I’m currently on exchange at Uppsala University in Sweden. Uppsala is Sweden’s 4th largest city and it’s about 40 minutes outside of Stockholm. Studying and living in Uppsala is a completely unique experience, one that is completely different to Sydney. For one, Sweden is one of the coldest countries in the world – it has been snowing here practically non-stop since I arrived in January, and even though it is Spring now that has yet to stop. I live in student accommodation that’s about a 10-15 minute walk from all my classes, which is quite different to the hour commute I normally take to UTS. In Sweden, each semester is broken up in halves – you study half your subject load in the first half and the rest in the second. This makes focusing on each subject easier as you only have one or two at a time, and I found this made study and uni life far less strenuous.
One of my favourite aspects of Swedish life is something called ‘fika’. Both a noun and a verb, fika basically means to take a break for some coffee/tea and pastries. As a coffee addict, this appeals to me greatly, and going for fika is something I’ll most likely take back to Australia.
Living in student accommodation is also quite exciting – I’ve met so many people and made so many great friends just because we live in the same residence. My accommodation has a common area, café, gym and a common kitchen – and therefore plenty of opportunity to meet new people. Everyone is looking to make friends which makes the process a whole lot easier.
While living here I’ve also decided to take up biking as a means of transport, which can be fun but at the same time quite challenging, particularly if it’s snowing. One morning I thought it would be a great idea to bike 5kms to the migration office at 8am (on an empty stomach). I didn’t pay too much attention to the weather forecast so when I rode out of the bike garage to heavy snow, I knew I was in for a wild ride. I couldn’t be late to my meeting and I didn’t have time to figure out the bus schedule, so I had no other option. When I arrived, my earphones had completely frozen over. For someone who has only seen the snow once at Perisher Blue, this was a bizarre (yet fun) experience.
Overall, my life in Uppsala has been dramatically different to my life in Sydney – and that is exactly what I was looking for. Being thrown into a completely new environment has led to considerable personal growth, and I’m super excited for the following months!
Follow my Instagram if you’d like to see more photos from my adventures in and outside Sweden! www.instagram.com/sasazekzi
Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Laws