So just over a year ago, my two friends and I made the life-changing decision to go on exchange. That was the easy part. The tough part was picking a place. You see, we didn’t want a place that was too similar to home because why even bother, just stay home. We thought Asia, but we’re Asian so we’ve all been there enough to call it a second home. We moved our fingers further west on the map and settled on Europe.
Europe is nice. One of the things that makes Europe so appealing is that it is very compact, like IKEA furniture. Run a kilometre and you’ve probably passed through 12 countries. I’m exaggerating… but it’s likely true. Anyway, we could travel Europe on the cheap (cheers Ryanair) and we’ve never been so why not. OH AND SNOW. EUROPE HAS SNOW.
I can’t remember the exact reason why we picked Sweden really. I think a friend recommended it to us. Long story short, we couldn’t go to some of the unis cause the subjects were too hard (lol) and settled on Jonkoping.
We got accepted to Jonkoping from UTS and Jonkoping (woo) and made all the arrangements and pop goes the weasel I’m on a plane to London before travelling a bit and catching a train from Copenhagen to Sweden.
20 minutes into my train from Copenhagen, I spotted my first IKEA.
Side note: Jonkoping is a cute little town situated on a lake, with like 100,000 people and a university in the city centre.
It’s been 2 weeks here in Jonkoping now. I’ve gotten used to some of the things which are different:
- A lot of things comes in tubes. I’m not 100% sure on what they are exactly, just that it’s edible
- Buses and coffee are so expensive one may consider consulting their local financial institution before purchase
- At supermarkets, coins go in a machine. It is strange, as the notes go to the person sitting in front of you, but they just watch you put the coins in the machine. Someone explained that it is secure and prevents theft…. but honestly if I was a thief (I’m not, I’m somewhat respectable) I’d probably go for the notes
- Their liquor shops are owned by the government or something, and they close at 3 on a Saturday, and aren’t open on Sunday. Australia, on the other hand, has drive through bottle shops for comparison.
- They also aren’t allowed to have sales on alcohol nor refrigerate them (the shops that is)
- They are, however, allowed to drink in public, strangely enough. Either that or many uni students committed a crime many times.
- IKEA is just as popular here as in Sydney.
- Jonkoping is very flat. The only lift I’ve been in is the one to go to my apartment. Seriously.
Overall, it’s been a smashing time. We’ve partied a lot and had a bunch of fun, and met a lot of both internationals and locals. We’ve also booked trips out to the rest of Europe which should be rad. Oh, the picture below is sunset looking out from my uni at the lake.
Maggie Hong, 11971811, FEIT