stockholm and have shown me that it’s much more than that. For example, while there is still no Chinatown, Stockholm is slowly becoming a more multicultural city.
I arrived in Stockholm at the start of August, meaning that it was the heart of summer and the weather was perfect and there was no better time to explore the archipelago. It’s halfway through September now and as I write this the weather is already down to 16 degrees, so I’ve been trying to make the most of the sun while it lasts!
Tack så mycket för läsning! (Thanks for reading!)